TEN YEARS TODAY

Well, here we are on the 3rd and final instalment of our little reminisce on how we started our journey to self-sufficiency and eco living. Over the past 2 parts we explained how we started with a 40 foot caravan and added a wooden extension onto it and installed water and electricity. But, there was still a lot more to do to make it comfortable and liveable. More

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TEN YEARS AFTER Part 2

Hi, well here we are again with another little reminisce about how we started our journey towards  self sufficiency and eco living. The first part was all about getting the outer shell of the building up and weather proofing.

Once this was done, it was time to try and make it into a house before it could become a home. Basically first we needed running water instead of using buckets, and once there was a proper roof, it made things a lot easier to collect rain water that ran off and into a 1000 litre tank that was placed on blocks underneath the guttering. This gave us enough pressure to fill the toilet cistern and caravan sinks.

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TEN YEARS AFTER

Apart from ‘Ten Years After ‘ being a favourite band of ours from the ’60’s and ’70’s, it’s also coming up to our 10th anniversary of owning our land here in Ireland, and leading us to try to set up, build and live a self-sustainable lifestyle on our own.

We didn’t actually do anything with the land for a couple of years after buying it because we weren’t really sure just what we wanted to do, but after a while everything started to come together, especially once we’d bought the 40ft mobile home, placed it on the land and stayed for a 2 week holiday in it. This was 8 years ago, a lot of hard work and some mind puzzling problems to overcome. More

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Hello there to you all, this is the first real time that we have had to actually sit down and revise our blog as we have been so busy with all of our growing.

First of all we would like to say a very big thank you to the Unitarian Chapel Belper and the Transition Group for inviting us to present a talk on living a self sufficient lifestyle. We loved doing the talk and felt very privileged to be asked to do this in the first place.

Anyway, up until now we have been digging, with more digging and a side order of digging to top it all off. This was because we realised that we really needed to buckle down and concentrate fully on our food production, otherwise how could we call ourselves self sufficient? We’ve been growing veg for about 5 years now with average success, but this year we have really made a massive effort to maximise our yield so that we don’t have to buy food again. We have tried to grow as many different veg as we can to increase the variety of our meals, from the staples such as potato and swede to sweet corn for a bit of a treat We gave both of the tunnels a good organic feed and blood, fish and bone, as you feed the soil not the plant. It’s now harvesting time and we think we’ve had quite a good success rate.

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This was a simple soil test that was taken from both tunnels to find out the soil structure. We have a loam soil, equal sand and clay.

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The soil had to be dried and crushed in order to find the PH.

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From the PH test we found that the soil was neutral to slight acid. This is good for veg growing.

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The sweet corn is growing well.

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The garlic has been a success for the first time.

 

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The kale and beet leaf are taking off rapidly, our winter greens and vitamins.

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A few pumpkins for a Samhain treat.

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Parsnips are another first success for us. Looking forward to these roasted.

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And finally, the last of our cherry tomatoes. These hanging baskets had to be brought down near to the porous pipe and sprinklers so that they could be watered whilst we were away presenting the talk.

We have also been growing carrots, beetroot, onions, broccoli, courgettes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbages, caulis, Brussels, leeks, swede, and of course potatoes, LOTS of potatoes! Speaking of potatoes, I’m off now to the tunnel to dig them up ready for the chickens to move in and clear all the bugs and slug eggs that they can find!

Enjoy.