Where will we work?

To create a regenerative aquaponics farm in the way we would like, one that will serve all of the other parts of the plan, one that is there for the community and helps real depth of change, we need security.

We need to know that our work will survive far beyond us, will be there for the peoples that come after us, that the community will be there for the peoples to come.

 The last page is about being able to buy some land to put into trust to keep safe. So the trees we plant will provide oxygen, shade, food, and grow to reach their full potential. 

The aim is to do this as a community benefit society, offering a democratic share offer – one member, one vote.  There will be a management committee, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. And as we aim to provide space for children, we will also run a children’s management committee so the children can be heard. 

We would welcome ideas and conversations about land / farms that are available. We would love to stay in the Forest, our friends are here, and there isn’t anything else similar for a long way. But land is very expensive here,  if we have to move we are open to it, but then the locals here would miss out again.

I really hope you are inspired to join us, if you haven’t already please fill in our survey, if you want to hear more, especially when we launch the share offer do fill in your email. 

 We need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the last two  pages of our working ethos, where?  – you can read the rest on our website ( open source development of the website brings community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Life Skills

One of the things I hear so often is – that ‘it’ should be taught in schools, doesn’t matter what the ‘it’  is, that’s the line that everyone comes out with. 

But sadly that’s not what happens, when I was at school, we did learn some of the skills I have needed in my adult life, but not in depth enough, and I can assure you I have forgotten a lot of it since then!

I have gone out and re learnt to help me remember, and taken it upon myself to gain many more skills. Not everyone is able to do that, there are many barriers to access hands on skills, not all of them are obvious as barriers. 

We want to listen to people, find out what they would like to learn to help them, and find out what skills they can bring to share with the community. What’s your skill?

The list we have made as part of our working ethos is only a fraction of what we could do. And who knows what the long term benefits will be as our society changes, and we head towards a more regenerative way of living in our modern world. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the tenth page of our working ethos, life skills  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Fish

Ever since humans have watched other species eating fish – birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and microorganisms,  we have got ourselves wet in the process of catching fish.

Then we learned how to trap fish to make it easier to catch them, then we learnt the amazing skills of breeding fish. 

More than any other animal the conditions have to be right for this to be successful. Fish react really badly when the water quality, oxygen and temperature is not right, at best they are sluggish, at worst they  die.   When we are talking fish, they can all die in a couple of hours!

Modern fish farming methods are increasingly becoming high tec, monitors for this and that parameter, all reducing the need for contact with the water and the fish. The skill of being able to use your senses to prevent problems before they affect the fish are being lost, so many young people starting to work with fish who can’t tell through observation that there is an issue. Did you know you can smell if water is good for the fish?

We have the skills and knowledge to share with communities to bring aquaponics into their community food growing projects.  It is really important to us that the right aquatic species are kept in relation to the space available.  We will have different models of different set ups to teach good husbandry  – which will produce good plant foods grown without stress to plants  or fish. 

Of course you do not have to eat the fish, they can just be kept as companions, fish bring healing by their presence. Good water energizes our food, good water keeps the fish healthy and happy.

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about. 

Sharing our working ethos, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

These two pictures are the two pages that explain our working ethos around fish  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

And our survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code 

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Washkers the most environmentally way to wash your clothes

https://donorbox.org/washkers-natural-clothes-washing-with-conkers

Washkers – prepared conkers for you to wash your clothes with

Using conkers or horse chestnuts is a free way for you to make sure your washing chemical free and will do no harm to our world.

I have used them for four years now, and every year I get to have lots of conversations with people helping them start this journey.

The one thing I found was that even when people really loved using them, preparing enough to last a family from session to session was quite hard for many.

Pressures of modern life, working, parenting, or not having anywhere close to collect conkers, and for many not having the physical ability to chop and dry was the biggest barrier to having enough for a whole year.

So WASHKERS was born.

I will always provide the instructions and help people prepare their own, but for those that can’t I hope that by offering washkers for sale I can help them on the journey of regenerative modern living.

Here is my post on how to make your own – and how the journey started

https://thewatercressqueen.wordpress.com/2021/07/12/conkers-for-clothes-washing/

When someone buys washkers from me, they are directly supporting a UK based, non profit that works towards putting more back than it takes from the biosphere.

Every year we plant a minimum of 30 horse chestnut trees, more if we can plus other spices of trees.

Our packaging is upcycled 100% cotton material so it can be composted when you have finished using it – although they make great produce bags, or storage bags. You can even post back to us to refill if you wish, all before it heads to the compost pile.

So what are you waiting for ? why not try some today, see if you like them before conkers session gets here – October – and then you can either make your own or keep supporting New Forest Aquaponics cic with our regenerative work supporting our local community.

Until I work out how to add a shopping cart please could you use this link to purchase the washkers.

https://donorbox.org/washkers-natural-clothes-washing-with-conkers

Please note to reduce our impact, as we have to travel by car to visit a post office we post all orders once a week.

Happy washing 🙂

Everyone can ecobrick.

13 July 2019| Community, Ecobricks

Aaliyah on her ecobrick module

I would like you to meet a very special young lady I have meet on my ecobrick journey, her name is Aaliyah and she makes ecobricks

She also has a disability, uses a wheelchair and has a wonderful laugh.  I have come across many people who have said , “I can’t make ecobricks because I am disabled”  I find this so sad, because one of the things I truly love about ecobricks is that they are about building community and inclusivity.

