How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4880
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283429 Odsox
Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:38 am

As with other years we were reasonably self sufficient in vegetables, except some of my garlic crop rotted in the ground meaning we had to buy some (can't remember the last time that happened). The other vegetables we buy are onions, because I can't seem to store them beyond March, and maincrop potatoes, because I could hardly walk when they needed planting due to me stupidly falling off a ladder.

We did very well with fruit though, especially the grapes, I dried enough into sultanas to keep me in fruit cake and fruit shorties until next harvest. We have been eating our own apples exclusively since August and still have quite a few in store, and have lots of raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants bottled and frozen, and strawberries for breakfast most days until recently.

In the non-food category, I built a fairly large barn with free reclaimed timber for the structure although I had to buy the cladding and the corrugated iron for the roof. Also bought 2 black IBCs which will be filled from the barn roof and used to irrigate the tunnels.

All in all fairly happy with the results of my labour, and glancing at veg prices when I walk past them in the shops, I must have saved a bob or two as well.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8380
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283430 Green Aura
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:25 pm

You forgot to mention returning to your all year round tomatoes, Tony!

We don't have a big enough garden to be self- sufficient, but the polytunnel produced quite well for us this year - salad stuff, tomatoes, citrus fruit, courgettes and peppers. The aubergines and cucumbers didn't perform, as usual, so we continue our quest for suitable varieties. We were slightly hampered by the presence of several dwarf fruit trees which we found buried in the undergrowth outside the p/t and took in to nurse back to life - they're beautiful healthy specimens now and will be taken outside in the spring. Now we just need to wait and see what they all are. :lol:

Apart from cauliflowers we do quite well with brassicas, we have red cabbage and kale, various green cabbages and kale, brussels :pukeright: and three Asturian Tree Cabbages which we didn't get round to transplanting so are still in tiny pots and are growing really well :dontknow: . Our onions were good (but nowhere near enough to see us beyond Christmas). We worked our way through the three bagsworth of spuds in fairly short order. I'm not a great potato lover but these were delicious - I think they were called Record? an organic variety, we'd never grown before. The label's in the p/t so I'll check it later.

We've decided to revamp the raised beds - at the moment we have 6 1x1.2m beds but we've decided to remove them and make one long bed that we can get round the back of. It should give us more growing space and better access. And next month we'll hopefully get cracking with the geodesic dome - a few problems along the way have delayed it, but we've bought the plans, a table saw and now just need to get the wood. We've decided to skin it with the p/t polythene which proved so useless on the tunnel. It should fair much better tacked onto smallish triangles rather than slung over the tunnel frame.

Indoors we built the boiler room, finished the bathroom and removed several walls to turn three poky rooms into a large, lovely kitchen/dining/living room which is already really comfy but will be fantastic when finished - assuming the electrician ever turns up.

Not too shabby for a decrepit old bird and her old fella who had a heart attack 14 months ago.
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
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283432 diggernotdreamer
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:48 pm

We have in store, parsnips, onions, carrots and lots of spuds, there are about six different sorts, so we won't starve. My major failure this year was not growing any peppers, I usually store some in jars of oil and brine, but due to my stupidity, I managed to kill all the pepper plants. My garlic was a disaster as well, it drowned in all the rain earlier in the year, this autumn it has been planted somewhere else on a very high ridge. I dehydrate a lot of onions too, the ones that look like they won't store, so they are a good standby if the others don't store. I do find they keep really well in our little boiler house, which of course if frost free.

We put up two sheds, made planters for the new terrace, poured tonnes and tonnes of non environmentally friendly concrete over our driveway because we were so fed up with the mess of the place (we paid people to do that which is highly unusual). Put up a new pod for the alpaca's. As usual, I am defeated by the grass, I couldn't cut it quick enough, it seems to grow behind me. I did manage to make hay which I do by hand and got 17 agri bags full for the winter feed for the paca's. Injury is a bugger, I hurt my wrist and couldn't do anything for about 6 weeks, I did get some help from the Wizard feeding the animals and suchlike, but growing things aren't his bag, and my wibbly wobbly way of doing things is a bit out there for someone who likes straight lines, you cannot take a vernier to my veg garden I'm afraid. I have TOO much ground, I'm think about putting up panel fences so I don't have to look at most of it.

Next year, we really do have to sort out the drainage, or lack of it, they think we are bonkers here because we have no digger and we do everything by hand, we may have to get a man in to dig all the drainage ditches down one side. Living on a hill with the wind bashing everything means that you are forever having to do running repairs.

I would like to grow citrus, perhaps we need another thread, I did grow a kumquat (citrus lucky dip plant) and had a lemon tree once, but the really bad winter we had here killed them as we had no warm place to put them

As usual, I will make the New Years resolution to be calm, ordered and organised and have visions of myself sashaying through the garden with everything under control and neatness and order in all places ........... the reality is that I will do the usual thing of growing too many plants, getting overwhelmed and having to have a lie down with a wet flannel on my head, but I can dream :tongue:

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7706
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283441 ina
Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:54 pm

Green Aura wrote: brussels :pukeright:


Oy - send them over if you don't want them! :lol:

I'm self sufficient in kale. Two kinds, too... :thumbright:

And that's about it. Well, there's usually something to eat in the garden, even if not what I would like (mostly holey chard, actually), but then it's only a little garden, and I've not finished with it yet... Another raised bed going up next year, and I'm hoping very much (keep fingers crossed!) that I'll manage to get some hens. The council guy made cautious positive noises when I asked. (He said they try to discourage people - but then I dazzled him with all my knowledge of livestock keeping!)
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1548
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283443 Flo
Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:24 pm

Nowhere near as self sufficient as some of you! It was a reasonable year off the allotment and there's still plenty of vegetables in the freezer. The local family also had a reasonable amount of the produce. No we weren't totally self sufficient but certainly the best part for five months - till we'd eaten all the plums, pears and apples :mrgreen:

The bungalow is looked after by the landlord who produced a new, modern boiler which has cut down the heating bills no end and a new roof. Suppose that if the rent wasn't paid, then neither would have happened and I wouldn't be here! In passing a member of the family spotted the loose aerial on the digital radio and produced a suitable sized screw driver (which I didn't have in the collection) to sort it out as well as some suitable items to hold the washing line pole in place (from the back of his van). See it's knowing who has a better toolbox than you sometimes. :mrgreen: Certainly better than buying new items.

I don't make seasonal gifts as the family, both local and afar, are not eaters of jam, preserves or pickles and prefer to buy their own clothes. So it's not lack of ability but lack of co-operation from the recipients.Oh and the trained chefs in the family can do a lot of stuff for themselves anyway!! :sign5:

tosca
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:09 am
Location: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283448 tosca
Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:36 am

Not done too badly for our first year considering we had the worst summer here in Bulgaria in living memory. We had problems with our onions and had to freeze a lot of them, mainly due to hot, wet conditions, but we only have to but the occasional one for fresh use, they are lasting out well from the freezer. The other thing we failed with were potatoes. We had trouble sourcing seeds early so used some that had sprouted and did quite well with them. But you have to time things to lessen the impact of the Colorado beetle's two cycles and we missed the second planting due to the weather, so we have had to buy since mid summer.

Apart from that, we have not done badly, but storage of fresh veg is a problem, which I presume is why most veg is bottled. We have a huge cellar but it is too warm for storing roots, so a bumper crop of carrots ended up in the freezer. We have to find ways of cooking them which stops them being watery and tasteless, stews, soup, roast. I hanker after a nice crisp plain boiled carrot! Also had to freeze parsnips, but they are always roasted so they are OK. Also froze courgettes (the ducks are eating them gradually) French, broad, fresh borlotti and runner beans and sugar snap and peas.. Though they did too well, couldn't give enough away. Don't like them frozen but needs must. Froze Tuscan kale and chard through the year and still have sprouts, kale, chard, romanesco and second-sprout cabbage under the snow somewhere. Froze herbs, dried some of the garlic though I still have a string of 'fresh' which will keep us going till we can start using it in the green. We have borlotti, white and some black beans from cobra French beans dried for soups and stews. Also dried grapes, but you have to be careful as we come across the odd seed. And herbs.

Pickled cucumbers, beetroot (we couldn't eat them all freash) and the onions that didn't grow.

Also have peppers, chillis, stewed apples and apricots and aubergines frozen.

The rest of the fruit and veg, tomatoes, plums, apricots, peaches, mixed veg sauce has been bottled or chutneyed or jammed. Most of the chutney and jam was sold or bartered as we don't eat much. There are still a couple of dozen butternut squash in the cellar, have swapped a lot for things like DE for the chooks, books and other natural remedies.

