Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
User avatar
mrsflibble
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 3815
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:21 pm
Location: Essex, uk, clay soil, paved w.facing very enclosed garden w/ planters

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221044Post mrsflibble
Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:57 pm

money and relaxation.

i am frugal becuase of lack of cash. i grow things because making things grow relaxes me.
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!

User avatar
MuddyWitch
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2460
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:13 pm
latitude: 52.643985
longitude: -1.052939
Location: Leicester, uk, but heading to Ireland

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221073Post MuddyWitch
Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:54 pm

I had an idilic childhood: my parents hadn't two brass farthings to rub together, but neither had anyone-else, so we never realised we were 'poor'. My father was a 'screw' at a borstal in Nottinghamshire that 'owned' two farms. I don't think we were poor really: we were very loved, we ate a very healthy diet of mostly vegatables as meat was just too expensive, and my Dad grew most of our food. (We also had cheap chickens & eggs, despite this being the 60's as the borstal 'lads' were taught how to keep them as part of their rehabilitation).

My 'lightbulb' moment happened in the early eighties: I'd gone to college in London and was living in a flat with a 1M by 4M balcony. I had a rotten cold & didn't feel like going out on a Friday evening & staying in was cheaper anyway. (My ex had not long departed, trashing the flat en route to the door, so I had very little of anything, especially money).

I put the telly on, (a tiny B/W portable my Mum had lent me), & watched 'Gardeners' World' with dear old Geoff Hamilton, because it was the best on the four channels (see? I told you it was the early eighties!). He was explaining that you could grow runner beans in a grow bag in a concrete yard.

The next day, cold forgotton, I bought a three grow bags, some runner bean seeds, carrot & herb seeds. I 'aquired' a couple of old builders buckets from a skip & my balcony was transformed.

My Mum thought I was mad, but she loved my tumbling toms (added a few weeks later, in a hanging basket). I never suffered with blight as I was too high!

The rest is history, except that our third of an acre is about to become 3+ acres & I'll finally be able to keep goats, chucks & pigs & 'kill my own dinner' with a clear conscience :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

User avatar
bonniethomas06
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1245
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:24 am
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221099Post bonniethomas06
Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:35 am

Aww MW, I had a big lump in my throat reading that!

That's a lovely story. There is nothing more tragic than a gardener without a garden...it is like living without a limb.
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

My blog...

http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

User avatar
boboff
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1809
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Gunnislake,Cornwall

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221106Post boboff
Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:03 am

I always wanted a farm to retire too.

I worked very hard, with my wife, for 10 years, running a business and a Pub, and renovating houses and converting them into Flats and Bedsits for rental, it was all very highly geared, and I owed nearly £1.2 Million at one stage. Thankfully the council caught up with me on one project and closed it down, which meant I sold 3 houses, and moved into the Bedsits and put it back to a house. With my rule of only converting when the rent covered the mortgage I stopped in 2004 and eventually moved to a nice house in the country. I spent 2 years having dreams of farming, and no time to do it as I was working, so becoming ish was part of the plan of me giving up my work to be at home and look after the kids whilst my wife started on her desire to train to be a nurse. Year one I spent showing my wife how much better at cleaning and ironing she was, year two I started to put the Small holding plans in place, only to be majorly hampered by Council intervention, year three was consolodation and boredom, and laziness, this is the year though I will be more self sufficient.

I have a better idea of what I need to do now, and have made allot of mistakes, you have to get the layout right, and do things in the right order.

Anyway off to mop the floors!
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
No I won't use a smiley because I've decided to turn into Boboff, as he's turned all nice all of a sudden. Grumble grumble.
http://boboffs.blogspot.co.uk/

User avatar
old tree man
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1616
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:57 pm
latitude: 54.5619 N
longitude: 0.9874 W
Facebook Name: Don't have one
Location: North yorkshire

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221109Post old tree man
Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:26 am

I was nurtured by my parents who grew all their own produce and was pushed by my father to "get a trade" so really it was in my blood like most of you but i must admit it was only the past 20yrs that being really self sufficient actually meant something :flower:
Respect to all, be kind to all and you shall reap what you sow.
old tree man,
aka..... Russ

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8622
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221114Post Green Aura
Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:16 am

I don't suppose my tale is much different to many of the one's above.