Let me tell you how  meet Aaliyah, she belongs to a church community, Kings Church, Southampton.  I did a starter workshop for them earlier this year, although she did not come that day, so I had to wait to meet her.  The workshop went really well and from there every Saturday they hold an ecobrick social making session in one of the rooms at the church. The church runs its own community cafe (which serves amazing cake) and the socials help to bring customers into the cafe and and the cafe provides willing ecobrickers. 

The ecobrick group have made around 90 ecobricks so far, and they are all logged on the Gobrik website. They have around 15 people who are active in the ecobrick group, with around 8 members turning up at the socials each week.  The group has made one two litre ecobrick stool which Aaliyah likes sitting on, and have big plans for benches at the church and to help the local school build with ecobricks. They also turned up one Wednesday afternoon at the greenhouses to have a basic lesson in cob building ready to build.

Aaliyah doesn’t have a huge amount of strength to stuff the bottles, but she can cut up the plastic, which she will sit and do for hours making sure the rest of the group has plenty of plastic to stuff with, and then fills bottles loosely for the others to get tightly packed. She also encourages the rest of the group to look at the plastic they are using and to look at what they can change.

Could Aaliyah have been able to be involved as she is if the community didn’t work with her?  I doubt it, she may have achieved a couple of ecobricks, and they may not have reached the weight, but as part of a group she can make ecobricks, she can be an inspiration to others to make ecobricks, and they all have fun together. When I visited the Saturday morning social, there was lots of chatter, and laughter, it felt like a community should.

This to me is what is at the core of ecobricks, community working together, finding ways that everyone can be included. There is no reason why anyone cannot be involved in making ecobricks other than we don’t include them.

What are you doing in your community?

*********************************************************************************

2021 Update!

Since I first published this post, the church community has kept making ecobricks, taking the socials onto zoom during 2020. They have achieved an earth and ecobrick planter in one of the groups gardens – picture is from before it was fully finished

And they have now teamed up with another Southampton church and will be encouraging each other with their ecobrick projects.

Introducing Waterside EcoHub

23 January 2020| Community

Pictures from Fawley church conservation group

**January 2020 felt like the right time to bring my skills in helping people live a greener lifestyle to the place I call home.  I live in the New Forest, a very beautiful place that is being crushed by the sheer number of visitors who come to enjoy the beauty, bringing air pollution and litter, as well as the economic benefits to the area, as well as big commercial developments. The side of the forest I live in is referred to as the Waterside, this tends to include the villages that are situated between the edge of the New Forest and Southampton waters. The main road is the A326 and often referred to as the UK’s longest cul de sac, and at the end of it is the sea!  

I knew I wasn’t the only one to care locally about what was happening to our beautiful biosphere, time to get everyone talking to each other and to bring the things I wanted access too into the waterside area for everyone to benefit from.

14th January saw our first meeting where I explained some of my ideas, and we talked way past the time as it seemed there was so much to talk about  In our second meeting the discussion took more of what personal actions we can take in our own lives. It became apparent that this will be an important part of what the hub will do, and I really hope that individuals will bring the solutions and changes that have worked for them to share with others. We started with the most biosphere friendly way to wash your hair, if baths or showers were better, what is the best diet to follow when thinking of our personal impact ( a huge and complicated subject) , community gardening, and how we heat our homes, and that was just the start!

I had been sent a message by someone who wasn’t able to come along to ask our collective thoughts about the impact the possible roadworks along the A326 will have, if it will involve cutting down the trees along the road, when we know we need more trees? And would it serve the area well to have a network of cycle paths in the area?

Collectively we came to the conclusion that as far as the A326 is concerned we didn’t know enough about the plans and what we did know seemed to indicate that the parts of the road that get clogged quickly with traffic will end up with more traffic so will clog up quicker and cause more pollution……….

As for a cycle path network, yes this would be amazing, especially in the forest towns and villages. The first place we would like to see a path would be down to Lepe beach, not only would this cut car journeys to the beach and so pollution, but would make it safe on a busy country road for walkers and cyclists alike and open up access for locals who don’t drive or can’t afford the car parking.

We also had the really lovely gentleman who looks after Fawley church conservation area, he has been doing an amazing job creating a home for wildlife, we are connecting him with local scout groups and our local home ed group so he can share his knowledge and the youth can help him with some of the more physical jobs in return.  The pictures below are from his display board he brought along to show us. 

***If you live in the waterside area and you would like to join us please do, we are meeting every Tuesday in Blackfield and we have a Facebook group and a group on the  nextdoor app. 

There are plans for the group to run clothes swaps, litter picks, jumble trails, local food events, community gardening and more. We would welcome your help and support and to hear your ideas.

And if you don’t live in the waterside area is there a group like this in your area? Can you connect with others and make a difference to your local community?  It doesn’t have to be huge, it can start by inviting a few friends round one evening to share ideas and see where it takes you.  Just remember now is the time to act, be the change you want to see 

Love and light to you all – go do the stuff…….. 

** This was written January 2020 – we ran weekly meetings till March 2020….and of course you know what happened then!

***We are hoping to get monthly meetings going again soon, if you can find us a venue or suggest a place to meet please let me know. there is a page and a group on FB or you can get in touch through this page.