Basically, sometime in 2007 I bought this house in Norfolk, not far from Downham Market. It is an old railway cottage for a level crossing on an old drove road, but that road is now a rather busy route to a sugar beet factory and for various farming activities. The railway line was pulled up many years ago, although some of its path can still be seen.
The house is set in about a quarter of an acre - 1000 metres square. I had to do some work on the house - and quite a lot is still in need of doing - but this year is the year of the garden.
So my plan has multiple aspects to it:
- Firstly I plan to grow a lot of fruit and vegetables. This means cultivating the garden in some way.
- I need to resurrect the making and firing of pots. This means finding a reliable wood source, getting some bricks and rebuilding the kiln.
- Supermarkets have been big in my life, since coming here, and I feel uncomfortable with that. So part of my plan involves reducing, hopefully to nought, my reliance and visits to the supermarket.
- Most of my waste seems to be plastic and so I would like to reduce my plastics use. I can't get away from it completely because a lot of the potting side comes wrapped in plastic, but I want to avoid plastic bags and food wrapping as much as possible.
- Lastly, and this is perhaps the easiest of the lot, I want to reduce my food miles. So this means sourcing food that is grown and produced in Britain.
At this stage, I also want to state a few things. Firstly, I am not a nutter. Secondly, I am not a hippy new-ager peak-oil environmentalist. I am a rationalist, a technologist, a scientist, but I am also someone who thinks, to some degree, that the way we live life has got a little bit lost somewhere down the line.
I sympathise with and share many goals with the hippy new-ager peak-oil environmentalist, and off-grid living is something that intrigues me. But I work in IT and it still interests me to some extent.
Well, that's a first post. Hopefully some of what I think will come out in the blog, as well as further details of the plan. But it's out there now, so I have to stick with it.