Quick Links 2nd January 2017

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


Another year ends, and another year begins. Personally 2016 was not a great time for me, and whilst I have to carry some of that into 2017, I’m hoping that the New Year is a better one than last.

Currently Reading

Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer: 2 (The Journals of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads].

Cost Vs. Benefit

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m interested in the cost vs. benefit for the allotment. My costs are mainly on things like seeds / plants, and then a few other things like netting, tools etc. but the latter are not ongoing as they last a long time and are reused. I also don’t heat the potting shed, so have no energy needs.

I’m going to be looking at this in a little more detail this year, as I really want to understand, what is in effect savings for me, in terms of food we don’t buy at the supermarket, as those are our principle benefits, so watch this space!

One of the YouTube channels that I follow is Curtis Stone’s. He’s an urban farmer in Canada, and he’s gone into his energy costs vs. revenues in the video below.

It Shouldn’t All Be About Economic Growth

Although this article focuses on wider countryside and open spaces, I think areas of open spaces, parks and green places on the edge and within more urban areas are also at risk. As I’ve said before the drive to make everything about economic growth is just flawed. There are many things that are as important, if not more important than that.

As an example, last year our local council announced that it wanted to close the local health centre and arts centre in order to expand the shopping centre and build some housing. What they have left out of their plans is just where the health centre and arts centre are going to go. Where will people (including me) go to see their doctor?

Their thinking is all about economic growth, but is flawed. The current shopping centre has many empty units, so which businesses are going to go into the new ones that they want to create? If it was completely full I’d have a little more sympathy, but their plans just don’t make sense.

What worries me more is the same council also has control over a lot of the local green spaces, and doesn’t seem to value them. How long before they are proposing to build something on them? It doesn’t feel like it will be very long. They have no concept of the value of social or environmental benefits.

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures (there wasn’t one posted on Friday, hopefully it’ll be back next week).


2 thoughts on “Quick Links 2nd January 2017

  1. In regards to Cost vs Benefits, one thing that you have to consider, but isn’t easily quantifiable, is the health benefits that growing your own food provides for you. For sustainability purposes, knowing how much this all costs you is good information to have. But, comparing that number to the benefit part of the equation is the tough part, I think.

    Happy New Year, Alan and Ann!

    1. You’re quite right David, there are a few things that make direct comparison difficult. It also doesn’t account for cut price veggies which are local supermarket does occasionally, I think selling things below cost.

      Like a few things on the plot it’s a bit of an experiment, but I’m interested to see how I get on.

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