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Editorial Sep 2009

Interesting Times

From a small idea in mid June, the formation of the Mid Wales Permaculture Network has been an astonishing story of growth – abundance even – on true Permaculture principles.

It all began with a request for

someone local to run a Permaculture stall at the Rhayader Green Fayre in July.  A bit of consultation with Permaculture-minded folks in the area showed a clear need for some kind of network to enable them to make contact with each other – the population hereabouts being rather spread out.  In no time at all the idea had grown, a stall was booked, and there was a frantic period of activity acquiring hundreds of plants for a Seedling Swap on the stall.  An appeal on the Mid Wales and Hereford Freecycle Cafe Forum produced not only offers of plants, but enquiries from all over Mid Wales from people wanting to join the proposed Network.   So the name was settled – a network for the whole of Mid Wales it had to be. We had write-ups in the County Times and on the BBC Wales website, a request for an article in the next edition of Permaculture Works magazine, publicity on all sorts of other websites, and a suggestion that a small grant be applied for – and, wonder of wonders – an offer to build us a website!

The grant forms were received one working day before the deadline for applications, and the application sent in on the last day for submissions.

It was with a certain amount of awe that we were told our application to Powys Environmental Partnership had been successful.   And now, thanks to the patience, generosity and skill of Stephen Groves, we have a website up and running only a couple of months after it all began.

The next stage is largely up to all you Permaculture people out there – this is a Network for you to ask questions, tell us all what is happening, provide solutions, and work together for a more sustainable Mid Wales. We will be finalising details of some visits to gardens, allotments, smallholdings and farms, and will consider any offers of hosting visits from aspiring growers who want suggestions to examples of best practice from which others can learn.  If you sign up to receive our newsletter, you will be kept informed of these and other events.

The other major project right now is seedsaving – see the article on seed collecting from The Real Seed Company.  Detailed tips are also to be found on the HDRA website – Garden Organic, which is one of many good reasons to join their organisation and support heritage seed preservation, (as well as benefiting from free entry to gardens and great discounts on organic gardening products). The wonderful Dyfi Valley Seedsavers site is also very helpful – look in their ‘Getting Started’ section.

We hope that enough people will save seed for us to run a Seed Swap event in the spring, which will encourage other people to grow and save seed also, and help preserve local varieties, as well as making us more self sufficient.

Finally, good luck to TT Llandrindod with the Introduction to Permaculture weekend on the 12th September, under the guidance of Steve Jones from Sector39 at the Llanfyllin Workhouse project.  We look forward to welcoming newcomers to the Network as it gets properly underway this autumn.

Roz Brown


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