Walnuts have had to be shelled and frozen as the weather caused havoc with them and there was no point in keeping magotty or mouldy nuts in shells. They are just as good, if not better, if they are frozen as they drop.

We made a lovely drink from fresh raspberries and sugar added to the rough rakia (paint stripper!) we have been given. We don't drink much so that is enough for us.

We have swapped surplus eggs (and sell some) for pickles, bottled meat, pork. Our neighbours have a few eggs as a by-product of the hundred or so chicks they raise each spring, but we get ex-batts just for eggs so have not had to buy any this winter, have frozen some just in case, and kept our neighbour supplied. Also we have swapped cockerels for straw. Milk comes from a neighbour, it is not cost effective to keep house goats.

All in all we have done pretty well for our first year. The chickens and ducks are eating surplus frozen veg and any cabbagey stuff we don't want. The geese we got rid of apart from bits of one which OH had on Christmas day. Next year we will think of more meat for him (I'll stick with eggs and nuts) and cut back on planting as we will still have a lot of bottled stuff left. We didn't take into account how well things grow here, even in a bad year. There is always something that does well.

As for utilities, we try to do the water heating and washing on half tarriff at night. We use little water as we have a well for the animals and garden.Bottling and chutney is done outside on gas (make loads) but we need to find a space for a wood fire and do as the neighbours do. Using all the trimmings from the fruit and nut trees.

ojay54
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:48 am

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283449 ojay54
Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:52 am

We were a bit crap.

Tony do you grow Jap Winter onions??

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

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283450 boboff
Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:06 pm

Not at all!

Bad Bob!
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/

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7706
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283451 ina
Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:27 pm

So far only managed to get through an entire year with onions by planting some in autumn and some in spring. Must have been a dry year, too, otherwise they don't keep here at all!
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

User avatar
KathyLauren
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 396
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:57 pm
latitude: 44.5
longitude: -66
Location: East Coast of Canada

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283452 KathyLauren
Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:59 pm

Not too good on the reducing our carbon footprint scale: we pretty much have to drive anywhere. It's half an hour to the nearest town, and an hour to the next one.

We did have an impressive haul of carrots and parsnips. Since we also got a generous supply of same from our CSA grower, we pretty much have a lifetime supply of carrots now! :cheers:

We had an amazing crop of strawberries. We planted them this spring, and dutifully picked off the blossoms so the plants could "get established", not expecting any harvest the first year. By August, they were so well established that they were threatening to escape from their containers and take over the yard. We let them flower and set fruit just to slow them down! We were enjoying fresh strawberry desserts well into the autumn.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4880
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283453 Odsox
Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:12 pm

ojay54 wrote:Tony do you grow Jap Winter onions??

No I don't OJ, this year I sowed Hytech and left them to get on with it, they were mostly small (which I pickled) and about a dozen reasonable sized ones which are still rock hard.
I intend to sow them again next week and maybe look after them a bit better and see how they respond.

Normally I rely on my shallots to get me through to late spring, but most of them rotted as well as the garlic.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
doofaloofa
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:50 am
Location: Wesht Cark, RoI

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283500 doofaloofa
Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:52 pm

99% SS in fire wood

plenty of spuds and swedes

Salad

And the pig food i grew is still in abundance

didn't bother with a lot of stuff that i would normally grow due to working out a lot, and next year will be the same as we are planning to build an extension
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

Puddleduck
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:53 am

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283517 Puddleduck
Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:38 pm

Ummm, totally not at all. Naughty Puddleduck, must do better.

Being either heavily pregnant or with a newborn doesn't really lend itself to growing stuff....

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7706
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283523 ina
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:43 pm

Puddleduck wrote:Being either heavily pregnant or with a newborn doesn't really lend itself to growing stuff....


But you've produced your very own little Puddleduckling - congratulations! :sunny:
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

Pumkinpie
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:47 am
latitude: 52.8
longitude: 1.6

Re: How Selfsufficientish were you in 2014

Post: #283550 Pumkinpie
Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:38 pm

Not as well as previous years due to ill health.
Still got a large pumpkin, onions and potatoes. Parsnips still in ground.
Hopefully a better year next year.


Return to “The ish Local - (Chat)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests