Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Paper Trees - Inspirational Recycling

Turn recycled magazines into paper Christmas trees
instructions here
A little late for this year maybe unless you are lucky enough to have youngsters at home for the holidays, a whole forest would be a delight.
I'm rather afraid that our Christmas greetings are a little late too, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2010 brings you all that you hope for.
(For a gorgeous recycled Christmas Tree fairy take a look here)

Monday, 30 November 2009

Yet another press release hits my inbox...


Amy Winehouse joins a list of world-class recording artists to support ARTISTS PROJECT EARTH – otherwise known as APE – with an exclusive new version of Sam Cooke’s seminal track ‘Cupid’.

Recorded for APE - the internationally recognised climate change and natural disaster support charity - this sublime cover follows hot on the heels of The Killers ‘Hotel California’. It is hoped the track will drive awareness and raise funds for the charity ahead of COP15, the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18, where APE will have a strong presence, representing the concerns and contributions from the world’s leading musicians over the issue of Climate Change.

Recorded earlier in the year, ‘Cupid’ has received huge radio support in recent weeks, especially from Steve Wright / Radio 2 and is set to become one of the surprise hits of the year.

And all for a really great cause!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Inspirational Recycling - Toilet Roll Art

Looks stunning in the photograph doesn't it?
Not so sure that it would look so good if I tried to do it
if you fancy having a go yourself take a look at Design Sponge.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Is Tesco really a 21century Scrooge?

The checkout lady at my local supermarket tells me that this morning staff were told that they could have Christmas overtime but not for pay. Time off in lieu could be taken after Christmas.

I think she felt a little downhearted, as she said she works for money not time off.

Is this the way Tesco reached their record breaking £3.1bn profit - the highest on record for a British retailer earlier this year?

Will chief executive Mr Terrence Leahy be getting visits from the ghosts ofChristmas Past, Chrismas Present and Christmas Future because let's face it Tesco employee's aren't looking forward to a very Happy Christmas this year. But Ho Ho Ho they can have time off next year - but no extra money to go anywhere or do anything with during that time off.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Inspirational Recycling - Sneakers

We've seen welly boots now we have tatty old sneakers.

Plants can improve just about anything can't they?

(image via Microwalrus)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Another Press Release this time about Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Tuna commission fails to take action to save Atlantic bluefin

WWF is renewing its calls for an international trade ban in Atlantic bluefin tuna, after the commission responsible for managing stocks, failed to agree on measures that will ensure the recovery of the species.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas endorsed a proposal from its chair, the EU, Japan, Morocco and Tunisia to drop the 2010 eastern bluefin quota from 19,500 tonnes to 13,500 tonnes, still far too high to enable stock recovery.

A key study presented to ICCAT in Recife showed even a strictly enforced 8,000-tonne quota would have only a 50 per cent chance of achieving a recovery in eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna by 2023. Another ICCAT study showed only a total fishing halt yielded significant chances of the bluefin population recovering enough to no longer qualify for high-level trade restrictions by 2019.

Sally Bailey, Marine Programme Manager at WWF-UK said: “Now, more than ever, WWF sees a global trade ban as the only hope for Atlantic bluefin. ICCAT’s reduction in quota is not based on scientific advice, and is entirely unacceptable.”

WWF had lobbied the meeting for a fishing suspension and determined action against illegal fishing, estimated to considerably inflate the most recent (2008) catch estimates of 34,120 tonnes. During the Recife meeting almost all harvesting countries were formally identified by ICCAT as breaking its rules – like EU tuna fattening farms accepting fish without proper documentation. The massive overcapacity of industrial fleets in the Mediterranean also continues to hamper conservation efforts, yet the problem remains insufficiently addressed by the tuna commission.

The season for industrial fishing for bluefin tuna with purse seine fleets was reduced from two months to one, but remains open during the peak of the spawning period of 15 May to 15 June when the tuna are most vulnerable. ICCAT also continued to ignore long-standing calls to establish sanctuaries in key bluefin tuna spawning grounds such as the Balearic Islands off Spain.

