How Self-sufficient are you?

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the.fee.fairy
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Post: # 64140Post the.fee.fairy
Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:25 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle: yes!
2. Forage: Occasionally - Blackberries/elderberries/plums
3. Grow your own herbs Yes - some, not all
4. Grow your own veg. Yes, but not enough to be self sufficient in veg
5. Grow your own fruit Yes - as above
6. Have Chickens for eggs: nope. i'd like to but there's not enough room
7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese nope, not enough room
8. Have bees for honey: again, i'd like to, but its a space/time thing.
9. Hunt or Fish: i have fished in the past, but not enough to live off of.
10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock: nope, i don't think i could.

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Stonehead
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Re: How Self-sufficient are you?

Post: # 64159Post Stonehead
Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:54 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle Yes, and we add refuse/reject to the list as well!
2. Forage Yes
3. Grow your own herbs Yes
4. Grow your own veg. Yes
5. Grow your own fruit Yes
6. Have Chickens for eggs Yes, and meat
7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese No, but will do so when the youngest starts school and I have a little more time to spare
8. Have bees for honey Yes
9. Hunt or Fish Yes, and hope to get some tanning of rabbit skins in soon.
10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock Yes, and make sausages, render lard, etc. Again, tanning is the next step.

I'd also add:

11. Grow your own timber. Yes, we're establishing a coppice plus various belts as well. Osier for baskets, hazel for rods, stakes and hurdles, ash for handles and firewood, and then oak, rowan, whitebeam, wych elm, etc for the long-term.

12. Brew your own cordials, beers, ciders and wines. Yes

13. Make your own clothes from your own materials - wool, flax, nettles etc. No, we aren't up to this one yet!

14. Construct buildings, roads, paths, tracks, garden beds and other structures using your own or very local resources. Yes, timber, stone and sand in our case.

15. Generate your own electricity from renewable sources, reduce your energy use through solar hot water or go/stay completely off-grid with all renewable energy sources. We have solar hot water and are using vegetable oil to power a diesel water pump.

16. Use hand or horse-drawn tools in preference to power tools - scythes, hoes, horse or manual ploughs, axes, hand saws, adze, etc. Yes.

17. Walk, cycle or ride/drive a horse in preference to motorised transport. Yes, and increasing. Feeding and watering the pigs alone takes 6,500 paces (twice a day), while I cycle upwards of 10 miles a day.

18. Entertain your family and yourself instead of using the TV, computer, entertainment system, etc. Yes. Anyone else still do mimes?


Hmm, the more I think of, the more extreme I sound!!!
Last edited by Stonehead on Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post: # 64170Post rag_grrl_nz
Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:19 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle Yes, and we add refuse/reject to the list too.

2. Forage Yes, blackberries, mushrooms, I just got given a book about wild edible plants.

3. Grow your own herbs Yes.

4. Grow your own veg. Yes, not quite enough yet.

5. Grow your own fruit Yes, not quite enought yet.

6. Have Chickens for eggs Yes, in the past, we need to get some more.

7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese No, but thinking about a goat or shares in a cow with another family.

8. Have bees for honey No, thinking about it not sure where we'd put it.

9. Hunt or Fish Yes, fish and my brother hunts and shares - lucky for us.

10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock. We don't eat that much meat.

11. Grow your own timber - I'd love to but we don't have enough room, we do use deadwood for firewood tho'

12. Brew your own cordials, beers, ciders and wines. Not yet I'm planning ginger beer and mead, yum!

13. Make your own clothes from your own materials - My MIL spins/ weaves and I'd like to learn how. I do sew and knit.

14. Construct buildings, roads, paths, tracks, garden beds and other structures using your own or very local resources - We use local resources for landscaping.

15. Generate your own electricity from renewable sources, reduce your energy use through solar hot water or go/stay completely off-grid with all renewable energy sources. We have a wetback and are getting solar soon. DP is planning to build a wind turbine, I can't wait! I'd really like to go off grid.

16. Use hand or horse-drawn tools in preference to power tools - No room for a horse!

17. Walk, cycle or ride/drive a horse in preference to motorised transport.
Bike when we can, drive very little, use electric public transport.