I grew up in a smallish village, not so many years post-war that my parents had got out of the habit of growing as many of their own veg as they could. I remember spending many a happy hour with my Dad in his greenhouse - a beautiful old cedar one that I'd rip your arm off for now - painting the tomato flowers with a tiny paintbrush to get good pollination. Well it was the early sixties so I'm guessing he killed off all the pollinating bugs then had to do it himself :lol:

My Dad was of the rigid, ruler straight lines evenly spaced veg brigade so when he remarried my stepmother and she instinctively companion planted (or guerilla gardened amongst his straight lines :lol: ) the boring veg patch suddenly looked really pretty. And she insisted on growing PSB - Dad said it was a waste of space but she found a corner behind the greenhouse where she grew it for years without clubroot problems - maybe down to chemicals again although I don't remember her using anything - actually they were quite fond of Jeyes Fluid :lol: :pale:

We always had home-cooked food - do any of you remember Vesta curries? - they were a very rare treat. My Dad didn't like "buggered about" food. So I learned the basics of cooking there.

Anyway, after leaving home and discovering the delights of London I didn't give a thought to where my food came from - I was too busy partying! I still cooked most of my own food though (Shepherds Bush market was my second home) and built on my basic skills.

Then I became a Mum and things I'd never thought about for years were suddenly really important - hormones are wonderful things. So when we decided to move from our two up two down we bought a house with a garden. At first it was a play space, then a jungle and everything we tried was pretty rubbish until I discovered I could grow veg. OH's Grandad died and we were "given" i.e. we were the only ones with a garden big enough to take his greenhouse and although I've never painted a flower to pollinate it again I re-discovered my love of growing tomatoes. And it just went on from there really.

Now we're 100 miles from the nearest supermarket so (as well as being desirable) being able to grow, bake and make stuff is really necessary. And life is pretty good (for the most part :wink: ).
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

User avatar
cafe_tom
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:21 pm
Location: The Lower, South Wales

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221124Post cafe_tom
Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:23 pm

My Dad always grew veg and fruit, and fixed mechanical things for as long as I can remember. He died in '98 when I was 18 and it was a spur to learning how to do all the things that he would have done for me. I had already the love of motorbikes through him, and whilst some might not see it as being self sufficient in the traditional sense; being able to fix and maintain your own vehicle has a very calming affect.
I've always felt a desire to grow my own foodstuffs, I just enjoy getting things to grow. For a while I guerilla planted stuff I probably shouldn't, and it grew very well indeed. When I got my house 5 years ago after doing the inside I set to the garden and Apple cordons were the first things to go in. After that the back garden got brought up to scratch and my freestyle veg planting began. After a couple of years of surprise veg, I decided to create some lines of order and picked up 'Practical Gardening', a 1955 publication from a village fete. Armed with that I set out making the garden more productive. That sparked the need for a greenhouse, so I built one of those too.
Somewhere in there as well I started homebrewing as it was cheaper than buying beer all the time.
At 32 I'm guessing I'm amongst the younger end of the spectrum of posters here, but I have several mates with whom I share tips and seeds with of similar ages. Between us we grow/produce quite a bit, and mainly because we love food and drink. It's always better if it's almost free.
Bored? Try My Blog
Really bored? Read My Book

User avatar
bonniethomas06
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1245
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:24 am
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221152Post bonniethomas06
Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:47 pm

cafe_tom wrote:At 32 I'm guessing I'm amongst the younger end of the spectrum of posters here
Naa, I think you'd be suprised. I am spring chicken at 29, although when I blow out my friends on a Friday night to watch Gardeners World most of them would argue that I am a middle aged person stuck in a 29yr olds body!

(no offence to middle aged people)
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

My blog...

http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

crowsashes
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: plymouth, i can see cornwall :P

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221168Post crowsashes
Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:12 pm

bonniethomas06 wrote:
cafe_tom wrote:At 32 I'm guessing I'm amongst the younger end of the spectrum of posters here
Naa, I think you'd be suprised. I am spring chicken at 29, although when I blow out my friends on a Friday night to watch Gardeners World most of them would argue that I am a middle aged person stuck in a 29yr olds body!

(no offence to middle aged people)
same here! im only just 26 (last month) but if im honest im dreading this years birthday! theres just something about it that im not liking :(

i agree i probably am an older ( wiser :wink: :lol: ) person stuck in a younger body! :mrgreen:

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221172Post oldjerry
Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:26 pm

Far better than being an 18yr old trapped in a decrepid old carcase that's fast falling apart!

