East Essex Smallholders Chitchat Headline Animator

CONTACT EESG

To Contact EESG
Please Email:
Danielle.Perkins@yahoo.co.uk
or 07854595640

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Tuesday 23rd of May 2017

We have been a little slow with a 2017 calender of events, but we will be announcing our exciting schedule at the next meeting on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 at The Roundbush Public House, Roundbush Road, Purleigh, Essex CM9 6NN. 7.30pm 
Please come and show your support.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

 

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May 2017 and hedgehoggy events are being organised all around the country already!
Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and takes place every year.  It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.
This year efforts are focussed on our strimmer campaign.  We have produced water proof stickers that we are sending to councils, tool hire companies, grounds maintenance teams, etc free of charge on request (email info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk).  The stickers remind operatives to check areas for hedgehogs before using any machinery.  Once the group have received the stickers and sent us a pic of them in action, we can add them to our Hedgehog Heroes Roll of Honour!  See http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-heroes-roll-honour/

Strimmer Label 
As well as checking areas before cutting there are other things we can do to help too:
  • Ensure there is hedgehog access in your garden – a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and walls.
  • Move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it.
  • Ensure netting is kept at a safe height.
  • Check compost heaps before digging the fork in.
  • Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used.
  • Cover drains or deep holes.
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.

BHPS Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said “We are asking people to pledge to do at least one positive thing for hedgehogs during the week and if possible let us know, send us pictures of the hedgehog hole or home you create, or from the event you organise!”

Here are a few more ideas of how you can get involved:
  • Contact your local council or tool hire shop and ask if they will use the free stickers from BHPS on their machines – ask them to email us direct oninfo@britishhedgehogs.org.uk
  • Organise an event such as a cake sale, fun day, sponsored event, coffee morning or jumble sale.
  • ]Display information (BHPS can provide) in your work place or local Garden Centre, School, Library, shop, etc.
  • Contact your local newspaper or radio station a few weeks before Hedgehog Awareness Week and ask them to help hedgehogs by printing a letter from BHPS (we can provide a letter to the editor on request) or by arranging an interview with us during the week (ask them to call 01584 890 801 to book a slot).
  • Post leaflets in your area letting people know how they can help hedgehogs (BHPS can provide leaflets).
  • Take a selfie with our #hedgehogweek sign (click here for printable copy)  and send it out via social media during the week.  Remember to tag us on Twitter @hedgehogsociety and use #hedgehogweek 
If you are organising an event, PLEASE let BHPS know as soon as possible so that we can keep a comprehensive list of events across the country. We often get calls from the media and public asking for local events and if we don’t know about your event we can’t point them in your direction.

We are hoping to raise £2,000 during Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017, texting HHOG17 £5 to 70070 will donate £5 to this appeal. (You can change amount to £1, £2, £3, £4, or £10 to donate those amounts).

To donate to our Hedgehog Awareness Week campaign online please click https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/bhps/haw17
Leaflets and posters are available on our website or we can post copies out on request.
 http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017

Monday, 10 April 2017

Image result for gov.uk images

 www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-measures-to-protect-poultry-against-avian-flu
 
