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So far GoSelfSufficient has created 71 blog entries.

What Are Alternative Fuels?

By |2021-05-24T16:11:51+00:00January 8, 2011|Energy & Water|

For most households fuel is one of the major expenses. Whether it’s for heating, lighting, cooking or transportation we all use fuel of some sort or another in our daily life. The increasing cost of the usual fuels, such as gas, electricity, nuclear and oil, combined with the environmental and [...]

Cutting Down Our Electric Bill: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T16:11:51+00:00December 9, 2010|Around the Home|

Although not trying to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, when Mike took voluntary redundancy, he decided that, as they’d be living on less money, he should look at where the money was going and try and work out if costs could be reduced. Energy, especially electricity, took a large proportion of [...]

Natural Homemade Beauty Treatments

By |2021-05-24T16:11:51+00:00August 1, 2010|Natural Remedies|

It’s remarkably easy to do-it-yourself when it comes to natural home-made beauty treatments: our great-grannies knew a thing or two about looking after their skin and they didn’t have a fortune to waste on expensively-marketed products. One of the major benefits is that you know exactly what’s going onto your [...]

Our First Year in the Allotment: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T16:11:52+00:00April 19, 2010|Case Studies|

Alison and Simon have an allotment near their home in a small Devon village. As they're new to allotmenteering we thought they might have some good advice to pass on to potential allotment holders and beginners. We asked them about their first year on the allotment. What Made You Want [...]

Selling from Your Allotment

By |2021-05-24T16:11:52+00:00April 3, 2010|Allotments|

“Can I sell vegetables I’ve grown on my allotment?” The answer is yes. Or possibly no. Perhaps the best answer is “it depends.” Whether you are allowed to sell fruit, vegetables or flowers you’ve grown on your allotment depends on a number of factors, including your tenancy agreement, where you’re [...]

How to Keep Animals and Vermin Away from Crops?

By |2021-05-24T16:11:52+00:00July 9, 2009|Ask Our Experts|

Perhaps the first thing to do is to contact your local environmental health pest control officer. Some councils are willing to treat garden infestations; others will only attend if the infestation has spread indoors. However they should be able to give you good advice but will almost certainly say the [...]

Home Composting and Growing Vegetables: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T16:11:52+00:00January 7, 2009|Case Studies|

When Carys Jones started her own home composting project, the initial incentive was pure laziness. That was six years ago and Carys, the manager of an electrical shop, and husband Mike, a design engineer, had just moved into a new home in Aylesbury, Bucks. While the new home was lovely, [...]

Generate your Own Power

By |2021-05-24T16:11:53+00:00February 14, 2008|Around the Home|

It is foreseen that a significant percentage of power (optimists say as much as 40%!) will be generated in the home by 2050, using energy generators, principally comprising of wind turbines, solar heating panels and photovoltaic cells (solar electricity generators). If you have running water hydroelectric energy can be the [...]

Self-Sufficient Energy

By |2021-05-24T16:11:53+00:00January 16, 2008|Energy & Water|

In today’s society it’s difficult to live entirely without electricity. We use electricity to power our lights, cookers, fridges, televisions, hairdryers, and heat our homes. Many things we use electricity for are not essential – for example you may have to do without the hair straighteners when you go self-sufficient, [...]

Foraging for Nuts From the Hedgerows

By |2021-05-24T16:11:54+00:00January 14, 2008|Foraging|

There are many different types of nuts to be gathered and eaten from the hedgerows. These include chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts. Nuts are extremely good for you, often containing many vitamins and essential oils. Nuts are usually ready to harvest around September and October. When out gathering nuts, you should [...]

Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots

By |2021-05-24T16:11:53+00:00January 14, 2008|Around the Home|

Biodegradable pots are a good alternative to peat pots and plastic pots. Biodegradable pots naturally rot down in the soil when the plants are transplanted. Peat pots also rot down in the soil, however peat is an unsustainable resource and you should avoid buying it in order to protect Ireland’s [...]

Most Common Natural Remedies

By |2021-05-24T16:11:54+00:00January 10, 2008|Natural Remedies|

The most common natural remedies are used for simple ailments, such as coughs, colds and headaches. If you have anything more serious or are in any doubt as to what your symptoms are, you should always consult a medical professional. When you are ill, it’s important to keep your vitamin [...]

Why Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables?

By |2021-05-24T16:11:54+00:00January 7, 2008|Grow Your Own|

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a fun and rewarding hobby. Not only does it open up a whole new world of fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it makes you more in tune with nature and helps you to lead a healthier lifestyle. Environmental Benefits Growing your own fruit and [...]

Why Choose an Organic Lifestyle?