18. Entertain your family and yourself instead of using the TV, computer, entertainment system, etc. We make music and do a lot of craft but I will not give up my 'puter!!! NEVER!! *she clutches her laptop to her heaving bossom*
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red
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Post: # 64191Post red
Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:06 pm

to mark my score for stonehead's extra numbers:

11 - do a bit as we own some Devon hedges, that need to be brought back to hedges.. have plans for copice planting..
12 yes
13 no but have saved the wool from our sheep and made a start on learning to process it etc
14 yes
15 - no - but one day....
16 yes (apart from mowing the lawn..)
17 we walk in the village but still drive a far bit (but will add caveat for disability in family)
18 - half- do use TV sterio and PCs alot.. but also do play board games and play music together as a family (using muscial instruments not the sterio!!),
Red

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Post: # 64205Post Wombat
Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:36 am

Millymollymandy wrote:Nev, I know you've fitted an awful lot in your urban/suburban back yard, but that might be pushing it a bit!

I'm at no. 6 and also have ducks for eggs too but have no desire to go any further! If I had land I'd have a horse, though not for milking! :lol:
I'd give anything a go! :mrgreen:

Nev
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Our website on living more sustainably in the suburbs! - http://www.underthechokotree.com/

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Post: # 64504Post yugogypsy
Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:01 pm

Well from the original list I've done all but #8, I'm just not a bee person.

I can slaughter and dress everything from a chicken to a veal calf and butcher it up just fine.

I've had ducks and geese-not worth the bother here, I'd like to have rabbits again, but not for food, just for the manure.

I've got to get my fishing rod fixed and get a licence before I can go fishing again, but I do enjoy that.

My big project at the moment is just getting all the buildings in place and more rain barrels for water conservation and then get my graywater recycling filter happening to water the flowers.

I've also had a gift of enough windows to make several cold frames so we have to get busy with that too.

And we're making some of our own hay! :cheers: By hand, cut with a scythe, flipped with forks and then bundled into a shed, loose, and it will last us about 2-3 months.

Take Care All
Lois

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Post: # 64509Post farmerdrea
Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:03 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle As much as we can - we only fill one rubbish bin a month!

2. Forage Yes, as much as we can (but sometimes everything else we're doing here gets in the way of the seasons for foraging - we pick heaps of wilding apples, and have our "secret" trees we go to each year; berries; elderflowers; mushrooms; and all the prunings we can find to feed our goats)

3. Grow your own herbs - All our own herbs. They don't die back in the winter like they did when we were living up upstate NY, so it's really nice to add fresh sage, etc to the homemade sausage we do during the winter!

4. Grow your own veg - Again, as much as we can, and the weather will allow. I'd say we grow about half our vege in a bad summer (like last one, which wasn't really a summer!) and about 75-80% in a good summer.

5. Grow your own fruit - Nice thing about vege is that it grows so fast, so compared to fruit, it's instant gratification. We have lots of berry fruit, and one old heirloom apple tree which produce really well, but the rest of the orchard is still in its infancy, only been in the ground a couple of years.

6. Have Chickens for eggs - Yep, been raising chooks for about 20 years now, for both eggs, meat and selling as point-of-lay pullets. CHooks pay for themselves except in winter.

7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese - Have 10 dairy goats and 2 house cows, and haven't purchased any dairy products in nearly 2 years now! Make all cheeses (about 8 kinds), sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter, etc). Also eat offspring of both, as well as selling live animals for dairying and pets. Goats pay for all their winter hay.

8. Have bees for honey - 20 years ago, long before we were able to have a place on which to do any of this, my husband dreamed of being a beekeeper. For the last 6 years, he's finally living that dream, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE honey, as well as the swarms that pass through here each year (we live near a town where beekeeping is a large "industry," so there are thousands of hives within a 10km radius of us, and every spring, for some reason the swarms settle in the orchard in front of our house before moving on).

9. Hunt or Fish - this is the only thing on this list we don't do, because there's simply no time to go out and do it. Before we had this farm, we did have the time for lazy days spent fishing, but it's been a good trade-off!

10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock - Raise all our own meat : rabbit, chevon, beef, pork, turkey, duck and chicken. Wouldn't have it any other way, and when our children watched a documentary earlier this week, on the McLibel trail in the UK, they gained a new appreciation for why we choose this lifestyle!

Stonehead's list is a little more challenging, and mostly for now remains part of the dream as yet unrealised. We do a lot of preserving , bottling and freezing things. We do homeschool our children (15 and 11), and have always done so. We harvest our own firewood, and have planted sustainably to provide firewood for our future. We have also planted hundreds of fodder trees for the goats, but it will be about 5 years before we can rely on them. We have also just begun planting a small (about half an acre) permaculture forest, in an area that was very old (85-100 years) pine trees which were dropping "widow-maker" branches every winter and we have finally had taken down. The soil is very depleted in that area, so have spent a lot of time and effort in improving it, mostly by moving pigs and chooks across it. Patient work. We also use recycled materials when and where we can, which is more than half the time. There's a really good recycled materials availability here, and we take advantage of it! Anyway, I'm babbling now, time to have some brekkie!

