Sunday, 22 April 2018

A Book On Firewood

Just finished reading this. What a beautiful and thoughtful book. A true joy to read.

And I'm feeling pretty good that most of my firewood is sorted! Just one more stillage to go.

Anyone else read this book?

Do you have a favourite book on a random subject that you recommend to others?

Friday, 20 April 2018

Edible Lupins

I'm really excited to grow these this year through Garden Organic's members experiments.
Apparently these sweet edible lupins (not to be confused with more bitter ones that can cause posioning) are a great source of nutrition and have around 30 - 40% protein as well as the essential amino acids.

They can be used dried or fresh but need to be cooked first.

Who else has grown or eaten these?

Do you like to try to grow "alternative" crops?

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Walking The school Run

Now things are starting to dry up we're going to try walking the school run down the footpaths when we can. The road by us is just not very safe for walking with little ones.

The boy is just old enough now so I don't have to carry him the whole way, although he's not as fast as the girls (he only has little legs). It's just under a mile each way and the only bit of tarmac we touch is to cross the road from school. 
It's great fun to do some plant spotting and have the girls ask me questions about what they see. Although today I was having to answer questions about pilewort...

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Breech Lamb Being Born In The Field

Bit of a long video but a lamb being born a few minutes ago. 

This was her second one and i was just too slow to get the camera out for the first! 

I decided to pull him out the last minute just because he was breech. I was worried if she didn't push him out with this round of contractions and the umbilical cord was broken he could easily drown or breath in fluid. If he was the right way round I would have probably just left her too it. 
I didn't approach her sooner as she was a bit flighty and I didn't want her to run off or to cause her unnecessary stress and affect the birth. 

You can skip to the good bit at 2.50 if you want and I can only apologise for how Herefordshire my accent is!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Composting Toilet Built From Scratch For £26!

This weekend I completed a project I've been thinking about for a long time! I finally built a composting toilet! 
 This is project I've been thinking about for years. This place is really lacking an outside loo and it makes it such a pain when I'm outside to have to come in and take my boots off. I really needed an old school brick outhouse but I haven't the time or the money to do it. So I looked at what I've got and what I could do with it.

I thought it would be good if the toilet could be moved around using the tractor. That way I could keep it by the workshop most of the time and then if I have friends camping I can move it down to the field.

To have a movable system I decided that a bucket system using sawdust would work well. I could compost the "waste" elsewhere when the bucket was full and use it on trees etc when it had composted completly.

So using a Euro pallet, like I did with the Movable Firewood Stores, I worked out that it would be big enough for a toilet. I then started to build it up with pallet collars, I get these for free.
 Once I got so high I added the corner posts so it could all be fixed. The posts allow for a slope for the roof.
 It was easy and fast to build up using the collars.
 The last few were cut the same angle as the roof using the jig saw.
 To create the door I just cut down the hinge straps along the one side with the grinder.
 This then meant the other side could be used as the door hinge.
For the roof I used some old perspex sheeting a friend saved for me when he was taking down a lean to years ago. Works well as it lets in plenty of light.

The floor was just some old ply I had left over from the extension. I brought this stuff second hand anyway and it's been used quite a few time already!
 I built the toilet around a B&Q plasterers bucket (£6.99), it's a little high but I'm quite tall anyway.
 I found an old loo seat we had left from a previous project. It had no fittings though so I glued it to the ply and made some dowels to hold the lid on.
 The ply over the toilet lifts up to allow access to the bucket.
 I divided off the area either side was partitioned to hold the sawdust needed for the system to work.
The picture above is the system all in place and finished.
The toilet certainly doesn't look pretty but it is practical and hopefully will save me a bit of time and helps me close one more self sufficiency "loop" on our little homestead here, more nutrients trapped here and not leaving system.

I'll use a biodegradable bag in the bucket to make cleaning easier. Sawdust is no problem with all the woodwork I do so it should be incredibly cheap to keep it running.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this system works in practice and I'll report back in a few months and let you all know! Silly to get excited about a toilet but I'm so keen to see how this works!

Anyone else use a composting toilet?

How would you build one?

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