It is now vital that member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to line up behind global trade restrictions on Atlantic bluefin tuna. CITES is to consider a Principality of Monaco proposal that Atlantic bluefin be listed for the highest level of trade restrictions at a meeting in Doha next March.
(image from wo are also running this story)

Friday, 13 November 2009

National Trust says Urinate on the compost heap to save the planet

20 male staff at The National Trust's Wimpole Hall are being encouraged to use a straw "pee bale" when answering a call of nature.

"The Trust, which actively campaigns on climate change, said answering the call of nature outside saves both on water and the energy used in flushing the lavatory. " - read the complete Daily Telegraph article by clicking here.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Unseasonal Butterfly

Feasting on Sedum Autumn Joy on a sunny Remembrance Sunday.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A Tree A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

"A tree a day keeps the doctor away" is the title of an interesting little article by The Woodland Trust about woods and health,

read it here

The photograph of urban trees is borrowed from The Woodland Trust as well, apparently research show that people are more likely to walk in urban locations if trees line the street.

Oh and if anyone wondered why the lack of posts take a look here - we're all so excited.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009



Strange the things that pop into your inbox, don't know why I received this but heyho I'm happy to oblidge:

The Killers
And Rhythms Del Mundo
‘Hotel California’
Taken from the album ‘Rhythms Del Mundo Classics’
Artists Project Earth (APE) / launched 30 Nov 2009



The Killers recorded this cover version of the classic Eagles hit as part of their contribution to raise awareness and funds for the APE charity which, in the last month alone, has made awards of $100,000 to support both the natural disasters in Asia Pacific and the UK-based climate change group The Transition Network. Recorded with the APE house band, Rhythms Del Mundo, ‘Hotel California’ has been given an Afro-Cuban treatment and is already a smash radio hit all over Europe.

The song will be heavily promoted in the run up to COP15 – the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18, where it will be the soundtrack to the conference (there’s even talk of a performance – but more on that in due course). Killers fans will love the unexpected foray into Cuban-style-west-coast-LA-rock from Brandon and the boys; and anyone else interested in Climate Change will be sure to pay attention and purchase!

APE & Rhythms Del Mundo

Artists Project Earth (APE) is the vision of a Music Industry Legend: Kenny Young may not be a familiar name to most, but few would not immediately recognise his biggest song, the 1964 classic ‘Under The Boardwalk’. It’s one of the most played and covered songs in pop history, made famous by The Rolling Stones, The Drifters, Sam and Dave, The Beach Boys and many other artists. Young, who wrote the Grammy Award winning song ‘Ai No Corrida’ for Quincy Jones, had spent 30 years penning hits for the biggest stars, including ‘Crew Love’ by Jay-Z and ‘Spirit of the Forest’ performed by Joni Mitchell, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry and others.

However, the last 10 years has seen Kenny channel his energy towards the battle against Global Climate Change. His mission has been to specifically engage with the artistic community, developing musical projects that raise money and awareness. Young’s song-writing profile has enabled him to pull together the biggest artists, including U-2, Paul McCartney, Sting, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Paul Simon, REM, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Seal and others for ELF's Rainforests conservation projects. His first project, 1991’s ‘Earthrise’ was a No.1 hit album in the UK and globally. For APE he produced ‘Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba feat. musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club’ in a collaboration with Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Jack Johnson, Sting, U-2, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, and Radiohead.
The APE charity now extends across the world, with a board of internationally recognised directors and advisors. Kenny himself has been a recipient of the United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding practical achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment for his work as co-founder of the Earth Love Fund which supported and initiated over 200 community based projects in Brazil, Africa, Asia and Australia.

The Killers ‘Hotel California’ is also available on the album ‘Rhythms Del Mundo ‘Classics’ which features cover versions from many international stars including The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Keane, Editors, The Zutons, Fall Out Boy and others. All are united in raising money to support APE and its climate change initiatives. Together, ‘Rhythms Del Mundo ‘Classics’ and ‘Cuba’ albums have sold over 1 million albums worldwide, raising millions of dollars for charitable causes. Every year APE makes an award of $100,000 to one or more climate change initiatives from the proceeds of the album sales. To date APE has supported over 170 different climate change tackling causes and natural disaster relief.

