The Nine Irons


Sometimes things just work out. We have a good friend who is a blacksmith and he has taken the youngest member of our family under his wing. We are delighted that Finley can spend time with him, learning the trade and enjoying the company of a truly great craftsman.

forge 041

View original post 519 more words


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.


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.


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


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


The sweet corn is growing well.


The garlic has been a success for the first time.



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


A few pumpkins for a Samhain treat.


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


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!






DIY Beeswax Food Wraps

What a brilliant idea !


Sometimes you see an idea that is so brilliant, so simple, so economical and you have to try it… this is one and gleaned from My Healthy green Family. Her post is so much more colourful than mine with alot more info and also some good comments so I urge you, if you are interested in making these, to check our her post 🙂

My husband is a big user of clingfilm for his lunches and other options have not proved successful. He will take his food packages out on the farm to eat through the day putting the wrap in his pocket when finished, it’s easy for him. I don’t know how many containers he has lost over the years (or lids) when I have tried to get him to use other things. Paper “doesn’t keep bread fresh enough” apparently and rips.

I was rapt to see these…

View original post 212 more words

Save the bees

Bees are so important to our lives. Please take time to sign. 🙂

Wildlife Gardening Experiences

Please take the time to sign this petition.

View original post

20 Reasons to use Turmeric in your Diet

Put this item on your shopping list today.

Back to Basics


Here are 20 reasons why you should have turmeric in your diet!

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression…

View original post 141 more words

Freeconomy – The Moneyless Manifesto

The Fearse Family


Freeconomy – The Moneyless Mantra

A kind friend sent me a link for the Sustainable Living Festival running in Melbourne this month. In amongst the program I found an event talking about Mark Boyle’s quest to live money-free for a year. Naturally, I found the idea instantly appealing. I wanted to read more. Well, I can. For free. And so can you. Mark Boyle has published a book and made it available to read in its entirety online. This makes me BNN happy, but also, a different happiness. Could this be the beginning of something? A more generous society? Less concerned with accumulation of wealth and belongings and more concerned with community?

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. 

View original post

Freeconomics and Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Man

Such an inspiration.


I just finished reading Mark Boyle’s book The Moneyless Man and found it hugely inspiring. Mark was an economics graduate and businessman who discovered Ghandi. Ghandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world” became the ethos by which he began to live and Mark started a Freeconmic movement, one in which members gave freely to those in need. This movement operates in over 150 countries around the world in town and city communities. The Freeconomic Movement operates on a Pay-It-Forward ethos. As he puts it in his speech (linked below) “For thousands of years we have been looking at life through a lens of “What can I take”. Imagine on a table in front of you there are different lens and we take off our old and put on a new one of “What can I give?”

“Imagine a world where we can give without expectation of…

View original post 745 more words

Yet another unique idea


It’s a really cold day here in the valley today. The animals water buckets are frozen and the ground is hard as a rock. After doing the necessary outdoor chores, I like to work indoors on days like this.  There are always projects to do in any old house so no need to be idle. Today’s project was to tile the concrete plinth which the solid fuel stove in the kitchen stands on. The stove was installed 3 years ago when we got rid of our oil heating so it was time to finish the job off.

The first job was to paint the concrete black. There was some old floor paint in the shed left over from a project in our old house. We are in the present house 10 years this year so the paint was pretty old. It did the job fine and dried quickly as the…

View original post 172 more words

Seasonal Recipes for New Year.


The shortest day is thankfully behind us but we must wait awhile before the evenings start to lenghten. The weather is windy and wet. Here in Arigna we are still in Christmas holiday mood. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, I just love it. Cold wet and windy outside and we are indoors, the stove is pumping out the heat, friends calling, bit of cooking, drinking and eating.

Yesterday I made an Italian Hazelnut Cake, forgive me for my arrogant self-praise but it was gorgeous! Don’t have a pic of the finished cake as our friends LJ and Elaine turned up (they were invited), and we had the cake for an after lunch dessert. Then we had some more with the Bailey’s Irish Cream in the afternoon…and so it disappeared…without being photographed! I will give you the recipe so you can make one and judge for yourself…

View original post 279 more words

Previous Older Entries

May 2022

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow willowarchway on