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Showing posts from December, 2015

Five years of blogging here

Sometimes I wonder what this blog if for, or why I spend the time writing it. I think it serves many purposes. The main reason for starting the blog was to share what Pete and I were learning about self-sufficiency. At the time I also wanted to get better at writing, and the best way to do that is to practice. I've since realised how much I enjoy the interaction with other bloggers, both the friendships and the amount I can learn from them too. I didn't know all these wonderful people were out there until I started this blog! More recently I've realised that I can use this blog as a platform to sell some of the things I make, including my two ebooks and my soap and salves, which I guess is another form of sharing what we've learnt. I also find that I refer back to old posts, both to remind myself how to do things and how things were at that time. Things have changed so much for me and Pete in the last five years! When I started this blog we had only one eight

Garden posts 2015

I miss my garden when I'm away during the week.  I have to make an effort to spend a suitable amount of time greeting Pete and Taz before I peek over the garden gate to see how its going each Friday afternoon when I get home.  I really don't spend much time in the garden now, but the time I spent early on building up the soil and letting plants self-seed, now means that only 10-20 minutes a day when I'm home (three nights a week) is enough to keep everything going.  We always have something from the garden in our meals and sometimes all the veges are homegrown.  I would grow even more if I had time, although often time is not actually the limiting factor - our main problem is water. I'm only watering this half of the garden this summer Here's a few garden posts from 2015 Is it winter yet? Cold weather preps Guest post: Is there a place for power tools in the garden Hydroponics basics Perennial vegetables and permaculture Are you saving seeds? Three es

Books in 2015

I love to read and I love the process of critically reviewing a book and noting down my thoughts.  I hope you find it useful for finding books that you need.  Some of the books are sent to me to review, some I buy new or secondhand and some are from the library.  No matter where the book comes from I try to give my honest assessment.  Sometimes I read a book that I don't like for one reason or another, and I tend to not review that book at all, I don't see the value in writing about something I didn't enjoy.  I aim for about one review a month.  Sometimes I'm reading more than one at a time, but I at least try to FINISH one a month! One of my bookshelves! I include affiliate links where possible, and I make a few cents in Amazon vouchers every time someone clicks on my link.  This year so far I've accumulated $10.95 in Amazon credit.  If you were going to buy something from Amazon anyway, getting there through my links doesn't cost you anything extra an

Cattle and cow posts in 2015

At this time of year I like to summarise my posts on various topics.  See my posts about cattle and cows over on my  house cow ebook blog .  I'll leave you with a series of cute calf photos... You might also be interested in my series on getting started with homestead dairy Interview with myself Interview with Mark and Kate from Purple Pear Permaculture Interview with Kim from the Little Black Cow Interview with Rose Petal Interview with Marie from Go Milk the Cow Interview with Ohio Farmgirl Buy my ebook "Our Experience with House Cows" on  Etsy ,  Lulu  and  Amazon , or email on eight.acres.liz at to arrange delivery.  More information on my  house cow ebook blog . Reviews of "Our Experience with House Cows" Kim from the Little Black Cow Blog Fiona from Live at Arbordale Farm Marie from Go Milk the Cow Renata from Sunnyside Farm Fun Gavin from Little Green Cheese  (and The Greening

Chicken posts in 2015

Every year I like to do a round up of all the posts I've done of various topics, so that everyone can catch up on what they've missed.  You can catch up on my chicken posts over at my chicken tractor ebook blog . By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the  chicken tractor ebook blog .  Or you can get it directly from my shop on  Etsy  (.pdf format), or  Amazon Kindle  or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at} What's the eBook about? Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.  A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production incr

Farm update - December 2015

December already!  I am really feeling like a need a holiday or a rest (not always the same thing here, holidays seem like good times to get some work done around the farm!).  Pete and I both have two weeks off over Christmas and we are really looking forward to spending time together and making some progress on the house painting. We have been so lucky to get some decent rain from storms in November.  Again, it was patchy and some evenings we missed out, but we got enough to get the grass green and growing.  As a farmer, there's nothing that makes me happier than seeing my cows eating green grass, I hate having to give them hay, it must be like eating dry cereal everyday and then suddenly the salad bar arrives (to reference Joel Salatin!). In one particular storm we lost power from Saturday night through to Monday morning.  This is the longest we have been without electricity since we bought our generator a few years ago.  Usually the power comes back on right after we connect