Andrea
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Kev
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Post: # 64576Post Kev
Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:43 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle: Yes, But still could improve on the reuse side of things.

2. Forage: Yes. Just in the main season at the moment.

3. Grow your own herbs: Yes, But only the one's I use most.

4. Grow your own veg: Yes. Just in the small space I have at the moment

5. Grow your own fruit: No

6. Have Chickens for eggs: No, I do have quails though and I use there eggs in the kitchen.

7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese: No

8. Have bees for honey: No

9. Hunt or Fish: Yes as often as I can.(which is most weekends :lol: )

10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock: No, But I still have my fingers crossed that I will have my own smallholding one day.

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Post: # 64652Post pskipper
Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:31 pm

Only up to 5 and then just in an ish fashion as I still have to got to the shops for fruit and veg. I think it will be a few years and lots of experience before I don't have to do that anymore.

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Post: # 64660Post Lord Azrael
Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:57 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle Yes

2. Forage Yes, blackberries, apples etc.

3. Grow your own herbs Yes.

4. Grow your own veg. Yes, still working on more

5. Grow your own fruit Yes, still working on more

6. Have Chickens for eggs Yes, 7 Black Rock's, but they're not old enough to lay just yet.

7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese No, but if I had the space...

8. Have bees for honey No, although I do like bees, not keen on honey though.

9. Hunt or Fish No- Veggie. Although I have been out sea fishing in the past and gave mine to the cats :cooldude:

10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock. No

11. Grow your own timber - No, but we have planted a few trees for the garden, and I've done quite a bit of tree planting in the past

12. Brew your own cordials, beers, ciders and wines. Yes, I've started on wines, but have only done elderberry for the last 2 years so far.

13. Make your own clothes from your own materials - Not tried that one yet

14. Construct buildings, roads, paths, tracks, garden beds and other structures using your own or very local resources - Yes, quite often.

15. Generate your own electricity from renewable sources, reduce your energy use through solar hot water or go/stay completely off-grid with all renewable energy sources. I would if the systems were affordable to mere mortals!!
16. Use hand or horse-drawn tools in preference to power tools - I've got a scythe I use occassionally, but I must admit I use power tools most of the time.
17. Walk, cycle or ride/drive a horse in preference to motorised transport.
Occassionally, although limited by distances here

18. Entertain your family and yourself instead of using the TV, computer, entertainment system, etc. I read a lot of books and do jigsaw's and woodworking, but I'm afraid I do watch quite a bit of tv/films and play on the computer

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Post: # 64705Post SueSteve
Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:12 pm

Well, we are up to 5, we are planning on getting some apples and pears to grow as cordons. I want chickens but dh says no, so I say no to his garden railway!!
Wont do the fish or meat thing as we are veggie.
We are in the process of starting to make beer/wine and mead. But all the spare time is spent down the lottie at the moment.
We rarely do TV, maybe once a week, but that was before the TourdeFrance came on Telly!!
If I can walk or cycle I do, usually within 3 miles of home!
One day we will build our own place!
Have knitted Jumpers in the past, but that was when the children were babies.

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theabsinthefairy
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Post: # 65035Post theabsinthefairy
Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:22 am

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Absolutely - everything that can be saved and used again is - including old nails drawn from the rotten floorboards.

2. Forage
Hedgerow fruit, and mushrooms, wild garlic and mint.

3. Grow your own herbs.
Yes including collecting seeds to start new beds.

4. Grow your own veg.
Yes - but this is our first year in France and so we have not planted as much as we could - next year this should include animal fodder crops too.

5. Grow your own fruit.
Yes, we have added to the existing fruit trees with strawberries and rhubarb and some raspberries.

6. Have Chickens for eggs.
Yes - and quail, ducks, and geese. Some table birds too, as well as guinea fowl.
7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese .
Goat is on the wish list for next year.

8. Have bees for honey.
No - unfortunately OH is extremely allergic to bee stings, but we do only eat local honey.

9. Hunt or Fish.
Not fished yet, but hoping to get involved with the local hunt here when the season starts. There are lots of local lakes for fishing, and again as we are new to France, this is something we are hoping to get involved with next year.

10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock.
Yes with our table birds already, and we have pigs and rabbits for this purpose also.

11. Grow your own timber.
No - unfortunately we do not have the space for that, but we are on a wood fired heating/hotwater/cooking Rayburn, and utilise local wood suppliers.