Press release

Updated measures to protect poultry against Avian Flu

All poultry in England to be allowed outside from Thursday 13 April following the latest evidence on the risk posed by wild birds.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAATYAAACjCAMAAAA3vsLfAAAAilBMVEUKCwv///8AAADg4OD09PQGBwdVVVWoqKgAAwPCwsL6+vr29vZgYGC7u7saGxs4OTnu7u6Li4vIyMjn5+fX19ednZ2RkZGEhITHx8dubm6hoaG0tLROTk5iYmJ4eHinp6ctLi5CQkI3ODgSExMwMDAhIiJpaWl2dnY/QEBRUlLa2toYGRlISEgnJycJBZrkAAAMPklEQVR4nO1d63aizBKVAkQRE1SUKN41JmP0/V/v0FXVN9TEzMz65tjp/WOWNhfDnrp2VTetloeHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh8ffQdxRiP/13/I4iD+eFHaet3sBi0BhDv/6r3kYxNCTrOWetfsBfUlb4mm7H3CQtP3ytN2PGFJiLQLvEb4BeCHaKi9s94GkC96ItgUYgx43ET8B1FR1AFlLhY7WA6+et88Bwzw51UTBUNDWF59+JVHX6+rngK5wBFVGIUgCi34P6fvXf9f/OZC2C3javoCn7bfgafsUMSAuxu+mja7/YR4WYHKM8u7l9MadtMXQ7ubRcXCFeIcB2+hGps60VeRJq13/Om1Q0fX5+gfx1umkUo7GjcdG2rprIPoqgO3wCm0wk9f3fpCeSlkReGVGOqRvdTI63NY2S2UJAJuCaVOmDNb6+h80swSG2ZowI625YKsF47bgT+akmfgMWS2TNX/beczcjvX16Y+hDfYGbZg3QftYf4wm0GkpoTOMWj0GMBbpQoFORB5FfHT+5bP8F4ipDnVBGwz4S8FqGEt57KmBkEdKcf7QuMFTx7i1g6jDrB2Fag0lhbb6xrYfpnIg4wEdl9TydqGk+tbOARZFGvS6z2CWCoLgXLMQ6q970krFEs1Twrs+owBLXMUJsHlJg7TIHORNec9l/dgf6qlrY99p2cJn6KjUUlO8AuE4VkrY4toclvzFPa9qPLjQsvdUP6ihoyxdWkdZS03xDE6g/xN6W0vHB47x1tnpxw4xqBiHOSdXpgYGKxwxMizi0Qj0ApEY1MnVS56HEwxWRpYkugSlRwKvYKfypoc4gKWjQktbOowT4EBNpfKWX166JW7aGAXKO+qDiTqUIxGGjgZBG4mM1PdZ82qj8+EiV3tw6CSSiTARazVrN3VUamkmv46aeqgPOUibKUAXBgjiAg9ERKghWsgTjmXUFjK8iM4sR7xwizajGSa4UoYCmK/61fKKrRMs8ynLqj87wWUqZeQMuWMuwejqSHfXJMKcq7Vp6/Hp8fXp4Pr0V3WuewGvVNN8/+WjmVkDZgVfnb/N6dSDc6wJAzYeHrvLOzJHmJi0lXdcAGX3OJy4mZR27i2axJCbHuGuK1ytx3SuGPNbMPKG9Gud/q2feAwAfOx39ysR7Nm8Fef7r/neTzwC4E3QEN5vsgGypCiS9jeYnuJPTB3iTU1gNBOj1m1abpSfb12nEjR3GgkNz9hItWHSTLTuvGPWmCIypgpcmTwyJzTsXlzYBMHvaBUsg2BrXqd6fTGrcMOjWvnoyXxajGu/z5tgzY6CrZlOR4JeK3o1g1dOuDbffEyYXyRS1nSeI1qqynlBQ7aA5j2+mX/Lubeheafljf+ZBwacjGd60s+kbN7kW8+pqhIG23A2fmLrBm1mav5iioi0eVHDKzZhx/7K+ptza8bk0dER1lqwlY9kTRppm/dum/c0spDabmR+1UzqySN3WrdgQ7l5+GoRMLtGQMMWBs1YTx+1dBvWNLGePzvDmtC7adWtFnZsr91fowJglfeaNWNdr2nQCYf6J6ZuJaVyajY2FevXDdpic57y2PCzmjZTtXm1jJOTR4I7c6GjMu5aSemxDUvF1rCj3IKyiKYjgbmbjLVQGLK+UDklcap4qhJTeP+gOpWKwyjOg9et5E0VJZSIip6QKui3XWw5AtgkIkx9g3gnhasjAzclKDDPW8QTBxRU5YKnSKUSMtpLVcGm7MRoJqPk3TXi4JnnuZ9r76DSSfaKhZojgnWQUhMqq+kO+0UWsvkPTwxthwDHDGRU4lzjuBSfXQe6hnTh6ACy2eykOrRengU5CSlijc1Qyhb8ms0yMm5dQ/r6IFl2brVMh+1/LUoqvheciGjrHUMualrAs8LVdL5B2Zy/JSNl/ykwCcWRUPfdTMVNd+wlnHML3DSEQW5FkjXtF91BFIzYob4JhTRqViawuYvjvHQU5INu0T+QBPaFUD7hEcdaGRA03/Es5CLHCG7YoEaYPJ4UuYCY7oBjY/AFozXRJUG2begga9yHVhJ5dttyEEhF1K3zqfpHAPvJL8gU7dJEGPqWVxdpM3OmOuYyeyBrykJq9uBzosFZzKrlsJ5Qy82KaTv2zKtq1TUa59zr3EVArJ6wzpjAJKCqfeFIdGSRDK6EwU+F/EmXOkG7Fz6B1cUbWey75w8IRtfkDoTxP67IvomGBYhFNRAjuaz+GsfMRIxpAS7iqNlUjQ7DVSiuM9Kwi2KiK+gIKtLTIBQ01OGbiMreWGdFiNIif4sRHPUzYE1epPzUL46eE7k/1JeuRMBW03wcnFwWNrZcNVlZXshkAZXuTafyvzhBpWiDDtTypmc78ADFeOEC4DhqA9o3Ry2bADlTEeaOW3EL5/zRExozIBvO0OV6Uvoy0/UBTBJwLhK2nfhDSOyru26UgGFZV1iomCdCMJ0y21LpI9eL5Uq1RtWA03iM/mLK0JyM2SSo6mLWf2lC46KvSEZ1F0UtrEukph0j8+he+6kBDjsMhaJq4Kgx46NrhI3SAJAjNWp6tJLZ8U0FyQ9GmiWOb0drgzgwehPSk3WAu3S1/YdWz+nog8B9ktFaGi1FUHVWddG9GdIG1VofUHnGXJrALUXN3+i5fEjIqH5ARBhrqYIwKRfZYVBZWRceqAaH7FAm5oEDXc+FhdBx1nQGHyVvh0nYZOh+hJPDWyITtO+1Qzwg4Pn3mbqN+zt8HxVwoYN/Dud11Mrn/xocW9d3DVbj41/CyX3arDbbvwMHKy+XuKgh/DF+xIafzT6sP4cjXaefw9oSgJBGYTHsVrPJoFwesvbpfbvfr8/n83q9328383Z2WJaDyazqDotRdKnjTz+BtpasIvSOw2pcLjZipdR3sNtvDoNxNQz5Po6n8RKQvMzK9tbozf1ep3hHX7ltl7Oh42m8AvytBr5b+4J6eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eDwars702IPWpFLzQGxeYh+/uZngw6N+rOk4GS+35mRbPXiYrGYlr86D0yLLFrFsrFlkC7kZe1aP80vp4g9xEtBxatqCnRhyZOcUC/Asa1Z5qWVo3bUGqRlmqjstuU+SPvPCU+qI4O563oUc20kc2TnFhLXsZcSdgdZ2MeEOeEcP3re+retStGlKk7ZQUkXLFRysztv7BgQ9LDfZu1AG0Y4liPfaxa0bXu+gje7j3LJIJVar+X4zwc12cM0ebdBcZfvnEjtqxOqYRNXwsEF6JBsAP6GN9scu3CvO03LSHjdGiqdNRI83tpT+osEuaSRRuQRpzlZf00bbs4yc25lSGraNXH4bvJwFa1PJUEtuLD7iVzX1lSy276BNsJ+23FNRslhqgyOgrTdxFeRIDR6IWewRESVjNG2yl/4z2nCtpSsbQpmghSp6EzIOy0RZXRWHScwmQD0ia6Blt3KZxm3alhVp+n/6QP8NKJRYq8CeUgHkSUeoSILcLqDkw+WXtNF6ZyfbUMmK4Rpttan/inpodEufXASECt1l33D+kjbC1zuPPyCokV4tbUckRJveYhFNnaBNaF1E6/ZGWoU/p82115kgKLASwZjupUwAtVAvlkJb1pdR2DN+Te6hrRgGjXVYjoAWv+B7DCfj8XhSaNr0kgJkFF9yGKCDtEgl2tjwU6AmactJbN3Zp1iBGnYr5RL6RFthGiXaY0HIExq5l7YlQkQb+w9ayca0pU+8nt7BxmfKATrmYtGEQw35ImEkCxeQ4ng0Djj8oHk0dBScMmAKGunkihYO3vWKgMcCRSAh4PJbyuoTDjGiVp0Vxbx8akzLksVHwQTuLPDaL5bsKOq8Hm8gjr2Yqfybre/OgPrD82ktOachuwTO79NSbFOG4sit8mrLnjOwaNYZFCpmT9xgkbPZMyaOjtLnuAXYceSRSleKr+/r2oNsnuQkE+4MUpLZV9vg86kiUzNoQ5/j4Mpv2Btvr6qYttjaDSWVGZLcERCZXTJt9qZIOEukaWOmHdwbCvREZXlmTsS2WmoPrX5LRxs0kkFLKan4NJCSmk5wlkhPivMlLr73O4aPsiqKfglwno1nMpiA9qxbFFX5ZK7uLuvobjyj/VLO6BLo3EMyLIbJlGs4MKhPkiHwYlZ/mbsnbiqNj+klRI1RuDwzVp95OAbzwGVB0M2Kn4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4eHh4fHTfwP7tKPhVgJP4oAAAAASUVORK5CYII=

