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.