Nearly a year later

I started this blog all excited about it, I had intended to put lots and lots of stuff on it.  As it turns out I didn’t bother doing anything with it at all and so I haven’t made a single post in nearly a year.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing anything at all, I just haven’t been doing very much.
Growing food – nope
Zero cost living – a little bit
Increasing income – not nearly enough
Losing weight – I’ve done well with this

So basically been a lazy dog :-(

I am going to make a commitment to improving everything and following through on it.  In my next post I will detail my plans.

Building a raised bed

I decided that I would install a raised bed for growing the veggies.  I think it will look better and will mean that I won’t have to bend over quite so far.  I also think that it gives better growing conditions for the plants, mind you that might be wrong, I don’t know for sure.

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Raised bed

Construction was pretty easy, I just used some old fencing panels that I had left over from a previous job.  I got some small stakes, screwed it all together and then set it around the bed area and knocked it into the ground.

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The wood will probably rot over the course of a year or two, but will be easily replaceable.  I had considered other materials and construction methods, but this was both the cheapest and easiest and it used materials that were just lying around.

Digging in the garden

I decided last year that I would start to grow my own vegetables, however I never did get around to it.  So this year I have decided to grab the bull by the horns and get stuck in. 

First thing I did was read lots of books and magazines, it has helped a little but I still don’t really know what I’m doing.  I think that basically I just need to do it and learn from experience.

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Pre-digging

The second thing I did was start to put together a raised bed in the garden, I have included a few photos to show progress.

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First dig

At this point all I have done is dig the ground over and left it to sit, I believe that if the weather gets to it that it will get rid of some weeds and prepare the ground for planting.  I still need to put sides on and get more compost, then I’ll be good to go.

Zero Cost Living

So at the moment I live in your typical 3 bed semi-detached house in a housing estate, it’s about 7 miles from the center of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I don’t really like it here, to be honest I have never really liked it, don’t get me wrong I don’t hate it, I’m not ‘unhappy’, but there are a few things that I really don’t like.  I’ll not go into all of that now, that is a post for a different day, but to get to the point of this post, I have a dream!

While I live in this house I don’t think I will ever be able to realise my dream, but I think about it a lot and I am working towards getting it.

My dream isn’t just about the house I want to live in, although thats a good place to start, it is about the lifestyle that I want to live, and you know I bet at the heart of it that most people would want the same thing, obviously with different details, but the same basic core.

Not a cave!

My dream is to live what I like to call ‘Zero Cost Living’, this is basically where I don’t need to have any further increase in my income to survive, and that my whole income is from a residual source.  Further, I want to live in such a way that I have a minimal impact on the environment, and if possible actually improve it rather than destroying it.  Now I’m not saying that I want to go live in a cave and eat berries and nuts, naw I do like my comforts and I don’t think that is a necessity to do what I plan, although having an earth sheltered home might be classified as a cave, and growing some of  your own food could be described as eating berries and nuts.

So the basic targets are as follows;

  • Buy/build a house in the country, with a good sized piece of land
  • Increase residual income
  • Reduce unecessary expenditure
  • Grow a large percentage of my own food
  • Generate all of my own energy for electricity, heat, and travel
  • Reduce waste, both landfill and sewage

There are really two things about this plan which are difficult, saving enough money to buy/build a house in the country, and the second is to build a residual income that is big enough to pay for it without having to do too much work to maintain it.

If you check back again I will talk about a few of these aspects in more detail.