Self sufficientish 2020

If you know of a way to help save our planet, even just a small part of it put it here. Also if you want to ask how to help, or even if you want to promote your environmental organisation. All goes here.
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Weedo
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Re: Self sufficientish 2020

Post: # 294240Post Weedo »

Many of the self branded products are imported from SE Asia and EU - I do look at the ingredients lists and the nutrition details and if anything they have higher levels of added "taste enhancers" than the branded products.
Don't let your vision cloud your sight

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Alec
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:51 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Self sufficientish 2020

Post: # 294241Post Alec »

I was running through some old emails to bulk-delete (where do you start with a backlog of 12,000?) when I came across an old link to this forum, and realised to my shame that I've not read it for several years. So I took a look around and was sad to see how quiet it is here. Yet this year has seen garden activity like never before!
I help run the Growing Together Self-Sufficiency Group which I jointly founded in 1978, and have to say that the gardening scene has been busier this year than for many years. It looks as if this excellent forum is overdue for another boost and I'll see what I can do to publicise it in our website and next newsletter.
Why so busy? Well, all thanks to Coronavirus, I'm sorry to say. We produced a lively "Dig for Victory" issue of our monthly newsletter in April, and this was mentioned in the local press. It included a very basic guide to starting a vegetable patch from scratch. Then we got together with local garden centres and small local Farm Shops to arrange local contact-free home deliveries (or car-boot-loaded collection) of pre-paid gardening necessities and basic foods, publicised these arrangements in the newsletter; then the Town Council saw it, enlarged it and delivered a copy to all households.
It's amazing how neighbours have got together to swap spare seedlings and surplus produce, as we have all had more time than usual to grow our own produce.
I would be interested to hear the views of others, and whether you've also encountered that "wartime spirit" in your street. As for growing conditions, it's been great weather, though often too hot for our sandy soil. The amount of crop has been solely dependent on the watering they've received; but with no late frosts at least it's been a bumper apple harvest, much to the delight of our magpies!
Stay safe,
Alec.

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Green Aura
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Re: Self sufficientish 2020

Post: # 294242Post Green Aura »

Hi Alec, and welcome.
I agree with everything you've said. Unfortunately Ish had a few "technical issues" a few years back, resulting in a change of ownership etc etc. During that time a lot of more casual users fell by the wayside, leaving us die hards holding the fort. It's been quiet but friendly and we still manage to learn and share. I think many folks would rather have an app these days. Any boost to our numbers would be most welcome.
Where I live it's always a "wartime spirit" - as we're 70 miles from the nearest small supermarket and 100 from the city we tend to do for ourselves as much as possible. Lockdown didn't really alter much for us, other than losing some social activities.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Flo
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Re: Self sufficientish 2020

Post: # 294321Post Flo »

The minion allotment worker daughter has taken up jam and chutney making with a lot of the fruit glut we have had this year. I've found her a lot of jam jars to help with that. Didn't do at all well on the onions - late start, jackdaws pulling up - so those have had to be shop bought for the chutney as none of our contacts had spare ones. But the ones for next year are already in the ground and netted against winged headaches.

Much work has been done on the plot 1 that I'm keeping - raised beds (good standard recycled plastic ones that are easy to move in the future), compost bins as opposed to compost heap in order to use what was the compost heap space for growing. Much work has been done on getting the back garden sorted though the plan to dig up the lawn and relay may go the distance due to time (keeps raining).

Dug out the small camera from the "technical drawer" and got it back into working order - had forgotten how to use it after some 4 years. Something else to do if only things in walking distance. Meantime I have ideas of what I'd like to do in the way of starting off new skills - one is learning Shetland Knitting and also Icelandic knitting. No problem going to Shetland if that's what's required but certainly not going to Iceland.

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Green Aura
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Re: Self sufficientish 2020

Post: # 294322Post Green Aura »

Well, the greenhouse has been cleared out, swept and fumigated (it now smells strongly of garlic!). The tender plants, such as pineapple sage, have been put in for the winter. Similar in the in-house "greenhouse", which will now be used as a storage room. It definitely didn't perform anywhere near as well as the greenhouse proper. I feel fairly confident in saying we've had our best tomato, cucumber, courgette and sweet pepper crops since we've been here.

We had planned to clear the area around the greenhouse and put in 2-3 more raised beds but the weather has definitely turned now so that may have to wait until spring - getting good weather to meet up with OH not working is often a problem. However, we'll be in a much better position to start the sowing season, next year. This year we had to start completely from scratch and have built the greenhouse, cold frame, windbreak fences and a couple of raised beds. We've moved garden storage bunkers, compost bins (using their contents in the new beds and spud bags) and we've got a fairly regular supply of what my parents called "hosh" to overwinter from a neighbour who has two Shetland ponies.

We also moved the outdoor tap which meant we could move the coal store, which has in turn raised the possibility of more growing room, and cut and stacked a load of old wood that had lain around the front garden awaiting/resulting from various projects (so we won't need a log supply this year). Lockdown helped quite a bit with the OH/workload issue! :lol:

I feel really happy with our new back garden. It's much more functional and the fence means we've been able to get out and do stuff even in fairly bad weather. We'll see how it and the greenhouse stand up to the ravages of a Highland winter, but so far so good. The front garden continues to be a problem though. It's definitely better than it was when we moved in, when everything was scoured flat after the autumn/winter winds, now that the hedge has grown. It's a jungle of couch grass and nettles at the moment but the birds love it. There seem to be hundreds of sparrows living in the holly bush, which is directly opposite the living room window. It desperately needs cutting back but it is such a joy to watch them all fly out, en masse, and return after feeding.

Possibly as a result of that OH has found a new hobby - feeding the birds. Most of them are the common ones round here but we've spotted a couple of species that apparently aren't supposed to be this far north. They don't seem to worry about that, mixing in with the others - and they all shout at him if he takes too long filling the feeders. :lol:

My "new" hobby is definitely an old one. After shutting the shop I pretty much stopped doing much in the way of yarn crafts but have recently started crochet and knitting again and now I'm not doing it to stock a shop it's much more enjoyable. The sewing machine also re-appeared as I supplied loads of face masks to fellow villagers.

It's been splendid recounting our efforts of the year. There's still tons to do and we never feel like we've done enough but I hadn't realised just how much we had accomplished. And we'll definitely be off to a better start next year.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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