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The future of agriculture in Wales

In eco-friendly, garden, good life, healthy life, Uncategorized on October 4, 2016 at 13:50

Here’s my contribution to the debate

Many small scale experiments for a more resilient future

Now that we have an opportunity to rethink the future of agriculture, land management and the life of rural communities in Wales, let people to experiment and to find out what will work. There is no need to play havoc with all of the rural economy at once but please allow innovation and initiative on a small scale, as long as there is no clear and obvious risk to people, animals and the environment. There must be people willing to experiment, creating all sorts of new businesses, eco-villages, homesteads and seasteads, various intentional communities. Give them a good fighting chance then take evidence-based decisions, not affected by fads or overrated opinions of the most vocal of lobbies. Even then, no government should ever place all eggs in the same basket (be this sheep farming or timber). Diversity in business models and lifestyles improves the resilience of any economy just like biodiversity helps ecosystems to survive changes and hard times.

 

alexfarmboysmallWhy the contribution is important

Presently there are lots of things going wrong with our lives. Our towns are surrounded by countryside but people may feel very distant from it. The farmland creates backdrop to their lives but is inaccessible due to lack of footpaths, public transport and human connection to the farming community, lack of internet – and lack of interest too. This is not a healthy relationship. The people are suffering, stuck to cities and towns with ridiculously small gardens and manicured parks. People need real nature and countryside for mental and physical health. People need fresh quality food, need connection to the land and to the community. So, we need our intelligence to develop a way of living in harmony with nature, surrounded by nature everywhere where we are. I am thinking in the direction of sustainable small scale farming, food forests, “garden cities”, decentralisation, edible landscapes, living roofs and walls, passive houses, forest farming, green burial sites, silvopasture, permaculture, aquaponics, real community gardens serving real communities, etc. – whatever works. I believe human activity and flourishing could be conducted within a healthy ecosystem made of us, our stuff, wide variety of plants and animals.

I am an artist and a geographer interested in creating a prototype semi-rural intentional community (an eco-village, an eco-block or an eco-neighborhood), an ongoing experiment for a better way of living, more sufficient and efficient, closer to Nature, working with the help from newest technology. An open lab of an honest, creative and compassionate life, strong friendly community, better health and well-being. Doing research into reintroducing wildlife, into more efficient food production and waste recycling systems, into automation, working on the new ways to get energy, new building methods, new educational systems, restoring useful agricultural and building practices from the past, and so on. People of various interests and abilities creating better lives for themselves, their friends, neighbours and families, ultimately, for the whole Earth. In the world obsessed with divisions this should be a place of honest enquiry, free of prejudices and any party rhetoric.

What we need is relaxing of planing permissions and other regulations for experimental / alternative communities, eco-villages, or self-built houses; we need land and we need grants. It is vitally important that public money won’t go to some smoke screen / green wash projects for clever bureaucrats but to real people building real future. There also should not be any exploitation of vulnerable and gullible “volunteers”, like in some modern social enterprises. People who will be living and working in those future communities are also the best candidates for building them.

The wast green spaces of Wales are treasures. We have a chance to make them also different to all other rural parts of the world in being a magnet for innovation and future-friendly experiment, brain-and skill- gain rather than drain, place for openness and cooperation, honest work for common good.

 

If you are interested in participating, please join the New Good Town project athttp://goodnewtown.uk/ and our Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/goodnewtown/

by AlexandraCook on October 04, 2016 at 11:27AM

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Allotment update

In about me, eco-friendly, garden, gardening, good life, сад, organic on December 12, 2013 at 12:35

Hopefully it is ready for the winter. I am not very experienced gardener but I love to experiment.  Lucerne and Alexanders are sown as green manure,  soil is covered by autumn leaves. 
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Young broccoli and cauliflower plants plus salad leaves are covered by glass jars,  soda plastic bottles and some bubble wrap on top. As people say it in Russia, “голь на выдумки хитра” / “poor are inventive”.

My autumn sown Scorzonera is doing well. Apparently its young leaves make tasty salad and it is slug proof!
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A little fishy

In acrylic, art, crafts, drawing, мои рисунки, folk art, garden, my artworks, painting on July 6, 2013 at 14:50

Painted / drawn with acrylics and ink on a pebble from river Hafren / Seven.

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White lilacs and other recent sketches

In acrylic, art, color, drawing, мои рисунки, floral, flower, flowers, folk art, garden, mixed media, my artworks, pattern on June 6, 2013 at 09:57

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A progress of a pastel painting

In art, color, drawing, мои рисунки, floral, flower, flowers, forest, garden, my artworks, nature, творчество, oil pastel, pastel, powys on May 23, 2013 at 12:55

First: soft pastels,  opposite colours

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Fixed. Then: oil pastels

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Bluebells. ..

Poster- woodblock print- and illustration-style photos

In art, color, весна, красота, мои рисунки, garden, my artworks, творчество, фотки, photography, photomanipulation, sketch, spring, sunset on May 11, 2013 at 08:49

I really love artworks of Ivan Bilibin, Maxfield Parrish, Yoshida HiroshiKawase Hasui and other artists of early 20th century working in similar styles. During last few days I have been trying to edit my photos (2-3 apps, 5-10 filters) in a way which gives them a bit of that look. I am enjoying myself very much although I am a bit worried that you will get tired of my experiments which not always work.

