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TTPermatuin at the Molenmarkt (Windmill Market!) in Wageningen

TTPermatuin at the Molenmarkt…

After only 6months the TTPermatuin project went public at the Molenmarkt – the local annual community market around the old windmill in Wageningen. We were on the  Transition Towns Vallei stand, of course, and managed to put on a colourful show since we took along some big pots of flowering plants. We had a lot of interest in the ideas of permaculture, and the perennial basil that Annemarie had found for us was the star of the show. Carl, Fiona, Tom, and Jan Joost were there throughout the day, and stopped the basil being sold off! There was a seed identification competition to win a bunch of sunflowers and one of the garden’s pumpkins which was quite challenging!

We got chance to speak to all kinds of interesting people, including a historical geographer who saw our soil samples and descriptions of the methods we are trying out to improve soil quality. She told us the area we are growing on was actually known locally as ‘the Sahara’ due to the poor sandy soil. What was once the most fertile area of land – thanks to sheep farmers wheelbarrowing sheep muck up the hill – is now covered with housing. This is an old example of a situation repeating itself more rapidly across wider and wider areas: urban expansion swallowing fertile land. The TTPermatuin is showing the cost of this ongoing issue – we are having to work intensively with soil-building and remediation techniques to enable sustainable food production.  The past is teaching us a lesson and illustrating how the present will affect the future.  Food for thought…

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