Self sufficient 2014

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Flo
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Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277338 Flo
Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:39 pm

I would like to really be a lot more self sufficient this year.

I've had a look in the store cupboard. I've had a look in the freezer. There are still a few leeks and brussels to pick on the allotment. On the food front it looks as if, given a decent growing year, I can do a lot towards self sufficient in food (helps being vegetarian).

I'm going to keep a good eye on free cycle for things that people are offering - I moved in the summer and had to give quite a few things that didn't fit or weren't needed in the new place so feel that I have some balance in hand to pick up things in return.

Likewise the charity shops have done well as I have lost weight (on purpose) this last 18 months so feel I have a balance there in exchange for what has been given.

So - how is everyone else planning for self sufficiency this year?

tosca
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277339 tosca
Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:56 pm

Well, I learned a lot about growing and preserving in Bulgaria in our first summer last year. And I have learned a lot over winter about how to cook frozen veg I would not have touched in a former life (not much chance of out of season fresh veg here!) Also we have realised that if you help a neighbour you get something useful in return, like fruit, veg or meat. So though we don't raise our own meat (me veggie) for OH, there is an awful lot we can do so that we do not use supermarkets.

If baking wasn't one of my hobbies we wouldn't need to use the big supermarkets, local shops would be enough for the bits we need. Roll on Spring so we can start the year and find out what we can ahieve in becoming more self sufficient.

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doofaloofa
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277341 doofaloofa
Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:21 pm

My focus for this year is to ramp up my pig fodder production

I've increased the veg plot by 30%, I've got fodder beet seed, Jerusalam artichokes to grow, and I'm going to increase the amount of dried peas, swedes and potatoes
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277342 Pumkinpie
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:21 pm

My aim is to try to have something fresh from the allotment for as many weeks as I can. I have lots of raised beds so the idea is to sow little and often and spread the cropping season. There is only two of us so gluts are unavoidable some times. Any excess I am going to take to craft club for swaps.

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Flo
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277375 Flo
Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:42 pm

I suppose we could also forage the hedgerows and such to make us that much more self sufficient.

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Marc
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277382 Marc
Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:58 pm

I always try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Just can't beat the satisfaction of eating your own food.

If you have room, grow winter squash, green acorn(small, but one of the best flavour), blue pumpkins(crown prince, Musque De Provence)- They are a marvellous standby (and regular veg) all through the winter.

Another thing which I find really worthwhile is growing carrots in a raised-bed. I make mine with concrete panels from an old sectional garage, about a foot high. Sow carrots in succession, and cover (must be completely sealed to keep out carrot fly) with fleece supported on wire hoops, wooden frames, or plastic water pipe. I'm pulling plenty of beautiful carrots now from a sowing in September.
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Flo
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277402 Flo
Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:06 am

I look back at my farm based teenage years where very little really came from the shops. We had our own meat slaughtered, grew 90% of our own fruit and preserved it, grew most of our vegetables too. We didn't spin the wool from the sheep due to lack of time and we didn't tan the leather from our lifestock - time, space and lack of skills. We didn't mill our own flour though we grew the grain (no local facilities). But we were only a generation on from small farms where all this was done. Yes we collected wood from fallen branches for our Rayburn (OK so it was only a cut down Aga but it was sufficient) and used the old wash boiler in the outhouse along with the mangle on Mondays.

It makes you realise just how far we have come in two or three generations from being nearly self sufficient to being so dependent on others.

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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277409 sleepyowl
Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:48 pm

I'm hoping to get chickens this year as we have the raw materials to make a hen house
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Chaldeonmenthe
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277412 Chaldeonmenthe
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:44 pm

I am working on new skills this year. Each week I plan to learn a new skill, or at least to start the learning of. This year so far I have started kefir, am learning basic crochet, and am making my own apple cider vinegar (from the kids cast off apples and peelings). Not major things, but all skills that will make a more self-sufficientish lifestyle for us.

That really struck a chord Flo, about how far we have come from being self-sufficient in just a few generations. Really, really unnerving thought.

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Odsox
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277413 Odsox
Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:05 am

Flo .. you have just described my early years pretty much exactly. The thing is of course it was normal, not being weirdos or ecology freaks, just doing what everybody had done for countless generations before. We also forget that it is still the way of life for many people throughout the world and the sad thing is that those who are "dependant on others" are the very same people who think they are far superior to those they call peasants.
Mind you, we wasn't as posh as you, we had to make do with a Kitchener instead of a Rayburn :iconbiggrin:
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doofaloofa
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277418 doofaloofa
Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:49 pm

I also hope/plan to get a few sheep this year

Hopefully Soay's but I'll take what I can get
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Flo
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277460 Flo
Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:53 pm

I worked out a few weeks ago that I could walk up to the local garden centre! Instead of doing a bus up the very steep hill and another bus along the main road through the local "town" (if you dare to call it that), I just walk past the train station and turn right, keep walking. I can walk perfectly well and half an hour is no great time - in fact not much different to the buses. If it's not raining torrents, blowing a hurricane, snowing or a foot deep in snowdrifts and frost there is no good reason not to walk.

It means that I'm that much more self sufficient and not dependent on other transport. You do get used to flashing the bus pass and getting lazy.

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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277466 Stonehead
Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:35 pm

I’d like the weather to be drier than last year from March through to May, but without having a drought. It was so wet last year that most of our plantings rotted, whether put in as seeds or seedlings. The plants that did survive largely succumbed to mould and mildew. It meant we had to buy a considerable amount of vegetables from the shops, which was a severe shock for our budget after eight years of reasonable to excellent vegetable production.
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277475 dibnah
Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Hello Stonehead long time no foruming well for me.

I'm looking forward this year to having the time in spring to get the veg patch going last few years has been a bit of a disaster with weather and time. Hopefully get my greenhouse built and up and running soon, it's already sounding like a lot of work. Gardens going to get more perennials this year and hopefully get our first crop of plums and quince suffered from the cold start to last year I think. I do miss having the chickens but not sure I'm going to get any this year. I'd also like to fill the wood store with foraged wood managed half full last year and put off turning on the CH until December.

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doofaloofa
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Re: Self sufficient 2014

Post: #277478 doofaloofa
Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:52 pm

doofaloofa wrote:I also hope/plan to get a few sheep this year

Hopefully Soay's but I'll take what I can get



Sheep sound like too much work, so will increase geese instaead
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln


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