The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Community => Introduce yourself => Topic started by: Paul1966 on May 03, 2019, 10:29:13 pm

Title: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Paul1966 on May 03, 2019, 10:29:13 pm
Hi All
I have always been hands on,
have built/made my own stuff: kitchen, bathroom, shed, electric guitars, PC's, Beer, Wine & accidental hydroponics.

TBH fed up working 'for the man'
considering a semi retirement with possible
chickens, pigs, rabbits, worms & maybe bees.

will read a lot & help if I can...
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Rosemary on May 05, 2019, 08:02:27 pm
Good luck with your dream! This life isn't a rehearsal for anything, so might as well enjoy it if we can  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: arobwk on May 05, 2019, 09:33:35 pm
Welcome to the forum Paul1966.  I suspect live-stock will test your existing hands-on skills, but heh - May the fourth go with you. 

Eh, what - I'm a day too late !?  Oh well - May the fifth go with you.   :)
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on May 05, 2019, 11:20:30 pm
 :wave: Welcome to TAS, Paul, from Shropshire. Ask as much as you like. There's always someone on here who knows the answer. Looking forward to hearing how you get on.
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Paul1966 on May 06, 2019, 07:08:54 pm
thanks to all who replied  :excited:
yeah I have nothing decided yet,
the grand plan is to move in 5 years...(sounds like a bowie song !!)
& do something Eco/low energy
grow food to supplement a crappy pension  :innocent:
start small & grow to my (read our) capabilities...
if I can make a little pocket money on the side happy days  :love:

does anyone here generate there own electricity ?
or zero energy life style ??
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Dav275 on May 07, 2019, 07:18:16 am
Welcome Paul.  Good luck when you take the plunge.  We did very similar a few years ago, and have never regretted it.  Lots of help and advice on here.

We built a "low energy" home and are happily living off-grid.
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Paul1966 on May 07, 2019, 08:41:27 pm
Hi Dav275 thanks for your reply
did you have to give up much ?
how much energy do you produce & how ??
also how off grid are you ??
I really like the idea of a composting toilet
but I don't think I could sell that to my wife  :poo:
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Dav275 on May 07, 2019, 09:17:12 pm
Normal 4 bedroom single storey home.  3.5kW PV panels,  2kW wind turbine,  12kVa diesel generator, solar thermal panels +  35,000 BTU log batch boiler feeding 2500litre thermal store for CH & domestic hot water.  LPG cooking.

Only external service is telephone line for broadband.

Have posted some info before so check my profile or PM if you prefer for further details.
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 23, 2019, 10:48:53 am
Best of luck pursing your dream.  Living it is great, but the plotting and planning is huge fun too :)

We have a variety of eco things here.  We are a community of 20 adults living on a 32-acre holding in North Cornwall.  We have a plethora of solar panels, storage batteries, ground source heat pump, air source heat pump.  One of the holiday cabins has a wood-fired hot tub!  The panels on the large barn plus storage batteries run a shared electric car and several of our freezers, plus a washing machine, hot water and camp kitchen for our camping business, a woodworking workshop and a car maintenance workshop.  Our sewage system is septic tank and so-called reed bed (they’re rushes I tell you, rushes! Lol), we are planning a new vertical reed bed. (Still rushes  :D)

We all strive to improve our eco credentials year on year, but we’re not hair shirt about it, and we all recognise that each of us has particular passions and at least one Achilles heel! 

Using grey water for flushing the loo might be a good compromise for you and your wife?  Regular loos are ecologically unsound primarily because they use treated water, aren’t they? 

We occupy an old farmstead, in which the old farm buildings had been converted to holiday cottages (with full residential planning permission, luckily for us) before we came here.  So retrofitting grey water is a big job, we think using rainwater directly might be a best next step for us.  We don’t lack rainwater in winter, although this is shaping up to be the second very dry summer in a row :/

We are currently looking at increasing the priority of an irrigation pond, taking the water from the holiday cabins’ hot tubs and using it for watering the veg plot.  I calculated we might have used 60,000 litres watering our outdoor veg crops last year  :o.  And we’re not anything like self-sufficient in veg. 

Look, you got me started.  Let that be a lesson to you.  lol

Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: Fleecewife on May 23, 2019, 03:47:56 pm

<<<Our sewage system is septic tank and so-called reed bed (they’re rushes I tell you, rushes! Lol), we are planning a new vertical reed bed. (Still rushes 


I couldn't resist this Sally, being a pedant and all that  :innocent:



From Yahoo answers - what is the difference between rushes and reeds?:

This is a great , but tricky question. Firstly the GENUINE Bulrush is a Rush. The plant that everyone calls the Bulrush ( tall erect flower stem with dark brown velvety sausage shaped seed heads), is in fact Reedmace, a true Reed. Following an artist`s error when painting "Moses in the Bulrushes", the Reedmace is commonly, but incorrectly now called a `Bulrush`. This group of plants are a nightmare of descriptive terms and visual differences are always vague. Rushes are related to Lilies, and have (mostly) 3 petals, 3 sepals, and 6 stamens in each flower. Reeds for most people means the Common Reed as used by Thatchers,and Reedmace ( Moses), both found in large swathes in wetlands and lakes, ponds and streams. Both Reeds and Rushes merge with Sedges and Grasses, borrowing same names in a huge confusion of descriptions. Hope that helps as you have chosen the most difficult field of Botany known to man.
Then:

The Common Reed ( Phragmites Australis.) has the ability to transfer oxygen from its leaves, down through its stem and out via its root system in the gravel bed. This encourages micro-organisms that digest the pollutants in sewage to colonise the area.

I know those things in a field are rushes/rashes, and the tall wavy things on river edges and wetlands are reeds, although I must admit I didn't know about bulrushes being reeds :roflanim:   Anyway I think the plants making your reed bed function are truly reeds.  Either you or I are going to be eating humble pie for supper......
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 23, 2019, 11:09:50 pm
Where else but TAS...  ;D
Title: Re: noob considering taking plunge !
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 23, 2019, 11:11:59 pm
The “Reed” bed we have is populated by what looks to me like the same rushes we have in the field. I shall look more closely to see if there are in fact two species in there, and the rushes maybe have colonised.

I love the thing about the bulrush/reedmace, that’s hysterical!  :roflanim: