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One acre and a dream

I am following Leigh Tate’ s great blog and just purchased her self published book “5 Acres and a dream- The book” as I am starting a new journey in France when I return.

Homestead has a wide conitation of ideals and already we have our list that is priority to us:

  • Simplification of life meaning using our land for food and a place to run a business from. Less runs to the supermarket and no commuting.
  • Less waste. I have always recycled. I worked for three recycle plants in UK during my cost accounting career. Recycling has a double-edged problem. To recycle takes resources, costs and has often a finite limit. For example to manufacture recycled paper you need new paper to keep the strands in the paper to bond it enough to not fall apart. Recycling magazines means de-inking and that’s added chemicals. Therefore for us, recycling is keeping. We save seeds, we bulk buy and re-pour what we need in jars for the pantry. Cereal bags keep rice and grains dry. Plastic bottles will be used in the garden and greenhouse to hold water, create mini seed environments on seed trays and tins find their way into workshop to hold nails, paintbrushes and in my office for stationery and sewing and artist materials.
  • Solar and water sustainability very important to us. We save gallons of rainwater to water the garden, the animals we now have and for hand washing and eventually, toilet flushing. Chlorine is a horrible chemical. Rainwater is better for the garden and animals in that respect. I clean the car and the house windows and outside pathways with water collected from various rooves we have near those areas. Our goose pond will fill from the goose house and workshop roof.
  • I want to grow my own food or buy from local suppliers. I don’t trust the big boy supermarkets anymore. I don’t trust the banks or the insurance market. I was am 80’s banker and my father a director of an insurance brokers in The City. It’s all changed and the last few years of my life have been dominated by credit checks and incompetent errors, both human and computer, causing me levels of stress I never had running my own accountancy practice. So lower stress, control of where products come from and control of what I am buying is my goal. I am also paying these hard working local farmers the profit margins that the Inbetweeners take..the shops..for giving in reality nothing but a big packaging headache and a waste mountain.
  • Grow my garden to sustain wildlife and create knowledge of plant life and husbandry that I can share. Learn and research more and contribute via blogs to pass on helpful guidence and humorous moments too. Life should be fun!
  • Eat less meat and rely more on seasonal food. Reduce carbon and reduce farming on waste scale. Almond milk is not good. Bees suffer. Being Vegan is not a solution. It has some beneficial ideals but I prefer animal welfare than Vegan. We recently found a pork farm and a goat milking parlour. Ten minutes from me. Short journey, money to my neighbours and free-ranged farming. Big tick. And good flavour too.
  • I can’t make everything. I can’t create electricity, but I can be smart with the power I use. I handwash a lot. We want to buy land to grow timber for fire wood if this is a plausible plan. We will use solar for lighting and we design our home to minimise closed spaces that need extra lighting. Appliances are kept to a minimum and we use the wood burner residual heat to warm water for washing dishes in winter, to cook stews over an hour or two..slow to tender the meat. It also dries washing in winter. I do not enjoy burning wood but at least I can limit my use or replant. I can’t control the electric or gas companies and I can’t afford the rising cost either.
  • I fear debt now. I lost a house and became homeless very quickly without proper cashflow. It broke our family up and I lost two businesses in the process. So cost control will mean budgets and not loosing wealth in the sands of capitalism.

I will be exploring Homesteading more over this year. I am not a hobby farmer as I don’t have another financially cushioning job now. I am not yet ready to be a career farmer like Christian with his beef herd. I don’t have the capital or land as yet. But that is hard work and total commitment to one group of crops or animals. I am also a creative and I want to paint and write in tandem to my Homesteading. Balance.

To finalize for now, I like Leighs hopes…be kind, be polite, have choices that are harmless to others, be responsible, participate in environmental issues even if just on your home patch for a start. We ought not to expect others to do for us what we can do ourselves. Try and be independent. Permission to learn and fail. Be positive and forgiving..most times…I am not always able, but I try. Be moderate in consumption.

