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stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

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permaculture
Tue 5-Nov-13
10:37 am
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eileen54
Somerset

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Aly the books I had on permaculture in the 70's said permaculture is growing in a small space, example you have a top layer of trees with bushes under them , then smaller plants, and then smaller plants again, so you get a lot in a small space. It also used to be a no dig method, you put your chickens into the area you wanted cleared of weeds and let them clear it for you. You could also build a bed by placing newspaper , cardboard and things like old carpet over the area and leaving it to break down. i always had intention to do this but never got around to it.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Tue 5-Nov-13
10:54 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Thanks, as I only have one acre it will work for me. I think it has been extended now and involves cows, pigs and sheep, none of which I have room for. It is about using your land efficiently, with no chemical usage and providing as much as possible for your larder.

My chickens do a great job of clearing pests and one of the reasons I want ducks again is they eat all the slugs and snails. I will possibly add a pair of geese to help. I am working on getting someone to teach me how to humanely kill and dress the birds as this is an important part of self sufficiency. I have a close friend who does this and she is happy to help me once I have plucked up the courage. My main concern is causing suffering to the birds.

I still have a lot to do to get my land under control and fully fertile. My friend also has four horses so no problem sourcing good manure and it is free if I go and get it!

Over the next few weeks I am going to map out a plan of achievable goals.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Tue 5-Nov-13
2:56 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Just for interest, Fiona recommends:

Sepp Holzer Permaculture is excellent and all that one really needs

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 5-Nov-13
6:33 pm
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ep
Bulgaria

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Danny said
Just for interest, Fiona recommends:

Sepp Holzer Permaculture is excellent and all that one really needs

If he's all I really need...can you give him my address...and thanks Danny.....whistlewhistle

Who lives long sees much : The diary of my life in Bulgaria

Tue 5-Nov-13
9:46 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Thanks,

Be careful Elsa, you don't know where he's been big_laugh

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 6-Nov-13
9:32 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Thanks to Danuta for leading me to the site! I have signed up for the online magazine! Half price and environmentally friendly! Lots of good information!

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 6-Nov-13
10:25 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Next stage planned for becoming green

tumble dryer is going. I have not used it for most of this year and all washing will be dried on the line or in front of the Esse. I have a rack to fit that can be raised above the Esse, it is on the list of things to do. It will give me more storage space in the kitchen and I will make another blue gingham curtain to cover the hole!

The plastic containers of liquid soap will be bought no more once current stock is used. I will go back to bars of soap which one day I will make myself. The remains of the bars will go towards making my own laundry soap which will start once current stock used. This will save money and use far less packaging. I will also stop using fabric conditioner, another expense and not needed if you air dry the washing. Also another big plastic bottle not being disposed of.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 6-Nov-13
3:33 pm
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eileen54
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Aly I grate my ends of soap and mix them with boiling water and vinegar to make washing up liquid, I then have the water very hot and wear rubber gloves, the washing up water looks quite greasy but the dishes are squeaky clean. I have a question about your Esse , do you find it easy to manage? and does it stay on all night? I am looking into having a wood burning range but have been told it is hard to get the temperature right.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Wed 6-Nov-13
3:46 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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When it is very cold I put a big log on before going to bed and then just need to put a few small pieces in to restart in the morning. I can clamp it down for a slower burn rate. It took a while to get used to cooking with it but now have no problems. It is about where you place things that determines the temperature. It can be a pain bringing wood in but we have a good routine now. I am very comfortable using the Esse now and it cooks things beautifully, more moist.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 6-Nov-13
4:42 pm
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eileen54
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thanks for the info Aly, I have used and aga and a rayburn so I am used to putting the things in different positions, but these were gas and oil so I think were more controlable than the solid fuel ones

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Wed 6-Nov-13
8:34 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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It is easy to manage once you get used to it. If it is too hot I lift the lids or open the oven door until it cools enough. This rarely happens though. It does cook differently from gas or electric but now I would not want to cook any other way.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 13-Nov-13
6:45 pm
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cactus jack
Tortosa Catalunya

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Aly I cook with bottled gas as for 9 months of the year I really don't need any extra heat in the house and also I drink about 30 cups of tea a day (no electricity apart from solar) I do have a BBQ which I use most of the time, burning olive wood trimmings and dried rosemary, which grows like tree size weeds here. Smells lovely. I am going to construct a goat/bread oven this winter, although I don't eat bread? So I suppose it'll be a goat oven :) it will also double up as a smoker for my hams and bacon.

For the first time I despatched, plucked and gutted one of my ducks today all by myself. Usually one of my friends helps out, but I actually think I did it in a much nicer way than he does. I feel very proud and happy. I shall do another one tomorrow.

i saw on one of your posts about getting a wind turbine. In my opinion unless you are getting one on a 200 metre pole then they really don't work that well. I have had a 500 watt turbine for about 6 years and I don't think it's paid for itself yet. I would gladly swap it for a 200 watt solar panel.

it sounds like you are doing really well

If I agree with you, then we would both be wrong. 

my blog. http://www.stevel100.wordpress.com

Thu 14-Nov-13
6:11 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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One of these days I will manage to deal with one of my birds. I want to get into the routine of using the slightly older birds for food and keeping younger ones for eggs. It will have to wait until Spring when I can buy in new stock.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Fri 15-Nov-13
6:30 pm
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renee

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Cactus Jack is right, you are doing really well.

 I bought an incubator last year and had put Maran eggs in it. Ttis year I bought 3 crested leghorn hens to have blue eggs and have put both brown and blue eggs in the incubator. Those pullets are now at point of lay so I am excited to see the egg colours. Because I have  had chicks I also have cock birds in my freezer. I think the chore I hate most is plucking birds.

The temperature here will not go above freezing now until April. My neighbour has told me that I should hang the older birds until they are thoroughly frozen (after killing of courseconfused) and they will be easier to pluck when thawed. I will give it a try.

Fri 15-Nov-13
6:59 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Do let us know how you get on with that won't you?

I'll try that again!

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