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Tips and Tricks - general useful hints
Mon 3-Oct-11
8:37 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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You can find borax by going on line to companies who sell to people who make homemade soaps & bath products. I bought some last year but somehow I have mislaid the name¦..I will keep searching for it. I got other products like citric acid at the same time. The delivery was very fast I remember & definitely cheaper than buying it elsewhere.  Wilkinsons used to sell borax but they have discontinued it now.

 

*** Ah, I just found one of the companies I have bought from in the past.

 

http://mistralie.co.uk/catalogue/product/313/Boric.....d-Granules

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 4-Oct-11
1:47 pm
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Oulton Broad
Suffolk

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Mon 5-Sep-11
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Brightspark. Hi.  Sugar and salt with a little oil and a few drops of essence makes a brilliant hand scrub.  I gave pots for presents last December and everyone was thrilled at how good it is.rose

Wed 5-Oct-11
6:16 am
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kayerunrig
lincolnshire

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lol...the one ive seen is a bit more industrial it involves crushed pumice stones 

Mon 20-Feb-12
5:12 am
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Lillia
Hertfordshire

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SOL said:

 

Instead of using cling film, ask people to take the shower caps when in hotels.  these can be used for anything from a bowl to a plate cover, mini proporgater.  Then turn inside out wash it and dry on  mug tree or rack.

 

I love this idea. I think I will look for some cheap shower caps at the pound shop. I feel these may work better on lunch wraps than containers or bags; the wraps fall open if not in something tight~ It's worth a try.

Mon 20-Feb-12
8:03 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Welcome to the forum Lillia, good to have you with us. smile

Not sure I agree with your proposed use of the shower caps, unless i was assured of the plastic being food grade. Pound shops don't take that much care over where their products come from, just buying the cheapest. When staying in hotels etc I have come across shower caps with very strong chemical smells, which I would not even put on my head.  

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Mon 20-Feb-12
8:06 am
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Lillia
Hertfordshire

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Hattie said:

wave Welcome to the forum Lillia, good to have you with us. smile

Not sure I agree with your proposed use of the shower caps, unless i was assured of the plastic being food grade. Pound shops don't take that much care over where their products come from, just buying the cheapest. When staying in hotels etc I have come across shower caps with very strong chemical smells, which I would not even put on my head.  

You have a very good point; something I'll check out~ Thanks, Hattie smile

Wed 25-Jul-12
5:14 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Fill a small clear plactic bag ( ouch plastic horrible thing lol) filled with water and hang over out side doors its keeps mossies ect away some thing to do with light refaction i think.

 

ever use hot water to soke burnted pans it just cooks it more use cold only

 

when making a sufflay omlet wisk with a metal spoon first then fold the yoke in with a wooden spoon not metal.

 

Tooth paste the cheap stuff from tescos 17p it,s is as good as autosolve from the motorist centre that cost £6 + for polishing metals.

 

cheers

Sun 3-Nov-13
4:19 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Sun 2-Oct-11
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Thought I would ressurect this

one of my concerns with life at the moment is that I moved here wanting to become self sufficient. I am very keen to get started on permaculture. There is a lot of work for the set up stage and we have become distracted by the need to build the Gites. That need is still there but it is important to me to progress with the permaculture side of things. It will be an enormous change for me as I am still fairly attached to my supermarket shop. I am gradually reducing what I buy and make as much as I currently can. During this next year I want to put more in place which is why I have restarted this thread. All ideas of how to achieve this will be gratefully received as I am almost a complete novice.

I have been reading lots on the internet which helps.

There are some names on this thread that are missing now I notice. Hopefully they will return soon.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Mon 4-Nov-13
11:01 am
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Terrier
York

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Good idea from motley about the toothpaste, going to give that a try..

Mon 4-Nov-13
5:35 pm
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renee

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To Ally (it seems to mess up when I quote)

I too am interested in other peoples tips about selfsufficiency.  Not sure what permoculture is, and when I have asked I have got very different answers.

For myself, I have been living here for 4 years and am starting up slowly.Remembering John Seymour I have made a 4 year plan. My year is of course very different to yours. I have always been into animal husbandry, not horticulture but am doing my best. We have a 7 month winter with temperatures down to -40C. But the summers are reasonable and with 2-3 months where the sun doesn't set the plants catch up. The only snag is unexpected frosts. THere was a tough one on the 15th of August which took my squash and beans. cryIf I had been here I could have covered them .

I bought a farm that has been used as a summer house for nearly 50 years so there was no garden. Ideally I should ask the neighbours what grows well but no-one grows anything!

Being lazy and having plenty of time, I chose where to place my beds , Small beds. and covered them with two feet of fresh sheep manure the first year. Next spring I planted squash. They came up fine and I manured new (small) beds. The first beds were dug over as well as I could. Next crop potatoes and more manure beds

Now this time the earth was soft enough to be well dug so I sowed salad, radishes carrots, beets and  beans. I have carrots for the winter in my earth cellar (if you haven't owned an earth cellar you haven't lived ) I sold radishes at the local market and lost all the beans. This plot has now been covered with ashes from my stove and next year I will try different cabbage plants before repeating the cycle and putting on thick manure.

One thing that is surviving and growing big and fat are the earth worms. I showed them to my neighbour who was completely amazed that the soil structure could change so radically in 4 years

Mon 4-Nov-13
5:45 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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You have the very best of help with those worms.  Are you doing crop rotation?

I'll try that again!

Mon 4-Nov-13
5:49 pm
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renee

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big_laughNorfolk four course- of course - with a lot of adaption

Mon 4-Nov-13
5:51 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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It would have to be, wouldn't it? wave

I'll try that again!

Mon 4-Nov-13
6:57 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Permaculture is really the fashionable name for John Seymour and self sufficiency. I have his book and need to read it again. I only have one acre so everything has to be on a small scale.

So far I have solar tubes that work with a big heat exchanger tank that supplies my hot water. The house is an old granite farmhouse with thick walls. We heat the house with a wood burner in the lounge and electric heater in the bathroom. The kitchen has a wood burning Esse that I cook on, it also heats the room. The heat from oven and fire also heat upstairs sufficiently.

my veggie patch was sadly neglected this year for various reasons but work is now in progress to get it up and running again.

I make my own bread and cakes and cook mostly from scratch. The chickens mostly keep us in eggs but I have yet to get my head around eating the chickens. I am slowly getting there.

I would like a wind turbine to help with electricity. Since having the solar tubes our electricity costs are less than half what they were.

We try to upcycle where ever possible.

I just about have all I need now to make my own cleaning products.

Not a bad start but I want to do much more. I know of people who live off grid which I would love to do. It probably will not be possible though because of the Gites.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Tue 5-Nov-13
7:41 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Wow - you are quite a ways along the path, Aly. I had not realised how much you already do.

Not sure I agree with your assessment of permaculture = self sufficiency a la Seymour. IMO permaculture relates only to the growing of vegetables and herbs although there is much overlap anyway. Fiona had at least one very good book on the topic. I will ask her for the title.

Renee / Aly - as this thread is really only for brief tips and tricks, let's start a new one for Permaculture and related activities please.

Never knowingly underfed

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