For further information please visit

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Illustrated Book of Garden Flowers

Just wanted to share these gorgeous illustrations

by B. E. Nicholson

from The Illustrated Book of Garden Flowers

published in 1979 by Peerage Books, London.

Aren't they wonderful?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog Action Day - Climate Change

Have you read the book?

Seen the film?

Do you believe it?

Does it worry you?

Is there anything ordinary people can do?


How about this for a start?

"A computer that is used for four hours a day and turned off the rest of the time costs about $70 less a year than one that is left on all day and all night. It also reduces the machine's CO2 emissions by 83%. "

Or this?

"Turn off the lights when you leave a room and turn off electrical appliances at the mains. Standby can use between 30% and 70% of the energy the appliance uses when it is on."

We can all do that, can't we?

And there are loads of other things ordinary people can do to help combat climate change, I 've quoted from 100 Places To Remember Before They Disappear where you'll find a further 98 "examples of how you, your family, companies and politicians may solve or counteract the effect of climate problems."

Take a look and if you're intending to blog today join over 8,000 fellow bloggers by posting about climate change for Blog Action Day 2009, you can find out more and sign up here.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Mrs Crosse's Weekly Housekeeping Tips

Way back in April when I started this blog I stated that it would be a place where, amongst other things, I would talk about cleaning naturally. I'm very much aware that I never have but that is all about to be rectified with a little weekly feature on the website called
Mrs Crosse's Weekly Housekeeping Tips.
You can read the weekly tips here.
If you want to find out more about Mrs Crosse you'll find it here
and if you're interested Mrs Crosse has a gardening counterpart, Hobb,
his weekly tips are here
and you can find out about him here.
Enough links for one post I think!

Monday, 5 October 2009


"We need to grow our own food.
It's the most rational, practical response to the situation we're in now -
our food system is in as fragile a state as our financial one."

Monty Don in an interview for the Telegraph Magazine

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Inspirational Recycling - More on old themes

Same old themes but I just couldn't resist these lovely photographs.
(All images found via The Tao of Dana)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Harris Hawk

The other day we were privileged to go for a walk with

George Duncalf of The Fenlands Bird of Prey Rescue

and his

Harris Hawk

We've posted pictures here if you'd like to see more.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

We're all going on a - Mushroom Hunt - (and don't forget the plums)

Today I thought I'd show you some of the fungi found in the orchard

Superstitious apple pickers beware - you won't want to go into the fairy circle.

So delicate.

And finally a giant, the 50p piece gives you some indication of the size of this puff ball.
My husband likes to slice and fry these in butter.
Our plum season is rapidly drawing to a close, so, I've posted some of our favourite plum recipes in a Renaissance Newsletter if you'd like to take a look.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Indian Summer

As the days shorten and the nights begin to draw in

we're taking extra pleasure in the warmth of this September's sun.

The auriculars have surprised us with a few flowers but you can tell it's all coming to an end.

We must enjoy it while we can.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Slop Buckets, The Daily Mail, Kitchen Caddys, Whitehall and Wormeries

"A Slop Bucket in Every Home"was the headline that caught my eye at the newstands the other day.

Did you see it?
Looking through the article via the web I see The Daily Mail reports that
"In a trial at 94,000 homes in 19 council areas last year, a quarter of those taking part reported terrible smells and infestations of maggots, flies and rats. They said that in the summer the stench grows worse and the slop buckets attract even more vermin. "

The Telegraph asks us - Do you want a slop bucket in your kitchen?

Thinking about it, our household don't actually have any food waste to put in the bins what with chickens and ferrets and dogs and quail pretty much all of ours gets eaten by something. ( In fact I could probably use more for the compost heap).

