Updated: Aug 30
We had a very successful first workshop at the Birdsong Garden on July 22nd where we started to experience the three permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. Sébastien and Kate also unpacked a few of the design principles as we meandered through the smallholding listening to their stories of evolution.
Our senses heightened - by the herb garden, and the nutritious, tasty salad leaves (some may consider weeds) in the food garden - we started to slow down, moving away from our fast paced thoughts. We all experienced a re-connection to nature through our senses. As we dropped the control of our minds, we started to see balance and order in the wildness of the Birdsong Garden.
We have 4 more seasonal workshops at the Birdsong Garden. You can find the dates through the "check next availability" button and book your FREE space through this link.
In September we have the opportunity to experience a re-connection to nature in our own gardens and start to apply some permaculture learning. The next 6 weeks are opportune to create your spring 2024 pollinator patch. Pollinators are vital for food production and biodiversity and there is evidence that they are in decline. I did a FIT (Flower Insect Timed) count in my garden yesterday under the expert guidance of Conservation Biologist Louise Whale MSc,CIEEM and discovered I had 50% less activity on my 50cm square observation patch of 3 dandelion heads than the UK average. Whilst its not enough evidence to draw conclusions, its enough to get me started on improving the biodiversity in my garden.
Drawing conclusions from data has been a major part of my professional career. It's something I am passionate about. It turns out that Louise Whale is as passionate about data as me! We cannot know if we are making an impact through our projects unless we collect data before and after the change.
Louise has kindly offered her expertise to the Grouville Community Permaculture Project and will run two FIT count sessions in September to get us all running with the biodiversity technicalities and using the count app which you can find here.
You can join Louise and me on either Wednesday 6th September at 5pm or Saturday 23rd September at 10am to learn the survey fundamentals.
Do you have a small garden with any of the following target flowers:
Dead white nettle
We would be delighted to come to your garden for the skills share. Otherwise, the count will be held in my garden in Arnworth Avenue. Spaces are limited to 5 attendees, so please sign up quickly through this link to secure your FREE slot.
The first of the pollinator patch gardening sessions is on Monday 25th September 1.30pm to 3pm where we will do the physical preparation work to create your spring 2024 insect attraction. All you need is a dedicated patch of ground, be that a lawn, window box, pot or flower bed, any size will do. With 6 of us, the work will be lighter and done more quickly. There will be home made cake, tea and chat to rejuvenate us. We can hold as many of these sessions as necessary. Preparations will ideally be completed by mid October. Let me know your needs through this form.
Additionally in September, Kim Koester has kindly offered to do the first of three moth counts in the Parish. Did you know that:
There are more than 2,500 species of moths in the UK versus 59 species of butterfly.
Moths are as old as the dinosaurs, appearing about 200million years ago. Butterflies originated 40 million years ago.
Moths are an indicator of how well our ecosystem is doing.
Moths don't just fly at night. There are a number of brightly coloured day-flying moths.
To avoid being eaten, some moths have evolved to look like less palatable insects, such as wasps. Some moths even mimic twigs.
Moths are important pollinators of many wild plants.
Some moths don't eat.....ever! The adult Luna Moth, for example, doesn't even have a mouth.
Moths are a vital part of the food chain. They are a huge source of food for bats and birds.
I had the honour of sitting with Kim and Allison Singleton back in July whilst they were doing a moth count. It was incredible to see the vast range of different species
In my opinion they are very exotic, and their ancient origins feel present. Some have iridescence. Many are gold, bronze and/or copper coloured. Aided by a magnifier glass with light, you will find yourself drawn into a whole new world of life. Kim and Alli are incredibly knowledgeable and I am delighted that Kim has made time for three counts in Grouville gardens over the next year.
The aim of these counts is to learn more about moths, and the conditions that moths thrive in. We will do counts in three different locations - country, urban and semi-urban.
It will be a fun and hugely informative experience.
If you have a secure country garden and would like Kim to locate her moth trap in it overnight on Sunday 10th September let me know by filling out this form. If you would like to be one of 5 people to participate in the moth count on Monday 11th September at 1.30pm please complete this form
There are so many exciting opportunities to participate in this September in the Grouville Community Permaculture Project. I hope that you will be able to join us for at least one of them. Please feel free to share this article with any of your Grouville family and friends.
If you cannot attend, but would like to keep in touch with what is happening you can:
express an interest in the project here
join the private Whats app group here
catch up with events and articles through our Grouville Community Facebook page here
I hope to see you at a garden in Grouville very soon!