User avatar
citizentwiglet
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Just outside Glasgow

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221177Post citizentwiglet
Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:01 pm

I think one of the things I like about this forum is the fact that age is pretty much immaterial. I visit a couple of parenting forums, and they seem to obsess about age, and what they 'should' be doing and 'should have' achieved. I don't know, and don't really care, how old the folks here are. Eighteen or eighty, it's really lovely to find a place where so many people have so much in common, so much practical advice and tales to tell, regardless of their age. I love hearing all these stories about how we all 'found ourselves' as Ishers, and it's really interesting seeing so many similarities in backgrounds and circumstances regardless of what decade it was set in. It seems to me that parents / grandparents who were gardeners had a HUGE impact on most of us, and I think that's wonderful. I hope we can pass the same enthusiasm onto our own children and grandchildren - I think we can.

When I was young, it was the greedy, explotative, consumerist 80s - you were a 'crusty protester' if you so much as wore a Greenpeace badge or wore second hand clothes, yet plenty of us are a similar age and obviously Thatcher's Britain didn't make us the consumerist monkeys they wanted. Today, young people are so much more aware of the environment, and gardening and conservation has become almost trendy - hopefully they will grasp it with both hands, embrace it and carry on with it throughout their lives (and not just because Alys Fowler says planting kale is groovy).
I took my dog to play frisbee. She was useless. I think I need a flatter dog.

http://reflectionsinraindrops.wordpress.com - My blog
http://www.bothwellscarecrowfestival.co.uk - Scarecrow Festival
http://bothwellcommunitygarden.wordpress.com - Community Garden

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8622
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221178Post Green Aura
Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:06 pm

oldjerry wrote:Far better than being an 18yr old trapped in a decrepid old carcase that's fast falling apart!
:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :lol:
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

User avatar
Stonehead
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2432
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221197Post Stonehead
Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:24 pm

Why?

Insanity. Lack of cash. Madness. Tightwad. Lunacy. Principles. Idiocy. Amusement. Eccentricity. Pain. Peculiarity. Suffering. Self-flagellation. Moon-struck. Vanity. Stupidity. Unemployable. Cantankerousness. Stubbornness. Screw loose. Balmy. Penurious. Cuckoo. Daffy. Grand delusions. And huge enjoyment of the rich odour of multitudinous forms of manure, mud and rotting vegetation....
Image

User avatar
cafe_tom
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:21 pm
Location: The Lower, South Wales

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221229Post cafe_tom
Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:37 pm

crowsashes wrote:
bonniethomas06 wrote:
cafe_tom wrote:At 32 I'm guessing I'm amongst the younger end of the spectrum of posters here
Naa, I think you'd be suprised. I am spring chicken at 29, although when I blow out my friends on a Friday night to watch Gardeners World most of them would argue that I am a middle aged person stuck in a 29yr olds body!

(no offence to middle aged people)
same here! im only just 26 (last month) but if im honest im dreading this years birthday! theres just something about it that im not liking :(

i agree i probably am an older ( wiser :wink: :lol: ) person stuck in a younger body! :mrgreen:
You know what's really bad? I'm not 32 yet, I just got confused. 32 is in july. There's no hope for me. :oops:
Bored? Try My Blog
Really bored? Read My Book

User avatar
happyhippy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 661
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:28 pm

Re: Why are 'you' self-sufficient-ish?

Post: # 221237Post happyhippy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:25 pm

Well I'm nearly 50 yrs of age,and grew up in Australia.When I was 20 I had long left home,and I was shopping in the local supermarket.I started looking at the produce,and shelf items,and a penny dropped.I just thought "Why am I buying all this stuff when I can grow/make it myself"? :cheers: lol Well it did'nt happen straight away,mainly because I felt unsettled where I was living at the time(suburbs of Adelaide)Fast forward 5 years,two kids later,and I had a huge urge to up sticks and move up country!We were pretty poor back then,and house prices were rising steadily.My OH came home from work one day and a friend of his at work (who lived up country)had given him the local paper,in which were several houses for sale! :iconbiggrin: I saw a house,abit out of our price range,but the cheapest house in that paper.We arranged a viewing,and yes the house needed work,the garden was 6ft high in weeds but through all that,I could see the potential.We got back home,OH said we could'nt really afford it but I was determined!lol I rang the estate agent and put in an offer,$10,000 short of the asking price!Well the estate agent sounded surprised but said he would get back to me.Within 2 hours,that offer was accepted and wow was I happy! :iconbiggrin: As soon as we moved in,after alot of hard work,re designing of gardens ect,we ended up with chooks,and several raised veg gardens.The only thing I ever went to the supermarket for was meat and some dairy.Now I live in the UK,and although I work fulltime,I still love having the power and knowledge to provide my family with our own food,plus jams ect,cleaning products and so on.Its not about saving money for me,its more to do with the satisfaction I get,and its a great hobby/past time.

Post Reply