Oh! look wildlife!

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Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : News | Posted on 21-10-2011

As you probably know we have moved out into the country. Our previous house was on the outskirts of Nottingham and it was a little devoid of critters and wildlife. That is very much not the case in the country. We have a bunch of chickens behind the house and a whole flock of them just across the road with geese and ponies to boot.
With that said I would like to introduce ‘Skinny Phoenix’ our garden pheasant, who seems to wonder across our garden in the morning and return in the afternoon.

Self Sufficient Livings Skinny Phoenix

Self Sufficient Livings Skinny Phoenix

One day I will follow him, and when I find out where he goes, I will let you know. I just know its a magic pheasant party!

Detective Jason signing out

Our new house!

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Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : News | Posted on 15-10-2011

Great news! we have the key to the new house ‘Bacchus’! So our little adventure in self sufficiency can soon begin.

After a few rough measurements and a little flexing of my artistic talent, I have made a little info graphic for you.

Self Sufficient living plan

The plan of our new home 'Bacchus'

The house is a bungalow built in the 70s, we suspect it has very good insulation as every time we have been there the house has been quite warm, even after standing with no heating on overnight. We will monitor how well it retains its heat over the winter and make any changes should we need to.

We are looking to install a PV system on the roof which has a large south facing pitch, hopefully shade and space willing it should be a 4 KW system. This will have to be a contractor installed system as any home built solar panels, especially mine, probably wouldn’t pass the tests required to qualify for the feed-in tariff.

The first job for us will be to remove the largest tree in the centre of the garden, which is taking up far too much room, and one tree on the far left of the trees lining the road. This is all depending on the council of course.

The patio will also be one of our first primary targets. It’s very large and for us it would function a lot better as a vegetable plot. In fact the whole side of this part of the land will be dedicated to growing food, With the rest being utilized for chickens, apple, plum and pear trees and various other projects.

We will also be giving the chickens upgrades. The coop that has served us so well will be replaced with a larger Omlet Cube and obviously we shall be adding new chickens. All a quick win as far as self sufficiency is concerned.
Note : We have always used Omlet Coops because of the fox proofing they offer, our girl’s safety is top of the list!

Our new chicken coop

Hopefully we will be able to get the land levelled, as it’s quite undulating, and the overgrown sections cleared before the weather turns too cold. Time to sharpen my tools!

Stay tuned to see how we get on.

Jason and Elly + Bump

How to store your root vegetables

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Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : Guide | Posted on 05-10-2011

If you are like us you may have a glut of root crops and tummy’s to small to eat all of it before it rots.  So what do you do with them before they all go off?  Well you don’t have to use them all, you just need to store them.

The answer is build a min root cellar using a wooden barrel.

Mini Root Cellar

First dig a dip in the ground next to a wall and build up rocks so that the barrel can rest at a 45 degree angle with the lid facing outwards. Fill the space behind the barrel with earth, and cover with straw. Cover with a further layer of earth being careful not to cover the opening or get dirt in the barrel. Once covered fill with your various root crops, pack out with straw and secure a wooden board over the covered opening.

Using this mini cellar you should be able to keep your harvest a lot longer.