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.


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.


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.



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.


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.