There is no better start to a day than eating your own produce, whether its form the eggs that you gathered or mushrooms on toast- but it’s especially when your daughter asks for toast and blackberry jam. Blackberry’s that I know each scratch that it took to get those little beauties- that very bush in the landscape that now provides for my family. The jars that I gathered, cleaned then filled with not much more than sugar, berries and some lemon juice. No preservatives in sight.
Still things are humming along in the garden- glorious pumpkins have bared many a fruit for my family and friends- what good is excess food if you cannot share it? I am still to pick the butter nuts as well- which I think have about 15 on the vine, hiding their golden treasure.
Some snap shots of the oncoming harvest
Gathering, gathering- wood glorious wood. Yep I have considered all the climate implications of burning wood and the C02 emissions- buts what’s the other option.
Heating is very hard to do cheaply- electricity- currently all produced by fossil fuel (coal), we don’t have solar panels as yet and they will not run any heating system, geo thermal is very expensive and hard to install- Trees can be regrown- they are renewable and I am using what a farmer wants cleared of his land he was only going to heap it up and burn it. Win- win. So what I have done is added the water jacket to my heater so it will produce hot water, cutting down on my energy bill and emissions form the electricity saved by not heating water. does that make sense- coupled in with my solar hot water system it should cut down on energy used to heat water all year round. I think we need to get smarter about the things that operate within our homes and don’t think we can afford the luxury of the item doing just the 1 thing. We should be thinking dual purpose.
SO the journey continues- it’s about a long term goal of self-sufficiency and whilst it may not happen in this house- I will try to do as much as I can with what I have got- there are always little things we can do- extra insulation- double glazing ( a few windows per year)- solar panels- gas cooking- water tanks- grey water system, more food trees and plants- more native flowering plants to provide food for native bees and insects that will pollinate my food crops- its large scale but small scale as well. Every free meal from nature is a gift remember to pay her back !