I am enjoying reading about the dreams people have to change their lives. Blogging is part of that and has really made me rethink my life. It is a window to information and support. I love your feedback. And if it wasn’t for two bloggers who follow me (honourable mentions soon), I wouldn’t be writing this post at all. Thank you.

17 thoughts on “One acre and a dream

  1. This is such an inspiring post, one which I will keep thinking about. You have taken so many steps further along this path than us, so are showing us the way to go. Thank you.
    I am sorry for your losses, and for your being let down by outside agencies. It is incredibly sad. You show in this post that you are resourceful and resilient, but it hurts.
    Posts like this do stay with readers; I hope you don’t feel alone.

    1. Thank you. Writing sure helps and I a bit of a plan and saying “times up” on some things in life that just bring no happiness. Reading more has brought some revelations and I need to commit some time to looking at other blogs as in those posts there is often a tonne of inspiration and food for thought to chew over.

  2. Thank you for this post Judi! Very inspiring… me and my husband are thinking to abandon the city life for a more self sufficient and authentic life in the country… hopefully soon… Meanwhile I will definitely buy the book ‘5 acres and a dream’. It is always good and encouraging to read about other people adventures! Xx

    1. I am seeking out other books on this topic. We are doing a little month by month and without a lot of land some of the ideas cannot be implemented.
      Where are you dreaming of going?

      1. Hi Judi, as we are both from Italy, we are planning to go back in Italian land… properties there are much cheaper compared to England, plus all our family and friends are there. 🙂
        I’ve just made a new blog to talk about this journey… if you are interested this is the link https://woodlandsoul.blog

      2. Will go look. Tried yesterday but on train and wouldn’t connect. Italy is lovely. I want to take my husband over there next year..search for good olive oil.

    1. Glad you liked it. I think middle age has hit home and I want to be more in control of my destiny. Life has been a bit too stressed out and I want fun times too. Now on UK I won’t get my chicken swings done. Your ahead of me now. Any takers? Should we paint them yellow ?

      1. I know , life gets a bit raw at this age. We have to look for some fun even if its only in the hope of waking up and seeing a chicken in full swing!! Hasnt happened yet, tried a little encouragement today but they werent having it. Yellow sounds good!

  3. Good post. I don’t know if you can find them anywhere in Europe, or even in the US since they are old, written in the 1960s and 70s, but look at “The Whole Earth Catalog.” It was produced by Stewart Brand who was into holistic living (that’s what they call what you are trying to do) long before it became a thing. He built little communities all across the country. The one in New Mexico is called the “Spaceship Colony,” since all the homes are dug into the ground and are shaped like domes.

    We live in the city, but as my old Creole neighbor once said, “Toss some seeds on the ground. Everything grows here.” He is right. We have a fairly large garden. We grow fruits and veggies. Tomatoes and hot peppers grow without help. We’d eat our strawberries, but the minute they start to ripen, the dogs smell them and eat them right from the bush. Little jerks. 🙂

    1. Thanks will have a look. I am looking at this as a journey.. no great quests to change the planet or be a missionary with a voice..just like you say..seed it and watch it grow. The dogs aren’t daft!

      1. Like Stewart Brand, I think you change the world by the little things you do. Even though you are working on your world — your farm — you make the village a better place. And, so on. The dogs usually know more than we know. You just have to listen and watch.

      2. We sort of front the whole hamlet street. Our properties are strung, three of them, from the start to the end of the road. People drive slowly past our home as every new patch gets renovated. I should set up a toll road! When finished you could say we will have very much made this a better place and through gentle and unobtrusive restoration rather than monetary building. I
        also feel responsible to the history of the place as we are renovating our neighbours’ grandmother’s home. She is 86 and has found it all quite emotional. I would I hope have left a positive mark on the land where I live and I am happy for that. Dogs….on the cards. But later. I need time to deal with the scouldings I will get when hound dog has issues. Dog will be right of course ! Animals always are.

      3. Ordered a book all about Stewart. About the changes from his Earth book through to modern cyber and his influence on change. It will be a new topic for me. Thanks for lead.

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