12. Brew your own cordials, beers, ciders and wines.
Yes - beer and wines from garden fruits are settling ready for winter celebrations.

13. Make your own clothes from your own materials .
Not from our own materials as yet - however, bunny slippers for Christmas, and plenty of sewing and knitting and crochet going on.

14. Construct buildings, roads, paths, tracks, garden beds and other structures using your own or very local resources.
Absolutely, we are currently using stones from an old manor house that is being renovated locally to us, to create beds and path markers. Where possible, gates and fencing has been created from old timber found in the barns or the old floorboards etc, that were too rotten for use in upstairs, but make excellent ramps for the chicken house, and shelters for the pigs.


15. Generate your own electricity from renewable sources, reduce your energy use through solar hot water or go/stay completely off-grid with all renewable energy sources.
We are on a max 3kw draw from the local grid in France, our heating and cooking is on wood fired Rayburn which also created our hot water, this is supplemented by solar energy. No gas, all bulbs energy savers, no high draw items such as kettles, toasters, electric heaters, hairdryers etc.

16. Use hand or horse-drawn tools in preference to power tools .
We have a large petrol driven brush cutter which has been essential this year to enable us to find the boundaries of our land, overgrown and neglected for 20 years, most brambles and hawthorns have been cut by hand though, and veggie and herb plot digging has mostly been done by hand, the original plough was down by our neighbour and his tractor. A horse is on the wish list , as is a goat, so that should provide a green alternative to keeping the fields and hedgrows in order.


17. Walk, cycle or ride/drive a horse in preference to motorised transport.
Again, this is a needs must issue, where we have over an hours drive to get to our nearest large town to purchase renovation materials for the house, but our daughter goes to school on the local school bus, and we walk or cycle to get bread - nearly 8km round trip - but the dog loves it and you never know what you might find in the hedgerows.

18. Entertain your family and yourself instead of using the TV, computer, entertainment system, etc.
Computer to keep in touch with friends and family and for info, but no TV, our daughters gaming time / or DVD watching time is earned by workingin the garden or helping around the house or with the animals. We read a lot, play lots of card and board games, socialise with people more, jigsaws, write letters and make cards, and sew.

All of this is a world away from what we did in the UK :cheers: [/b]

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theabsinthefairy
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Post: # 65038Post theabsinthefairy
Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:49 am

PS
Forgot to mention, with the well we have a source of water for the garden and the animals, as well as a greywater collection system for the flushing of the toilet.
We also collect rainwater in large water butts staged around the garden for watering veggies.


Monika

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maggie144
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hi there

Post: # 65106Post maggie144
Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:00 pm

hi there

we are up to no 7
we grow our own fruit , veg and herbs.
we recycle everything, we use freecycle for the unwanted items
we have chickens, goats, ducks
will be increasing livestock in 2008 with pigs and more hens
we make our own jams, chutneys, cordials, pickles, etc
i even make lavender pillows, as presents

can't think of anything else at the moment

regards

maggie
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you'll love it if you are into recycling, endangered animals, and all things eco freindly

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Thurston Garden
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Post: # 65271Post Thurston Garden
Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:41 pm

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle yes
2. Forage sometimes - but more at 'shroom time!
3. Grow your own herbs aye
4. Grow your own veg. loads!
5. Grow your own fruit rasps, and currants
6. Have Chickens for eggs when they lay....
7. Have Goat or Cow for milk and cheese no
8. Have bees for honey no - a neighbour has though
9. Hunt or Fish something I want to do more of. I think my cider press will be on hire in the autumn in return for some fishing tips!
10. Slaughter and dress your own livestock yea, but done by a schoolfriend butcher
11. Grow your own timber don't really have enough of our own land, but intend making fences out of split timber during the winter from our landlords woods
12. Brew your own cordials, beers, ciders and wines yes, just starting again, must do better!
13. Make your own clothes from your own materials no
14. Construct buildings, roads, paths, tracks, garden beds and other structures using your own or very local resources. yes, but on a very limited scale, and certainly not buildings
15. Generate your own electricity from renewable sources, reduce your energy use through solar hot water or go/stay completely off-grid with all renewable energy sources. sadly not. The house is listed, which limits what the planners would allow, but it's top if the list if we ever move
16. Use hand or horse-drawn tools in preference to power tools hand tools yes, landrover powered tools, yes!
17. Walk, cycle or ride/drive a horse in preference to motorised transport. walk lots, but must get my old velocipede back into action!
18. Entertain your family and yourself instead of using the TV, computer, entertainment system, etc. yes - the house has been a TV free zone for more than 2 years now
Thurston Garden.

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