Avian flu confirmed at a farm near Redgrave in Suffolk

H5N8 avian flu has been confirmed at a poultry premises near Redgrave, in the district of mid-Suffolk.
The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu at a poultry premises near Redgrave, in the district of mid-Suffolk.
This follows the announcement of an initial 10km Temporary Control Zone around the premises on 13 February after laboratory analysis identified the presence of H5N8. Further investigations into the nature of the virus have now confirmed that it is the same highly pathogenic strain of H5N8 that has been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK since December 2016.
A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading. We have published full details of the controls in place. Use our interactive map to check if you are affected by restrictions around any premises.
The affected premises is estimated to contain approximately 23,000 birds. A number have died and the remaining live birds at the premises will be humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.
Public Health England advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
Read the latest advice and information on avian flu in the UK, including actions to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, advice for anyone who keeps poultry or captive birds and details of previous cases. Journalists with queries should contact Defra press office.

www.gov.uk/government/news/controls-for-avian-influenza-introduced-around-site-in-suffolk


Monday, 6 February 2017

 

A beginner's guide to permaculture gardening

Laura Laker
30th March, 2010
www.theecologist.org

Don't get stumped by the name: permaculture is a simple, vital tool for food growers and gardeners alike

A philosophy of gardening. Gardening and philosophy. Either way it seems strange to the uninitiated. However, one thing permaculture isn't, to many people's surprise, is a cult. So what exactly is it?
Permaculture is a design system which sprang up during the 1970s oil crisis, a reaction to food insecurity and the desire for self-reliance. Combining attitude and practical application, it encompasses anything from recycling, reusing and regenerating, to simply observing.
When applied to gardening it suggests that not only can we grow food almost anywhere - from fruit shrubs in patio pots to vines on fences - but we can get higher yields with less effort simply by mimicking nature.
When I started to view every niche as a potential food-growing zone, for me the world turned into one big gingerbread house.
In contrast to many modern agricultural methods, a natural growing system sustains a continuous cycle, with dead plants becoming mulch for new growth. Permaculture gardening seeks to recreate this cycle, turning food waste into valuable compost and replacing slug pellets and weedkillers with natural predators and natural competition. According to co-founder Bill Mollison, it is about working with nature, not against it.
Survey your plot
Permaculture isn't prescriptive and methods should be applied to each garden or balcony individually. The first step, therefore, is observation. Although common sense, this aspect in particular surprised me whilst attending a permaculture course in North London one chilly February weekend.
The group was asked to stand in a forest garden (a permaculture design concept, in which a garden is established to mimic a young forest ecosystem) and simply observe a small area for 15 minutes. Stock still in front of an apple tree in the bitter, fading light, looking at lichen patterns and wondering where the sun rose and set, I started to see the garden differently.
I realised that to avoid winding up with a lot of shrivelled plants, it is vital to learn how much light, wind, and water a plot receives before jumping in with a trowel and a packet of seeds. Ideally this phase should span a year, to observe changes through the seasons.
In any outdoor space microclimates exist, and where a south-facing wall will protect delicate plants, a windy balcony may be better suited to fruit shrubs such as gooseberry and damson, providing a natural, edible windbreak.
If you are keen to start growing before your year is up, try a few things out on a small space first. This is a perfect time to limber up green fingers and establish skills, some compost and avoid biting off more than you can chew. Green manure is excellent preparation for future veggies.
Diversity
A key aspect of permaculture garden design is growing a diverse range of foods with mutually beneficial relationships. Marigolds, for example, deter eel worms from nearby tomatoes, while lovage and sweet cicely attract aphids' natural predators.
Plants are carefully chosen, often native varieties, only a fraction of which we currently eat. Those most suited to local conditions require less tending - ticking another key permaculture box: minimal input for maximum gain. A mixture of annuals and perennials can be aesthetically pleasing while providing food throughout the year.
Zoning
When planning your plot, think: which plants will I visit the most? Which ones will require the most tending? These will live in the 'zone' closest to the house, zone one (or indoors, zone zero). This means ripe foods will be picked in time, and delicate plants won't shrivel away unnoticed at the back of the garden.
If zone one is the 'busiest', zone four contains the plants requiring the least attention, further away. Traditionally zone five will be a wild, undisturbed haven for natural predators and wildlife. This can exist even in a small plot.
Mulch!
As permaculture is a low-impact model, it encompasses a no-dig philosophy. Sounding more like a dream come true than a practical method, it is possible to change what grows in a space without turning over the soil. The key word here is mulch, and I was enlightened on the benefits during my permaculture course.
This method is best for potatoes, cabbages and marrows. After knocking down any weeds, a layer of cardboard, newspapers or natural-fibre carpets will kill weeds by blocking out their light. Some mulch or compost on top provides nutrients for the plants and by piercing the cardboard layer you help new roots reach the soil. Then add compost or topsoil before sprinkling straw, or grass clippings and leaves (often in surplus in local councils).
Forest garden
In nature, not only does variety exist on a two dimensional plane, but each family of plants will grow to different heights. Known as ‘stacking', a permaculture forest garden sees tall fruiting trees above a layer of dwarf varieties and nut bushes, which in turn shelter fruiting shrubs, with perennial herbs and vegetables, and finally roots underground. By covering the soil with plants, it is protected from water loss and erosion.
Pests!
UK households use masses of pesticides for every invertebrate going. In a natural ecosystem predators will carry out this job without negative environmental impact - for example frogs do the same job as slug repellent without the shrivelled corpses or having to keep the children away. Last year after visiting a Froglife stall I filled a planter in my garden with water and a frog moved into permanent residence within three weeks. It doesn't need to be Lake Baikal, and could provide a lifelong home for your own natural slug patrol.
The modern Transition Town movement emerged from the permaculture model, as a reaction to concerns over peak oil. With some thought it is possible to grow food in a sustainable way using practical skills, while benefiting ourselves, our communities and wildlife. That is a satisfying thought when you're tucking into your own home-grown dinner.
Further information:
Websites:
Books:
  • Edible Forest Gardens: Part 1 and Part 2 by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005
  • Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield, Permanent Publications, 2008
  • Permaculture: A Beginner's Guide by Graham Burnett, Spiralseed, 2009
Laura Laker is a freelance journalist

Thursday, 26 January 2017

New Years Resolution


New Years Resolution

Here we are January 2017 where does time go !

It's been far to long since our last Blog up date but my news years resolution isn't let's start a diet or join the gym it's lets try to keep our blog up- dated ......so 
here we go.

My goodness where do I start! Danni is back to work after maternity leave and has very little spare time with work, caring for the small child who I might add isn't so small anymore ! and smallholding tasks and duties.

So it's over to me mother of Furzedown Smallholding for now.
I'm not sure where to start such a lot has gone on so I think I will start with the present and and keep popping back to last years adventures.

Latest news is we have two beautiful calves born just before Christmas. 

Tilly the Dexter and Tulip her daughter both had a little holiday a few months back with a very handsome local Bull and just before Christmas and with no problems they both produced to healthy calves.

We had been keeping a close eye on them we had moved them into their winter quarters in the barn ready for the big event! 

Much time had been spent leaning on the gate watching their big bellies moving while the calves jiggled around inside,theirs udders had developed and we knew we wouldn't have long to wait.

Tulip a first time mum was the first to produce, a little female calf,all on her own no assistance needed except maybe a few words of encouragement from her mother Tilly.

Tulip took to motherhood perfectly licking the calf dry and gently mooing.

Such a lovely sound normally it's a huge long Moo for where's my breakfast .....your late ! But this is such a gently low noise it's wonderful to hear and of course to watch that bond growing with her new off spring, it just reminds me how wonderful nature is.

One down one to go! 

About a week later I woke with a jolt to 4 sharp very loud Moo's!

My bedroom window looks out onto the barn so I am pretty aware of any goings on out there. 

I hastily sent Danni a text I could have walked across the landing and tapped on her door but with the small child sleeping and not wanting to wake him I thought it safer to text, the joy of modern technology lol.

I soon had a reply saying Gareth was out there checking ....... Next text "there is some discharge labour is underway" .......15 minutes later and the next text "I can see the water bag" 

By this time I was up the excitement was all to much for me.

We didn't want to interfere just let labour progress naturally but of course keep an eye out for any problems expecting a calf mid to late morning.

Tilly had other ideas I walked past the barn some 20 minutes later and boom there was our second calf !

A big strong boy who was named Bolt after Usain Bolt because his big Handsome and came out at the speed of light lol.

Such exciting times for us and a few weeks on and all is going well and the babies are growing and settled.

Have a lovely week
Donna x