Friday, 25 July 2014

The Start of Going Selfsufficient

I have always wanted to grow as much food as i can for my family and have always managed to be able to provide something for the table everyday through the summer months. 
Our recent addition to the garden is four re-homed chickens from an egg farm i have always wanted a few chicken but have never got round to getting any. Until i was driving down the road on day and spotted a sign on the side of the road offering chickens for sale i turned round the car went back to the farm and arranged to collect them the next day. They have settled in nicely now the girls love feeding them they even don't mind clearing up the poo we are getting between 3-4 eggs a day from them which is more than enough for our needs. Chickens are also one of the best animals for some one wanting to be self sufficient not just from the point of view of the eggs. They are great at eating insects and grubs from the soil which helps reduce pests in the garden they clear up any garden waste you have and it all comes out the other end in the form of poo which fertilizers the land. keep moving them around your garden and they will clean and fertilize the soil as they go what could be better and you get eggs too. When you clear out all the bedding out of the nesting boxes put it straight on to the compost heap which will add loads of nutients as it rots down to the compost. Which in turn we will dig back in to the garden to help improve the soil even more since getting the chickens it has got me thinking could i produce most of the produce that my family needs from my small plot all year round.
 We already produce enough Jam to last all year round and some to give away our potatoes usually last till March when we plant the new ones and all summer there is always something to eat. So that is my challenge for 2015 to be able to have at least one thing to eat every day of the year be it fresh from the garden out of the store foraged from the wild or simply bartered for. Now I'm not going to produce everything and suddenly abandon using shops i just have not got the space or time to do it but it should free up a bit of money to be able to shop more locally and try to abandon the big supermarkets.  
I'm also going to do this for as little money as possible and where able too use recycled materials to build anything we need. What space do we have available we currently have 182m2 vegetable plot and a further 356m2 of garden that we could grow stuff in. Although a large area of this is taken up with lawn for the children there is also a drive and garage taking up another lump of the garden. But there should be still more than enough space to grow everything we need whether it be Fruit, Vegetable, Herbs and Animal feed.
So the challenge has been set and work will begin this weekend with the construction of the first of three raised beds.
Dose anyone else try to be self-sufficient do comment and tell us how you get on. I am going to produce regular updates every week to keep you up to date with how we are getting on with the challenge so do pop back and have a read. 

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