Who’s your Self-Sufficiency Inspiration?

AbeLincoln“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land” – Abraham Lincoln

If Abe, the dollar bill guy was right, then we ought to be celebrating our heroes of self-sufficiency.

But who are your own personal heroes?

Take our poll and let us know! Continue reading

Bring out the Fizz

Elderflower 3 - June 16Our first ever step on the road to greater self-sufficiency, even before discovering wild garlic, was making Elderflower Champagne.

Once someone has shown you what Elderflower looks like, you can’t help but see and smell it everywhere you go in early June.

And what’s not to like about an alcoholic fizzy drink that is as simple as sticking it in a bucket for 6 days, bottling and drinking! Continue reading

We’ve got a plan Stan

Veg Beds 2016So that’s decide then, we’ll make a start on this Good Life thing by getting going on the veg growing this year, and worry about getting animals next year.

Time is pressing…

“Delve in! The year’s before us. Spring’s promise fills the air” – Frederick Frye Rockwell, “Invitation” Around the Year in the Garden, 1913. Continue reading

Thinking of the Future

Marmalade - Feb 2016I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade” – D.H. Lawrence.

This year we really need to make a start on the whole becoming more self-sufficient thing, now the house is fairly finished. Our store room is imposing an air of expectation upon us. Continue reading

New Year, New Start?

Mistletoe from TSA orchard - Dec 2015It’s February already, but seems like only yesterday it was Christmas Eve and we were fifteen foot up one of the cider apple trees precariously harvesting our very own mistletoe.

But with the New Year has come the challenge of making a new start at The Secret Acre, or at least making a proper start on the plans to be more self-sufficient. Continue reading

The Story of Stuff

Moving BoxesThe day of our big move into the smallholding is nigh. Just over a year since we bought The Secret Acre, and after six months of eco-makeover.

So this week we sit among ever increasing piles of packed moving boxes. An alarming reminder of just how much unnecessary stuff you accumulate. The uncomfortable feeling is particularly acute for Emma who moved into the house in Bristol with just a rucksack and no furniture. Now 15 years later we are going to need two large removal vans to shift it all! Continue reading

This year we will mostly be growing – silage bags!

Veg Bed 1 Silage BagsOf course the whole reason for moving to The Secret Acre is to grow our own and be more self-sufficient(ish). So it is frustrating this year, while the house is getting its eco-makeover and we are not yet living on site to properly tend a veg patch, that our planting plans have had to be made for 2016, which still seems a lifetime off. Continue reading

Upstairs, Downstairs

The Secret Acre - a bungalow no more!

The Secret Acre – a bungalow no more!

When we found The Secret Acre the original 1930s bungalow on site was in need of modernisation.

Our plans for an eco-makeover included creating upstairs space for two bedrooms and a bathroom.

So it was a special moment for us when the new staircase went in. A bungalow no more!

And Emma and I no longer have to sway precariously up and down ladders to measure up upstairs.