Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whats life like in the eco world?

Muddy! What a wet year its been...
We're moving slowly towards a low-impact, sustainable way of life here. Sometimes progress seems to be really slow but I reckon we've at least taken the first big step, getting access to land.
EARTH WEALTH It's interesting that in Europe there's so many protests against government cuts while in India people have been marching for land. To me there's no hope that governments or any other of our rotten institutions will make things radically better. It's up to individuals to think for themselves, read, talk and do what they can locally to develop true wealth, ie Earth Wealth, for which you need access to land. Access to land means you can start growing food, fuel, materials, medicinal herbs and means that you can start dealing with your waste... it's not really waste after all.  You don't even need to own that land, there's plenty of arrangements where you can swap your work for land access, and great stuff is being done on wasteland and with guerilla gardening. So to me the India land marches are more enlightened, more positive, and show people taking responsibility for world problems themselves.
WASTE This is where we've made most progress, it's easy to make a composting loo, you get a valuable resource after a year or so and save loads of water. Food leftovers, peelings etc go to the chicks, pigs or more compost. Although we get some of our milk, veg, eggs and meat from the farm we still get the bulk of our food from the supermarket, it takes years to get a garden going properly - which is why I'd urge anyone to get involved in food growing any way they can so that as and when there is a major collapse of the Oil Age way of life we're not caught totally unprepared - Powys only produces between 5 and 10% of the food it consumes, how about London? Looking at the waste we produce has made me realise how the packaging problem has just got worse and worse, everything you buy is packaged at least once, and it starts right on the farm with those big black plastic wrapped bales.
KEEPING WARM We have a colossal wood-burning stove and burn logs mostly from trees that have come down on the farm but there's fuel used for the chainsaws and tractor powered log splitter. We still use a couple of electric heaters and a de-humidifier to keep the caravan warm. There's a plan to plant up some trees on the farm for coppicing but again that will take time to produce anything. Slow burning logs produce a lot of toxins so I'm hoping we can adapt the stove to burn much hotter, small section coppiced wood being ideal for that. I've slowly been insulating the outside, photos below, and that's another point - if you're going to live out in a field, be prepared. "Any fool can be uncomfortable", an old army expression of my dad's. The difference between living in a van or whatever with no preparation and one that's properly insulated is huge. Cold and damp are not good for your health.
Ah well, lots to do, but the greatest journey begins with a single step...

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