Growing in Small Spaces part 1

Growing in a small space tests even the greenest of fingers. Part of the problem could be the light or lack of it. Another problem with growing in a small space could be the lack of any available soil! I had this problem in a maisonette I once lived in and found the easiest way to cram a lot of plants into a small space is to grow them in pots on weather-proof garden shelves. False Economy [...]

March 11, 2014 // 10 Comments

Winter foraging – Dave Hamilton

Winter foraging may seem a bit of a waste of time, surely nothing grows during the dark, wet days of winter.  It’s true that there is a lot less than at other times of the year but even on the coldest days something can be found, you just might have to look that little bit harder. Unlike other times of year I’ve found it best to keep an open mind about what I might want to pick that day. So, [...]

February 17, 2014 // 6 Comments

Growing in Small Spaces 1 – Garden Shelves

The easiest way to cram a lot of plants into a small space is to grow them in pots on weather-proof shelves.  Cheap(ish) plastic garden shelving can now be bought from major retailers. However, in my experience these are a false economy as they only have a limited life span – the plastic doesn’t seem to hold up to extremes in temperature and in time they become brittle and start to [...]

October 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

Vegetarian Paella – Dave Hamilton

I first came across a version of this recipe not far from the Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. After a number of visits to Spain I think it is safe to say the Spanish are not really known for their vegetarian food. However, many bars and resturants will serve a vegetarian Paella and it is well worth a try. I’ve tried to recreate this traditional recipe with allotment [...]

September 29, 2013 // 0 Comments

Elderflower fritters

Elderflower as a food should never be eaten raw as the flowers, like the berries, contain a mildly poisonous alkaloid which is destroyed by cooking. It has widely been used as a food and native Americans would cook them as elderflower fritters. I have cooked cakes using a sponge cake recipe and adding a couple of handfuls of elderflower. The result is very light and very tasty. It has been [...]

September 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

Self-sufficiency as a retirement strategy part 4 Energy and Water

In this forth part of the series on Self-sufficiency as a retirement strategy by Nev Sweeney we look at Energy and water. Energy We all use energy in out lives, to cook our food, power our car and TV, even to purify our water so it is important to have some way of harvest our own energy without relying on the national grid or the oil companies (well, reducing our reliance on them anyway!) In a [...]

September 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

Selfsufficiency as a retirement strategy part 3 Livestock

Most retirement strategies focus on “wealth creation”. The aim is to provide you with enough cash to maintain your extravagant pre-retirement lifestyle. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but there is a better way – using self sufficiency as a retirement strategy! In this third part of this series we look at keeping livestock as part of self-sufficiency in retirement. Animals Animals [...]

September 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

Self-sufficiency as a retirement strategy part 2 Food-Veggies

Self-sufficiency as a retirement strategy is a series of articles by Self-sufficiency guru Nev Sweeney Most retirement strategies focus on “wealth creation”. The aim is to provide you with enough cash to maintain your extravagant pre-retirement lifestyle. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but there is a better way – using self sufficiency as a retirement strategy! In this second part [...]

September 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

What did I do wrong in the vegetable garden!? Part 2

Part 2 Following on from part 1,What did I do wrong in the vegetable garden? Half the battle is finding out what we did wrong! This article should help all the problems you had with your vegetable seedling and hopefully you’ll get it right next time!! Potting on The next stage things can go wrong is when transferring seedlings to a larger pot. The first reason plant may struggle is by [...]

August 14, 2013 // 0 Comments

What did I do wrong in the vegetable garden!? Part 1

So just what did I do wrong in the vegetable garden!? Some years, try as we might, doing everything by the book, things seem to conspire against us. At other times our plants either fail to germinate at all or have got off to a good start then all of a sudden they just wither and die without warning. Of course pests and diseases can be an issue but these are covered elsewhere on the web. Instead [...]

August 8, 2013 // 0 Comments

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