Ex holiday cottage as new family home.

How will oil depletion affect the way we live? What will the economic impact be? How will agriculture change? Will we thrive or merely survive?

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BritDownUnder
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Post by BritDownUnder »

adam2 wrote:Update.
Generally going well.
Water supply adequate, treated before drinking but otherwise used "as is"

Employment has proved easier to find than was expected. Several farms nearby were actively seeking staff.
Interesting to note that fruit production under glass is a growing local industry.
A huge volume of over ripe strawberries was acquired and made into wine.

The garden has been improved by re-arranging the larger rocks so as to form crude terraces on the sloping ground. Filled with a mixture containing animal dung and compost and wood ash.
A goat was kept for a while but fell, broke a leg and had to be shot. Mainly used for cat and dog food.
Thanks for another excellent report on that house.

One can only wonder of the reaction if certain Sky News Australia commentators had got hold of the news that a goat had fallen down and broken its leg. Probably mention would have been made of snowflake goats or 'woke' goats and a bygone age when men were men and goats were presumably a bit more sure footed. I once witnessed, even videoed, a goat being slaughtered in the Philippines for a meal and had a small taste of the cooked meat. I remember the tail still wagging vigourously while the hair was being burnt off the carcass over an open fire.

Interesting to hear about the fruit being grown under glass. What types exactly? Strawberries?
G'Day cobber!
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Catweazle
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Post by Catweazle »

I don't know if it's a sign of climate change or just the bushes and trees "coming of age", but I've had amazing fruit of all types for the last 3 years.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

We've had amazing fruit on some trees and none on others. It depended on which trees were in flower when the late very heavy frost hit. Another sign of the vagaries of climate change as the late frosts seem to get harder.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Yes, mainly strawberries grown under glass.
Strawberries CAN be grown in the open in this part of the UK, but those grown in glasshouses mature earlier and fetch a higher price.

One neighbour has built a new large glasshouse. Concrete walls about a meter high, remainder glass in an aluminium frame.
Crops are grown not directly in the ground but in large shallow containers supported on staging.
The glasshouse is heated by propane, but this is only used in exceptionally cold weather, not routinely on account of the cost of fuel.

Some crops can be fooled into growing out of season by use of electric lights to lengthen the "day"
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Post by fuzzy »

Our raspberries are mental as usual. They like growing with deadnettles. Blackcurrants also good. Both benefitted this year from having a high hedge removed [10 feet from fruit] and replaced by a solid fence. Seems like less garden pests. Definitely quieter at dawn.
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Post by Catweazle »

I'm thinking of putting an acre to raspberries as they do so well here. Also notable are blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, plums, apples and this year magnificent cherries.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

We had a good crop of cherries this year but, as the saying goes, "Here today, gone tomorrow!" Literally and we didn't see one.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

Catweazle wrote:I'm thinking of putting an acre to raspberries as they do so well here. Also notable are blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, plums, apples and this year magnificent cherries.
An acre of any fruit crop is quite a bit. Do you have a market for them if it goes well? That is certainly more then a family would need in a year.
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Post by fuzzy »

With blackcurrants, I wait until they are all black on a limb and then clean cut it off in dry weather. The bush loses a few leaves but doesn't seem to mind. You can then pick fruit at a table etc.
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Catweazle
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Post by Catweazle »

vtsnowedin wrote:
Catweazle wrote:I'm thinking of putting an acre to raspberries as they do so well here. Also notable are blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, plums, apples and this year magnificent cherries.
An acre of any fruit crop is quite a bit. Do you have a market for them if it goes well? That is certainly more then a family would need in a year.
We have a couple of local jam makers who sell at local-produce markets. The raspberries are very low effort, I planted two canes originally, and they spread, and spread, and spread. I've given cuttings to people who have also had good results.
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Post by clv101 »

We have a good raspberry patch, had around 10kg from them this year. A tiny fraction of an acre though!
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Catweazle
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Post by Catweazle »

We're going to try making fruit leathers this year.

https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/red ... it-leather

A solar kiln / dehydrator would be ideal.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/sol ... 0the%20sun.

Raspberries can be planted in hedgerows, clearings in established woodlands, derelict industrial sites etc. Cuttings are easy to take, effectively free.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Hawthorn makes a good fruit leather as well. Ray Mears made it in one of his programs about ancient foods.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Update after I visited recently.
All 24 volt fluorescent lights now working after replacing ballasts in the 36 watt fittings and replacing the whole fitting in the case of 8 watt and 13 watt lights.

New sawbench now in use, fitted with a very large 24 volt motor. Only to be used when ample wind or sunlight is available, on account of the alarming current used. The first attempt at cutting a large log blew the 100 amp fuse. Replaced with 200 amp and cable to suit.

At my suggestion, the two older children who both work at different nearby farms, now store at the workplace an "emergency cupboard"

This contains six changes of underwear, several sets of long underwear, six pairs of socks, other clothes, spare wellington boots, spare leather boots, overalls, overcoat, a hard hat, a torch, a lantern, and a headlight.
A folding bed, nightwear, sheets, and blankets.
I suggested this after some extreme weather a few months ago which required staying overnight at the workplace, without being in any way equipped for so doing.
Spare boots and overalls also allow the continuation of work in the event that boots or overalls suddenly come apart.
An overcoat and long underwear are useful if mild weather turns worse unexpectedly.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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adam2
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Re: Ex holiday cottage as new family home.

Post by adam2 »

Update, by telephone.
Generally going well. Off grid water and electricity all good.
Employment has been much easier to find than was expected.

The high winds are a problem and make growing anything challenging. Potato plants actually blew away, never heard of that happening before.

Heating working fine, wood consumption about 25 kilos a day in average weather, increases to about 35 kilos in severe cold. In windy weather limited electric heat is used when the battery is full.

The younger children are very happy, and very attached to the four pet cats and now two dogs.

Canada geese are a significant part of the diet, they are large, stupid, and good to eat.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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