By |2021-05-24T16:11:54+00:00January 7, 2008|Grow Your Own|

An organic lifestyle is an increasingly important option for those with an ethical conscience. By growing your food organically, and buying organic food and products (such as shampoo and conditioner) you will help reduce the impact you have on the environment, improve animal welfare and preserve precious ecosystems as a [...]

Grow Your Own Tomatoes

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 4, 2008|Grow Herbs & Salad|

Tomatoes come in many different colours, shapes and sizes, including large beef steak types, oblong plum varieties, small cherry types and even purple, yellow, orange and sometimes striped types. What’s more, there are varieties that can be grown as standard cordons, some as bush plants and others in hanging baskets. [...]

Grow Your Own Squash Plants

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 4, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Squash plants are closely related to cucumbers, courgettes and marrows, and are a member of the same family, curcubit. Squash plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and include butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins. Squashes generally have a rich, orange flesh, but their outer skins can range [...]

Living a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle and Making Money

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 4, 2008|Money|

By living a self-sufficient lifestyle, you will require less money in order to survive. You will grow most of your own food, make many of your cleaning products (both household and cosmetic); you may even generate your own electricity. However, there will be times when you need money: these range [...]

Homemade Cleaning Products

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 4, 2008|Around the Home|

These days, few people clean their homes without using a multitude of different chemical concoctions, bought from the supermarket. These chemical cleaners are not only expensive, but they are unnecessary, especially for the cash-strapped self-sufficient family. Natural products make excellent cleaning solutions, at a fraction of the price. What’s more, [...]

Grow Your Own Courgettes, Cucumbers, Marrows

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Cucurbits (cucumbers, marrows, courgettes and squash) are fun plants to grow and yield impressive results. Courgettes are an ideal vegetable to grow for a beginner, and you are likely to always have more than you need. The plants take up a lot of room and require a very fertile soil, [...]

Grow Your Own Root Vegetables

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Root vegetables enjoy a moist, well-cultivated soil, packed with plenty of rich organic matter, such as homemade compost or well-rotted manure. The exception to this rule is carrots and parsnips. Carrots and parsnips prefer a light, sandy soil. If grown in a soil that is rich with manure or compost, [...]

Grow Your Own Cabbages, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Sprouts

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Brassicas enjoy a well-cultivated soil that’s rich in organic matter, such as homemade compost or well-rotted manure. If your soil is slightly acidic, a sprinkling of lime will help them grow better and help prevent the onset of the fungal disease club root. For best results start them off in [...]

How To Grow Asparagus

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Herbs & Salad|

Asparagus is a perennial crop that requires a permanent position and then little attention once it is established. Prepare the soil well by digging thoroughly, removing perennial weed roots and incorporating plenty of organic matter. The asparagus season is relatively short lived, lasting only eight weeks. It starts from mid-April [...]

Grow Your Own Onions, Garlic, Leeks

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Alliums are generally an easy crop to grow. If grown in conjunction with carrots and parsnips, they can help confuse pests, such as carrot and parsnip root flies. They can also protect leafy crops from slugs. Alliums enjoy a long growing season in a well-cultivated soil incorporated with plenty of [...]

Grow Your Own Peas and Beans

By |2021-05-24T16:11:55+00:00January 3, 2008|Grow Vegetables|

Legumes are water and nutrient hungry so need plenty of preparation and care throughout the growing season. The best way to cater for their needs is to dig a trench in autumn and fill it with homemade compost and moisture-retentive material such as kitchen scraps, but shredded newspaper can also [...]

Grow Your Own Blackcurrants & Redcurrants

By |2021-05-24T16:11:56+00:00December 20, 2007|Grow Your Own Berries|

Currants come in three colours: red, white and black (white currants are actually a sport, or interesting mutation of redcurrants). The growing requirements of all currant bushes are fairly similar, although blackcurrants tolerate heavier soils than other currants. Redcurrants have beautiful red, tart berries. The whitecurrant has translucent berries with [...]

Grow Your Own Apples and Pears

By |2021-05-24T16:11:56+00:00December 20, 2007|Grow Your Own Berries|

Apples and pears are some of the most widely cultivated fruits in the UK. The trees are grown on a variety of rootstocks, enabling them to be trained as espaliers in small courtyards and standards in large gardens. Both apple and pear trees flower in early-late spring. Pears are ready [...]

Grow Your Own Stone Fruits

By |2021-05-24T16:11:56+00:00December 20, 2007|Grow Your Own Berries|

Stone fruits are easy to grow. Once the trees are established, they’ll produce fruit for many years to come. They’ll need little care and attention apart from a yearly pruning and mulching, and watering in dry conditions. Growing Peaches Peach trees are widely grown throughout the Mediterranean and require a [...]

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