Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    Moozle
    Becoming self sufficient from scratch-my diary
    • #1
    • 26th Mar 09, 10:41 AM
    Becoming self sufficient from scratch-my diary 26th Mar 09 at 10:41 AM
    Let me introduce myself... 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! 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. It is the people on here who have inspired me to do this.
    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 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!!

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 07-04-2009 at 6:34 PM.
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
Page 1
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 26th Mar 09, 11:40 AM
    • 6,432 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    Ken68
    • #2
    • 26th Mar 09, 11:40 AM
    • #2
    • 26th Mar 09, 11:40 AM
    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
    • #3
    • 26th Mar 09, 12:10 PM
    Hmm
    • #3
    • 26th Mar 09, 12:10 PM
    Thanks Ken, I think the garden will be haphazard, like its owner..... 1st post and I already managed to post on the wrong board .. 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...
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 26th Mar 09, 2:58 PM
    • 6,432 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    Ken68
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 09, 2:58 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 09, 2:58 PM
    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
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 09, 3:38 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 09, 3:38 PM
    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
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 26th Mar 09, 3:48 PM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 09, 3:48 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 09, 3:48 PM
    .. hopefully someone will move it over to greenfingers board!
    Originally posted by Moozle
    I thought this might be better on GF, too I'll move it

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
  • Moozle
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 09, 4:11 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 09, 4:11 PM
    Ahh, thanks, thats better!
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 26th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    • 6,432 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    Ken68
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    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
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 09, 5:44 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 09, 5:44 PM
    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
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
  • Steel
    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
    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 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...
    • Rummer
    • By Rummer 26th Mar 09, 7:57 PM
    • 6,427 Posts
    • 37,994 Thanks
    Rummer
    Hello Moozle! I am in Scotland too and we grow lots of fruit bushes in our garden and they do really well! I would steer away from the fungus but there are lots of other wold foods that you can forage for that are less likely to kill you .

    We are planting a huge variety of fruit and veg this year and I will follow your journey with interest!
    Taking responsibility one penny at a time!
  • Moozle
    Well not much progress outside today, up to now its been raining, hailing, snowing.... everything. But, I did look after my friends son before nursery and earned 5 which will go into the garden fund.
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 27th Mar 09, 2:59 PM
    • 4,706 Posts
    • 16,575 Thanks
    SmlSave
    Hi Moozle, just popping on to say and I look forward to readung about your journey to self sufficienty
    Boy Smllet born 23/06/2011 and Girl Smllet born 01/03/2014

    5 year challenge to pay off 20,000
    350 per month challenge
  • Moozle
    You will all have to bear with me for photos.... apparently i'm too new yet to be allowed .
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
  • maxdp
    Hi Moozle

    Will be really interested to read your experiences of self sufficiency on here. Well done to you.
    • betterlife
    • By betterlife 27th Mar 09, 7:29 PM
    • 851 Posts
    • 3,014 Thanks
    betterlife
    hi moozle, i will enjoy following your journey as i am also on the same journey like you to self sefficiency. i am a mum of 4 (8yrs, 5yrs, 3yrs and 8mths) i live in the torbay area of devon, and this year is the start of our journey. so far i have enclosd the end of my garden and got myself two ducks i male and on female, the female should start laying eggs soon ,she is a khaki campbell and are known to lay as many if not more eggs as your best hen, i am also hoping to raise some ducklings from her. we have a raised bed with 8 rhubarb plants in which are already looking great. i have an enclose fruit patch whic has 15 autumn raspberry canes, 2 gooseberries, 1 blueberry, 1 blackcurrent and 1 red current. i also bought a polytunnel this year which is up and running, its 15ft x 6.6ft and so far i have planted some of the follow - leeks, shallots, pea`s, brocolli, carrots, mongetout,strawberries, brussel sprout and savoy cabbage. some of these are smaller/quick growing varieties which will be long gone before the long growers need more space. outside in doing potatoes, sweetcorn, swede, runnerbeans and french beans, ive also got a greenhouse which will have toms, cucumber , chilli`s and melons. on the patio i will do some lettuces and have herbs for cooking and some which i want to grow for hopefully h/m bath/beauty product. im also bringing on more seeds (as im enjoying it) for selling at carboots to make some extra cash. wow that sounds alot! will i fit it all in lol, god im going to be busy. ive bought some waterbutts from recycled centre and i have 2 connected to house guttering, 1 is outside backdoor so easy access to patio etc, 1 is halfway up garden and 1 is not connected just up by ducks so i collect there dirty pool water for watering my plants with, they also have rainwater for the pool, there bedding in there house goes in the compost bin. so at the moment things are working well !
  • Moozle
    Wow betterlife, you seem to be well on the way. I am hoping to be at a similar stage to you this time next year. How do you manage to fit in all the work round the kids? That seems to be my major hurdle at the moment,:rolleyes: especially with my youngest who is just 2 and you cant take your eyes off him for a second . It does'nt help that my garden is terraced on a hill and not very child friendly.
    What are duck eggs like? Are they comparable in taste to hens eggs?
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
  • Moozle
    Going to lift my compost bin today, I've had it about a year and its full to the brim. Cant wait to see whats inside, I havent really peeked, hope im not dissapointed. See..... all the fun I would miss out on if I had loads of money!
    Mum to 3 children, 5 hens, 6 chicks, 6 eggs due to hatch, 2 cats, 1 dog, 9 fish and a husband...
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 28th Mar 09, 12:05 PM
    • 6,432 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    Ken68
    Once the bin is empty, Moozle, you could put kiddie in there



    This is part of my veg garden, triangle piece. surprising what you can squeeze in.
    Last edited by Ken68; 28-03-2009 at 12:19 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

239Posts Today

2,760Users online

Martin's Twitter