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Ex holiday cottage as new family home.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 6363
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a plan that has worked out as well as can be expected if not a bit better. With a bit of learning curve and reassessment they should be well prepared for whatever comes next.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7984
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update during pandemic.
Cats, children and dog all happy.
Younger children taken out of school some time ago.
Both older children working in low risk jobs. In both cases the employers have promised food for work if things get really bad.
Food stocks are ample for a few months, but a concern in the longer term, see above. The exposed location and lack of soil prevents gardening.
Coal, wood, and LPG stocks are ample.
Almost out of toilet paper until a bit of barter with myself. I now have less toilet roll, but plenty of wine and some mutton.

The remote location is a considerable advantage.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:

Almost out of toilet paper until a bit of barter with myself. I now have less toilet roll, but plenty of wine and some mutton.

The remote location is a considerable advantage.

Ahh the age old barter system comes back into use. One can get by without toilet paper but Wine and mutton are essential. Smile
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adam2
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second update during coronavirus.
Generally going well.
Both older children continue to work at nearby farms, not well paid but interesting and very low risk.
Younger children doing a bit of part time work, gathering eggs at a local free range chicken farm.
All storm damage repaired.
The unusually cold weather for time of year has extended the heating system considerably, £160 extra spent on logs.
Washing machine and inverter have blown up, it is not clear if one failure caused the other or not.
The inverter went up with a large bang burning a hole in the case and blowing the 500 amp battery fuse.
It was cheap and already secondhand.
This shows the wisdom of 24 volt lighting that is not reliant on an inverter.


The long term concern is the unsuitable garden for growing anything much.
Rocks, stones, and gravel.
Canada geese are plentiful, easy to take with a gun, and good to eat. The neighbouring sheep farmer hates the birds with a vengeance as they eat all the grass.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 1228
Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:


Washing machine and inverter have blown up, it is not clear if one failure caused the other or not.
The inverter went up with a large bang burning a hole in the case and blowing the 500 amp battery fuse.
It was cheap and already secondhand.
This shows the wisdom of 24 volt lighting that is not reliant on an inverter.


The long term concern is the unsuitable garden for growing anything much.
Rocks, stones, and gravel.


Wow very impressive A2 a 500 A bang is some bang!

Have they considered some raised beds?
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beat me to it PV. I would also strongly recommend raised beds. Break up the ground under the bed as much as possible and remove any large stones from the top then add bought in topsoil and/or compost to give a nine inches to a foot of planting depth. They could also google Heugel Kultur beds which are basically raised beds but with added woody material and straw.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raised beds are in hand.
Very challenging though as there is almost no topsoil, just rocks and stones.

One raised bed has been built, mainly of rocks. The "soil" consists of compost, chicken manure, wood ash, and a load of spoiled wood pellet fuel*
Another raised bed is in hand, more like terracing than a usual raised bed.
This will be filled once enough compost etc is available.

*obtained for free, it had got wet in storage and started to rot.
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Straw bale gardening might be worth a look.

https://www.diynatural.com/straw-bale-gardening/
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

The saving on shopping bills by eating Canada geese is significant. These birds are large, stupid, plentiful and good to eat.
They are considered a pest and most landowners will give permission to shoot them.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
.........................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.


That's a good idea which has been used for millennia.

Quote:
A goat was kept for a while but fell, broke a leg and had to be shot. Mainly used for cat and dog food.


What a waste of a very healthy, usually low fat, meat. When we kept goats, roast goat meat was our children's favourite meal. And mutton curry!! Delicious!!!

Quote:
The saving on shopping bills by eating Canada geese is significant. These birds are large, stupid, plentiful and good to eat.
They are considered a pest and most landowners will give permission to shoot them.


A good use of a local resource. Much lower fat than a bought, farmed goose and probably more flavour too.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rearranging the rocks in the garden would have been a great challenge with manual effort. I did it with a digger.
The goat was butchered and frozen with the intention of eating it, but was found to be very tough and with an objectional flavour. The dogs and cats enjoyed it.
Canada goose has largely displaced rabbit as cheap/free meat. No one knows why rabbits have almost vanished, yet geese have multiplied so.
Domestic cats kill young rabbits, but I am not aware of any great increase in cat numbers.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it a "mixxy year"? And was the goat an entire billy goat? They stink but are, apparently, enjoyed in Nepalese restaurants. A long slow cooking usually takes care of the tough bit.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a castrated male goat.
Don't know what breed, but very large. Obviously not as sure footed as goats are reputed to be, since it fell and broke a leg.

About a dozen fallen trees are now on hand, already cut into large sections to facilitate transport. Cutting into stove sized logs is awaiting a saw bench, and log stores.
Leaves and small twigs already removed, shredded, and added to compost pile.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had a lot of beech trees coming down this year and already have 3 or 4 tonnes of logs cut, chopped and stacked under cover ready to burn early next year. There's about the same amount ready to chop. We also have some long lengths of beech and less chestnut to mill into 3 x 2s for a new shed. We'll use the chestnut for the bottom plate and the beech for the studs and top plate and, if we have enough, the flat roof joists. I'll need 8 x 2 or 3 for those though and they'll have to be longer as well. Whether I can get enough will depend on where a couple of splits in the trunks go. I will probably end up buying in the roof timbers.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
It was a castrated male goat.
Don't know what breed, but very large. Obviously not as sure footed as goats are reputed to be, since it fell and broke a leg.

A future survival situation a farmer would not keep a castrated male goat past the one summer required to get to eating size. In the old world all of the male kids get barbecued around Easter of some other holiday with just enough left intact to breed all the does. About one billy for thirty does. An old castrated billy is just a waste of grass and winter forage.
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