survive?!?!?!

The whole reason for the selfsufficientish website was to offer a place where anyone can ask, HOW DO I...? So who knows why it has taken us so long to have a HOW DO I? section, but here it is. So if you want to know how to do anything selfsufficientish then here is the place to ask.
Mrs H
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survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209388Post Mrs H
Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:30 pm

Right guys im just throwing this one open. Any suggestions gratefully recieved. Im on a mission to prove redundancy can work and you can enjoy family life and survive!!! Were do i start? :dontknow:
We have some chickens now whats next? Remembering of course that we live in Northern Ireland were the weather is less than kind at this time of year!!!! :flower:

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209390Post oldjerry
Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:50 pm

How much space have you got?

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209394Post Green Aura
Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:55 pm

Just have a good look round on here Mrs H. It's a topic we've discussed a few times and the consensus seems to be that it's the best thing that's ever happened to them.

So take heart, it won't all be plain sailing but it could be the start of something really good. :hugish:
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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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209397Post Mrs H
Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:21 pm

oldjerry wrote:How much space have you got?


We have a large garden and about a half acre paddock. X

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209411Post oldjerry
Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:54 am

OK , game on, you're really fortunate(in space terms), you can potentially provide 50-75% of your family's food requirements,it depends upon how much you want to commit to this,and for goodness sake don't try to do everything at once.Others who've 'made the change 'will advise you better,I was born living like this,but heres a few suggestions food wise (there's a whole other world of Home making, brewing,preserving etc. of which some people here have forgotten more than I'll ever know about)
Beg borrow or steal,or buy second hand,the RHS guide to veg growing,or Guide to fruit and veg growing, Lawrence D. Hills or anything by Geof Hamilton.
I'd look to grow your veg on 3 or 4 raised beds,dont make them too big to start with,but equal size as your going to use them to rotate your crops on a yearly basis.
Decide what your family like to eat,then make a cropping plan,you can give yourself weekly tasks for the whole year.
Plant fruit ,think carefully about where you put it,it's there for a long time.Raspberries,gooseberries,blackcurrants,are all good.Top fruit,apples pears etc,plant in winter\springon bare roots,go for trees on dwarfing stock .

Don't get loads of livestock all at once,you could easily have a couple of goats, pigs,etc.but remember they are a huge tie,...slowly,slowly.

Loads of people live a self -reliant life on a really low income,foraging,scavenging,bartering,recycling, i.e.really living! The people here will all help ,encourage,sympathise when things go pear shaped, ........ ENJOY!.......

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Milims
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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209433Post Milims
Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:12 am

Buy the very best food you can afford and cook from scratch. I have our food delivered from a company that specialises in locally produced food. Now most people think that this is going to be hugely expensive, but infact it works out loads cheaper. For a start the delivery cost is less than it would take me to travel to the nearest supermarket. Also because I don't go to the supermarket I'm not tempted by any "special offers" or unnecessary purchases, and the quality of the food is far superior. I usually buy the two person meat and veg pack for £27 and that feeds us our main meals for over a week, and that's for 4 of us plus one additional portion 2x a week.
The other good thing to do is buy in bulk. That way you can take avantage of the bulk discounts and you rarely run out of the basics. It may seem like a big outlay all at once but it means that you aren't adding the cost of numerous shopping trips to the cost of your purchase and you don't panic about running out of the necessaries.
Plan your menus so that there are no leftovers and make the most out of what you have - for example one ham hock a really cheap cut of meat can be used to make lentil soup, pease pudding and ham sandwiches and the only waste will be the bone and the fat.
Use a slow cooker - a wonderful kitchen gadget - so wonderful I have 2!! :mrgreen: They cost very little to run and are fantastc for making stews, soups and stock.
As has already been said - make the best of your garden, foraging and barter.
It honestly is a really wonderful lifestyle and I wouldn't change it for the world - even if I did win the lottery! :lol: Since beginning this journey I have developed an entire new outlook on life. I appreciate what I have so much more -no mater how small (our latest entertanment has been to discover 2 hawk moth catterpillars on the willow tree!) Despite having a very low income we live like kings! :king:
There is much more info on living on next to nowt thoghout the site - we're all at it! :wink: And don't be afraid to ask - the only daft question is the one you should have asked! :flower:
Let us be lovely
And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
Edward Monkton


Member of the Ish Weight Loss Club since 10/1/11 Started at 12st 8 and have lost 8lb so far!

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209436Post grahamhobbs
Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:19 am

Good advice so far, although I would think in terms of 1/4acre for growing vegetables and soft fruit. But you can start with clearing some land and getting broad beans, peas, garlic, shallots, onions (all winter varieties) very soon. They are all fairly easy and will get you going.

Perhaps you are not far from the coast - I think you have some great waters around the North of Ireland for seafood and fish. My friend who lives by the coast catches an amazing amount of food with a simple fishing line (for mackrel), a snorkel (for crabs) and a 'net on a stick' for trawling for shrimps.

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209438Post Millymollymandy
Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:27 am

Ok maybe a silly question but all this growing veg advice is fine, but how are you going to pay the bills with no income? :dontknow: :dontknow: :dontknow: Surely looking for a new or at least part time job is more important? We've done the getting fired, moving house, growing veg stuff but still needed a load of money to pay all the bills and insurances etc even chicken feed. Not to mention all the food we can't grow! :mrgreen:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)


http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209441Post Green Aura
Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:40 am

Valid point, MMM and I'm guessing that's going on in the meantime. I don't know how much benefits etc amount to.

The main point is that it doesn't have to be as desperate, or depressing a situation as many find it. Mrs H has absolutely the right attitude in coming somewhere like Ish to find out what else can be done rather than sitting with her head in her hands.

If you're using most of your income to cover all the items MMM notes, you can still live relatively well by growing/making your own, foraging etc. And the time before you get employment you can spend finding what skills you have, maybe start a small business of some sort to at least supplement income.
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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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209458Post Mrs H
Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:33 pm

Hi Guys, thanku so much for all your advice so far it is so appreciated.
You are right about the income status, we are currently claiming benefits and it is covering all the bills eg rent etc The job market over here is in a dire position and jobs are few and far between. I managed to get some relief milking during August and am hoping for a bit more soon.
I am also a manic knitter so am making things to sell and we also made some of our own sweets and sold them recently.
After the initial panic of no job its actually turning into something truely life changing. We are determined our kids won't suffer for it. Supermarkets are so expensive, I'm fed up buying value veg that don't taste of anything.
I'm heading out with the kids this afternoon to try and pick any remaining blackberries. Ill let u all know how it goes. Xx

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209462Post Millymollymandy
Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:00 pm

Ah I hadn't realised you were getting benefits to cover all that. I wouldn't bother looking for a job again then if I was you! Enjoy the good life and all the free time - though of course once you start on the growing and foraging things and preserving and knitting and whatnot you won't have any free time and you'll wonder how you ever found the time to work. And you'll have a grubby house like the rest of us Ishers and you won't care any more. :lol: :flower: :cheers:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)


http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209463Post Green Aura
Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:02 pm

Don't know if you've thought of it Mrs H but Get British Businesses Online do free websites - you'd have a much bigger market for your knitwear - possibly the start of an empire :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

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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209530Post MuddyWitch
Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:48 pm

I agree with OJ about the Geoff Hamilton books. You could also treat yourself to 'Compleat Self-sufficiency' by John Seymour, (try fleybay or charity shops) or ofcourse 'Self-sufficientish Bible' by Andy & Dave Hamilton (no relation to Geoff as far as I know).

Re raised beds: ours are 12' by 4', any wider & you have to tread on the soil to reach the middle, any longer and I'd be tempted to 'nip across' rather than walk around!

Good Luck and remember you have the whole world of ISHers on your side. :grouphug:

MW
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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209566Post Milims
Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:20 am

Make sure that you have the very best deals for all your utiities. It may sound obvious but I know myself that once I get stuck into paying a bill I don't bother looking around for a better deal. If you pay your electric on line you can save a fortune in comparison to paper billing etc.
Let us be lovely
And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
Edward Monkton


Member of the Ish Weight Loss Club since 10/1/11 Started at 12st 8 and have lost 8lb so far!

Mrs H
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Re: survive?!?!?!

Post: # 209583Post Mrs H
Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:05 am

Guys, thanku so very much for all your help and advice, I really can't tell you how much it is appreciated. We are going to get started on the raised beds outside and I am going to start inside and look at things like our utilities etc and see were savings can be made.
I managed to sell our chickens eggs today so that will pay for their next bag of layers.
Thanku so much again, the support is amazing. Ill keep u all updated and anymore advice as always is gratefully received. Xxx

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