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Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:24 pm
by Flo
Let's go beyond not buying new and see what we can do by ourselves for ourselves to make ourselves more self sufficientish this year. Growing, making, renovating, repairing, trading parts to help someone be more ish, foraging ... anything that we can do for ourselves with as little "stuff" as possible.

Idea?

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:48 am
by tosca
Well, we will continue to grow most of our own veg, harvest our own honey and beeswax and use our goat milk. Oh has started to eat his own chicken after nearly three years of giving surplus cockerels away, the rest of the half a freezer of meat comes from a half lamb we bought last year and masses of unrecognisable pork and beef bits, plus sausage, steak and mince, given by neighbours in return for help....and lard too. So no meat will be bought this year. Most of it gets chucked in the oven with veg and see what comes out. I don't eat meat.

Have started making simple cheese from our goat milk and would like to develop that further into hard cheese. Cultures bought and ready.

Have had enquiries about our new Sussex chooks and runner ducks so hoping to exchange young for other needs, plus sell more eggs from all chooks and ducks. Selling duck eggs pays for all the feed.

Looking into making more toiletries other than just hair stuff and lip balm, without having to shell out on additives by mail order at prohibitive postage costs.

My sister has just moved here and I am looking forward to seeing what all her fruit trees are, hopefully different to our's and we can swap. Will continue with making jams and chutneys from surplus to sell and barter for other useful stuff.

Bring it on!

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:09 am
by ina
Planning a couple more raised beds (and therefore increased veg production). Have been given another small greenhouse (my old cheapo has had it) - no idea what kind it is yet, and where I'll put it... Long term, a couple of chickens would be good. Council not keen on it, though.

Oh, and since I've finally got going on decorating my living room, there should be space to set up the sewing machine, eventually! Have plenty of material stashed away already.

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:51 pm
by Flo
It's going to be one step at a time here. At the moment I'm working down the contents of the food store cupboard and using up things along with the veggies in the freezer. There's plenty of stuff to keep me going with only the need for milk, butter and possibly a few onions for the next few weeks.

There are enough seeds in the seed box for both the allotments this season as well as stuff for the new greenhouse so we'll use up those and then worry about stuff in the seed sales at the end of the year if I'm keeping at least one allotment and almost enough sundries in the shed to see me through the season. If we have a good season then this time next year the freezer should be equally full of goodies.

I've been around the sales and filled up the clothes and household supplies for at least a year. Even one of the charity shops had a sale on yesterday! Now that says it all for the people out spending money doesn't it?

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:58 pm
by maple
good thread here, i am starting a new garden and hoping to renovate a cottage on the least materials brought onsite as possible...with the exception of insulation, gotta keep warm ! now when the water subsides, i shall start planting...polytunnel in northern climes i think will help a lot and a greenhouse running off the cottage, solar gain and a place to start seedlings .... :flower: nice to get motivated early in the year :wave:

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:55 pm
by tosca
Found out yesterday that the polytunnel does not do much to protect my brassicas and keep them in good condition. Got a cabbage in and had to thaw it for an hour before I could cut it. Ho hum, we'll see what happens with the broccoli and sprouts when the thaw sets in. At least I didn't pay for it.

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:19 pm
by doofaloofa
You need a heated poly tunnel now!

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:19 pm
by Flo
I looked at the veggies on the organic stall this morning at the farmers' market and realised that they had mostly the same as me.

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:38 am
by Green Aura
We've been struggling to grow pretty much any veg (apart from stuff in the polytunnel). Our neighbours grow their own more successfully but at the expensive of 6' high storm fencing all round their property. Weather predictions suggest our growing conditions aren't going to improve in the near future.
We've also, finally, found an organic farm/box scheme who will deliver to us and we can't eat the volume of onions, carrots etc that come from both - even on a bad year like last.
So we've decided to carry on with the forest garden plans and just have a very small veg patch to concentrate on growing the stuff that just doesn't come in the veg/fruit box. We have a load of fruit trees in pots waiting to go to their final home, the hedge is now above fence height (at least in large part) and we have been stocking up on perennial veg and fruit - again sitting in pots.
That probably sounds like our plans every year but it feels more likely to happen now the foundations are laid - everything seems to be coming together at last.
Indoors the renovations continue. The gal's pad is finished, our kitchen needs the rest of the floor laying but otherwise is done. We've got fairly clear plans and most of the stuff for the living room. What was my Mother's sitting room will hopefully become my craft room and the shop still needs dry-lining etc.

But I'm pleased to say that we can do everything above ourselves. I think we've come a long way in the last eight years.

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:06 pm
by ina
Ah yes, I suppose doing your own decorating/renovating counts as being self-sufficientish as well! In that case, I've made a good start - finally wallpapered my living room. I used only "free" paper - 4 different kinds that I got from house clearings, leftovers etc... And one wall was still ok, so I left it and now have 5 different kinds of paper on the walls. All got the same coat of white paint, though, so it doesn't look bad, and will look even better once all my book cases are up again. (Paint, I must admit, I had to buy... And I will also get a new carpet laid - well, since my boss does that kind of thing, it would be stupid not to get him to do it.)

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:06 pm
by Green Aura
I've always done my own decorating, ina, but I've usually had walls to paper/ paint. These days we're building them first. :wink:

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:28 am
by ina
Green Aura wrote:I've always done my own decorating, ina, but I've usually had walls to paper/ paint. These days we're building them first. :wink:


I think the council would have to say something about that if I started building an extension... :mrgreen: Could do with one, though!

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:59 am
by Green Aura
Oh crikey, don't go there! I'm talking about taking down some and erecting other stud walls (plasterboard) not bricks and mortar! I might manage constructing a lean-to greenhouse but that's about it.

But that's not a bad idea. :lol:

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:53 pm
by gerpsych
tosca wrote:Have started making simple cheese from our goat milk and would like to develop that further into hard cheese. Cultures bought and ready.


I hope you have more success than I have had this year. The soft cheeses work well but all my attempts at hard goats' cheese (colby, cheddar, or other types) have been awful. They look fine and have a good texture but the taste is dreadful. If you have success can you share your secret here ? Good luck.

Re: Being selfsufficientish in 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:59 pm
by Green Aura
I've had a couple of goes and it's worked out OK. It's just too expensive unless you've got your own supply of milk - mine unfortunately comes from T***o!

In what way is yours dreadful, gerpsych?