Friday 1 April 2016
Summing It Up
Jackie was asking how self sufficient we are, great question
We have come a long way in 20 months,
there has been a lot to learn along the way
Our main aim firstly has been to provide as much food as we can.
This is what we have managed
Eggs from Hens and Ducks,
Raised Ducks for the table
Raised Cockerels for the table
Raised Turkeys for the table
Raised lamb for the table
Raised two pigs for the table
From the pigs we did
Bacon, Sausages, Hams, Chops, Pate as well as the usual joints.
We also got a deer that has provided us with venison
We forage for cockles, mussels and winkles on the sea shore
We have also had a couple of pheasants.
We haven't bought in any meat since January 2014
I have bought in Salmon that I smoked, along with some of our meat.
We haven't bought in vegetables since July 2015 apart from mushrooms and some sweet potatoes
Last years harvests of vegetables were frozen, dehydrated, canned and in cold store
We have managed to keep harvesting vegetables through the winter with the poly tunnel
Trying to balance out the vegetables is a challenge,
We grew to much last year, we were over run with, potatoes, courgettes, garlic, onions, squash, cucumbers.
This year I am cutting down on quantities
Although having too much did mean we had some to barter with.
I also used some of our own garlic, shallots potatoes and ocas for growing on again this year.
We have our own honey from the bees and the by product wax.
Things like flour, tea, sugar, butter all the basics we buy in and if possible buy in bulk,
Dairy products is still something we are working on.
Fruit we are still establishing, we did get a good harvest of Strawberries and blueberries last year.
Animal feed is our biggest expense, with the addition of extra land we hope to grow hay and some addition crops for animal feed. We did manage to barter some Turkey for straw and hay that has done us through winter.
Heating, Hot water and cooking are done with the Rayburn and log burner, we don't have gas or oil so use logs for fuel something we have plenty of.
I have done away with most kitchen appliances, just keeping mixer and food processor.
We are on mains water, but have a septic tank, we harvest rainwater into IBC tanks for the livestock and watering plants.
We have Alpacas for shearing, there fleece I can spin up and use for garments. I also have plans to use some fleece to make into quilts.
We garden organically and don't buy in fertilisers,
we use manure from the livestock and compost everything.
Household bills have reduced a lot, shopping is approx £20 a month or less
When we can we barter, if we can make it we will, days out are mostly free at the beach.
I don't buy cosmetics, fancy shampoos, body lotions or creams,
I make a little money from making craft items and selling them.
The sale of eggs covers the cost of most of our animal feed
We were able to sell off our honey harvest
The turkeys we raised last year were all sold
This is not to say we go without, we switched to free sat TV, no fees plenty of choice,
We have occasional take aways, will
we pop to the village pub on occasion,
I do buy books as well as getting them for free
We are not running around in sackcloth's and ashes,
We just prioritise differently .
We have family and friends.
Our Health and
We have each other
There is still lots we can do and it will be fun trying.
I think that just about sums it up.