#PowisCastle from yesterday. .. #Wales #spring #all_shots #castle #red #building #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_retro #hills #illustration #tinypeople #powis #Powys #Welshpool #замок

7.15 am 5/7/2013

#MorrisDancers #today @ #PowisCastle. .. #dancing #dance #Morris #folk #sunny #castle #Wales #May #spring #all_shots #chasingspring #springwatch #festive #illustration #edit #linandara_retro #linandara_people #народныетанцы #сегодня #замок #танцоры

3.16 pm 5/6/2013

An #old #illustration-style #Aberystwyth. … #latergram #all_shots #Wales #sea #seaside #water #instamillion #picoftheday #waves #beach #tinypeople #houses #Britain #UK #buildings #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_britain #edit #linandara_retro #linandara_vista #город #море #пляж

6.57 am 5/6/2013

#cherry #blossom #spring #all_shots #chasingspring #springwatch #garden #Britain #soft_tones #beautiful #flowers #pink #edit #linandara_retro #linandara_plants #цветы #весна #сегодня #черешня

7.41 pm 5/6/2013

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Photos

In art, весна, красота, мои рисунки, garden, gardening, mixed media, my artworks, фотки, photography, spring, travel on April 29, 2013 at 09:01

#daffodils#flowers #floral #colorful #yellow #lookingup #sky #orange #spring #all_shots #нарциссы #весна #greensky #linandara_plants #linandara_retro

#streetlights & #seagulls. .. #Newtown #NewtownPowys #sky #небо #clouds #cloudy #birds #gulls #lampposts #trafficlights #redlight #buildings #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_britain #all_shots #Britain #UK #Wales #grey #чайки #фонари #перекресток

3.54 pm 4/23/2013

#Mundesley #Norfolk #Britain #beach #sand #sandy #water #instamillion #picoftheday #reflection #wood #wooden #old #linandara_built #walking #surreal #dreamy #пляж #linandara_water #песок

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.- F. Nietzsche…. #Newtown #NewtownPowys #sky #clouds #evening #all_shots #Wales #sunset #rays #linandara_sunset #закат #облака #beams #light #beautiful #instamillion #picoftheday #grey

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A sloe blossom sketch

In art, drawing, мои рисунки, floral, flower, flowers, garden, my artworks, nature, сад, творчество, pen and ink, sketch on April 25, 2013 at 09:28

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Photos

In весна, красота, garden, gardening, фотки, photography, spring on April 16, 2013 at 15:42

It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning – Vincent van Gogh#willow #all_shots #Wales #flowers #floral #white #spring #close_up #closeup #glowing #bokeh #beautiful #nature #nature_lovers #natureonly #pussywillow #верба #весна #свет #linandara_plants #light

#Brecon in #spring. ..#latergram #all_shots #Wales #trees #buildings #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_britain #canal #Britain #UK #instamillion #picoftheday #blossom #beautiful #flowers #forsythia #water #bridge #цветы #весна #канал #мост

The #spring finally seems to come here. .. The picture is from a pre-digital spring. #analog #1990s #film #buds #branches #leaves #foliage #nature #nature_lovers #natureonly #beautiful #close_up #forest #woods #Russia #linandara_plants #linandara_retro #soft_tones #all_shots #linandara_russia #trees #почки #ветки #linandara_trees #весна

That kind of feeling. … #Wales #hills #landscape #linandara_vista #wire #spikes #all_shots #Kerry #Powys #barbedwire #forbidden #denied #fence #forbidding #холмы #проволока #запрет #vista

#green #light#latergram #all_shots #Shrewsbury #streetlight #evening #sunset #linandara_built #linandara_sunset #clouds #Britain #UK #instamillion #picoftheday #buildings #закат #облака #фонарь

In the #Treowen #community #garden #today. .. #Newtown #NewtownPowys #Wales #chasingspring #springwatch #plants #plant #flowers #floral #blue #pebble #spring #all_shots #UK #Britain #цветы #весна #сегодня

2.31 pm 4/14/2013

Back at the market table

In about me, art, car-free living, children, crafts, folk art, freedom, garden, gardening, good life, jewellery, jewelry, kids, mixed media, my artworks, painting, photography, relationship, sales, shopping, sketch, textile art, Uncategorized on April 16, 2013 at 09:46

So I did it again: for the third financial year I am loosing money (something like 67-350-250 £ a year). This is despite parting with a number of paintings,  cards and prints.

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I am grateful to the people who bought the artwork from me but please be aware that it was local council,  public transport companies,  insurance companies, post offices and art supplies who really got your money: I had to pay them too.

Number of customers at the Market is falling. I only managed to cover my rent for December. The local library sent me a letter saying I have to pay 45 pounds if I dare to put prices on my paintings at my annual exhibition. I had it here for 2 years and earned 20 – 40 pounds each time…

I should admit that the thought of a big bonfire made of the paintings and sketches regulary burns in my mind. But I am not sure I ever can give up. All the money I have to spend on art are the leftovers from buying food and clothes for my family for which my husband gives me some money. I could’ve spent more money on him and kids. Perhaps I should have spent more time on them too.

All the housekeeping: washing, cooking, gardening, tidying and almost all shopping are my responsibilities which I have been partly ignoring for last few years in order to “be an artist”. And I am not even good at it. My conscience is not allowing me to charge sky-high for my artworks and anyway local people wouldn’t be able to pay any more. We haven’t got many millionaires in Newtown. I love doing art but the stress of trying to sell it and to please everyone is getting at me.

So I probably will only have a table on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Newtown Market, I also will exhibit some artworks at Galleries Live in Telford and Shrewsbury. I also will possibly participate in an evening art club at Pen Dinas Community Garden if it won’t eat too much time. But I really would like to claim at least some of my life back as my home, me, the family and the garden are not well attended at the moment. I used to read, write, exercise, do plein air trips and I want to try to go back to this.

Sorry for a bit of whining but I feel I should explain what’s going on – mostly for people who (I think) expect me to be something I am not.

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