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Becoming self sufficient from scratch-my diary

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Becoming self sufficient from scratch-my diary

edited 7 April 2009 at 6:34PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
273 replies 55.7K views
Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
62 posts
edited 7 April 2009 at 6:34PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Let me introduce myself...:hello: I am a mum to three, and although this is my first post I am an avid lurker on MSE and a money saving changeling!:T I have decided to write a blog about transforming my useless patch of Scottish garden into something productive. I have decided to keep the blog on here as we are trying to clear debt and have very little spare cash and so I am hoping that people on this board are likeminded and able to help me with tips and advice as well as share in my sucess and failures.:hello: It is the people on here who have inspired me to do this.:D
Now onto my project....

I have a very sheltered 'garden' (looks more like steptoes yard at the moment) which gets the sun in the morning until about 12 ish. Not ideal I know, even less ideal is the fact the soil is very thin. I also only have about an hour a day spare as that is when my son sleeps in the afternoon. Now the good things! I have some spare wood floating around the garden which may come in useful for stuff. My neighbour has given me a few seed potatoes and french bean seeds. I have been offered a chicken coop by another neighbour:j for free but I will definately give her something for it. I have identified an area for the chickens, and for the first (perhaps only) veg patch and started to prepare them.

To do:
List items on ebay, hopefully raise some cash for chicken fencing and other materials.
Continue digging bed for potatoes.
Buy seeds- £2.50
Look on freecycle for any useful items for project.
Take pics and work out how to post, hopefully will get some feedback/ideas.

Right off out to take the pics!!:D

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Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
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Replies

  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    Hi Moozle, you can grow potatoes on the surface and into a regular mulch, e.g. lawn clippings or any compost. I did it for years when gardening and had spare mowings.Grow plenty of runner beans, these can be eaten green or dried (tho not bought seed for sowing)and don't necessarily need sticks, just let scramble over anything, even other tall plants, like sweet corn.
    Think this might go to the gardening board.
  • Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
    62 posts
    Thanks Ken, I think the garden will be haphazard, like its owner..... 1st post and I already managed to post on the wrong board:embarasse .. hopefully someone will move it over to greenfingers board!
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    Nice feeling tho Moozle, being self sufficient, when you got the garden sorted, then onto home made beer, wine cider.
    There is a chap on TV settled into a croft in Scotland West coast I think, got pigs, chickens, not far off the sea so fish.
    BBC2. How are you for midges in the summer.?
  • Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
    62 posts
    Very, very bad midges here in the summer as we are west coast. I'm hoping to get most of the digging done in the next couple of weeks before they come out. Then its just trying to work round the times they are bad as I just cant stand it being outside for long whilst they are out in force. We are bad for ticks as well, i'm pulling them out of the kids all summer:eek:
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
  • Penelope_PenguinPenelope_Penguin Forumite
    17.3K posts
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    MOOZLE wrote: »
    :embarasse .. hopefully someone will move it over to greenfingers board!

    I thought this might be better on GF, too ;) I'll move it :D

    Penny. x
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
    62 posts
    Ahh, thanks, thats better!:beer:
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    Raspberries are good for Scotland, something to do with the angle of light. And would the soil be acid, Moozle? Cheap tests are available something like £1. Once you know what your garden will grow best, then no wasted effort.
  • Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
    62 posts
    Well I can guess that the soil is acidic, from what was there before (lots of conifers) but its pretty well draining due to the people who lived here before us putting stone chips down on every available surface and weeding like people posessed! What it needs is some organic matter and luckily I have been composting for the last year so hopefully there will be something decent when i lift the compost bin.
    I have some wild raspberries sprung up last year on my so called 'patio', so rather random location wise but hopefully they should come back this year.:rolleyes:

    Managed to do an hours digging this aft, body aching now after digging through a layer of stone chips to a reasonable if slightly clay soil underneath. It does not look much considering how much time I have spent on it:o
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
  • Steel_2Steel_2 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    1.6K posts
    Could you make a raised bed with some of that wood floating round the garden?

    Also, have a look (if you haven't already) on the "show me your veg patch..." thread for MrsMcCawber's "Patio A-pot-ment". What she's done on a patio in a small space defies belief. She has a blog too.

    Once you get the chickens all their straw and bedding can go in the compost heap to balance everything out and bulk up your organic matter.

    Can you do any foraging round your way...blackberries, sloes, elderberries, elderflowers etc?
    "carpe that diem"
  • Moozle_2Moozle_2 Forumite
    62 posts
    Well I'll have a look at that thread for some ideas. The wood should make a couple of nice raised beds I think,will add that to the 'to do' list.
    We have an abundance in our area of what the scots call Blaeberries (well my husband does anyway) billberries is the other term I think. They take an age to collect though and last year the kids ate them quicker than we could collect:o I am going to become more aware though, i'm sure there must be other stuff about. Lots of fungus in the forest, but i'm not too confident about them??:rolleyes:
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...:eek: :o
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