But could this be the solution -

A wormery.
These pictures are taken from the Wiggly Wigglers site
and I must say it seems like a jolly good solution to the problem to me.
A little pricey for the average household perhaps, but, if government are considering forcing councils to issue us with yet another plastic bin maybe they should also be looking into wormeries.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Inspirational Recyclying - wine bottle vases

So elegant - try something similar with geberas or wild flowers or ...

(Image found via Thought for Food)

Bramley Apple Bicentenary

Those of you who have had a little look around our website Renaissance Shop and read the About us page will know that although we live in town we work in an orchard.
Not just any orchard but one that has ancient trees -
Bramley Apples that are almost 100 years old.
2009 is the bi-centenary of the Bramley Apple.

In 1809 a young girl named Mary Anne Brailsford planted some apple pips in her garden in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Eventually the garden passed to Matthew Bramley and the Bramley Seedling was cultivated by local nurseryman Henry Merriweather. All the Bramley apple pies, apple sauces and Bramley apple juices you've ever eaten or drank have been descended from that pip planted by young Mary Anne and the orginal tree still stands.

We'll be picking Bramley apples for the next few weeks and if you're interested you can join us on a "virtual" apple pick, we're posting photographs from the orchard on our website over the next few days, you'll find them in theWhat we are doing section

Thursday, 10 September 2009

A Jackdaw named Sparrow

Whilst updating our What we are doing section of the website with
photographs of insects taken in the orchard it occured to me that I haven't shown you
Sparrow is a Jackdaw rescued from the orchard, he was found
on the log pile with a broken wing. Unfortunately nothing could be done
for the break, it had already healed but something could be done for the Jackdaw.
He was starving and there was no way that he could survive in the wild so he came home with us.
For more information on rescued corvids visit Corvid Aid
Don't forget you can join us on a "virtual" apple pick, we're posting photographs from the orchard on our website over the next few days, you'll find them in theWhat we are doing section

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Is this the prettiest apple?

Here take a closer look -
I think it's a really pretty apple

what do you think?

Don't forget you can join us on a "virtual" apple pick, we're posting photographs from the orchard on our website over the next few days, you'll find them in theWhat we are doing section

Monday, 7 September 2009

Still picking

Not only apples

but we also have a glut of sweetcorn
and beans.
If you'd like to join us on a "virtual" apple pick, we're posting photographs from the
orchard on our
website over the next few days, you'll find them in the
What we are doing section

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Apple Picking

So the harvest begins.
Family have returned home from far and wide with friends
in tow filling the house to bursting point. I find myself ferrying car loads of pickers
to the orchard, cooking mountains of food and running endless baths.
I love it all.
If you'd like to join us on a "virtual" apple pick, I'll be posting photographs from the
orchard on our website over the next few days, you'll find them in the

Monday, 24 August 2009

Inspirational Recycling - Tin Cans

The recyclying of tin cans seems to be getting a bit of a theme here at
Renaissance Little Green Book. Following on from this post and this one
I've found yet another beautiful image this time by
photographer Burcu Avsar.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Inspirational Recycling - Wellington Boots

Fun huh?

Reminds me of a story I used to read to my children when they were little.

About working boots and Sunday Boots, the Sunday boots were horrid to the working boots but guess what one day the Sunday boots were relegated to working boots and the working boots became flower planters.

(image found via The Tao of Dana)

For more information on Renaissance, what we are doing, the Renaissance Newsletter,
our other blogs and our shop, please visit
our website.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Flower Thugs

These very lovely Windflowers have been rather thuggish and nearly taken over
a whole border. But they are so pretty it's hard to get ruthless with them.

I am a little more ruthless with this yellow daisy.
My husbands' Aunt gave us a root years ago and every year we do battle
to prevent it from taking over completely.
My neighbour decided that her hydrangea had gotten out of control this weekend.
She pruned it ruthlessly much to my benefit as I managed to rescue the blooms
before they went into the recycle bin. I've decided to dry them with the intention
of making my own wreath this Christmas.
For more information on Renaissance,
what we are doing,
the Renaissance Newsletter,
our other blogs and our shop,
please visit
our website.