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DIY Projects

How to Make a Straw Bale Bed

How to Make a Straw Bale Bed

Mark Abbott-Compton from www.learn-how-to-garden.com has been using bales of straw or hay for a number of years, either to grow crops or as the framework for some quick-to-construct and cost-efficient raised beds. Here he combines bale beds with the technique of creating a layered no-dig bed. no-dig techniques to both extend his plot and use […]

How to Make a Wicking Bed

How to Make a Wicking Bed

Dave Hamilton, author of Grow Your Own Food For Free, shows how to make a Wicking container, the ideal, permaculture solution to irrigate your container plants, for next to nothing. Container gardening is a very thirsty way of growing, and lack of water is especially a problem for those growing most of their produce in […]

How to Make a Willow Plant Protector

How to Make a Willow Plant Protector

Willow remains a popular choice for making plant supports and with reason. It weathers well, is strong and rustic looking and is often used to make other garden and agricultural structures such as our practical ‘how-to’ posts on making wattles and wigwams. Jayne Neville’s willow plant protector is attractive, practical and portable. It is also […]

Building a Chicken Coop Extension

Building a Chicken Coop Extension

John Butterworth calls this extension that he added on to his chicken shed a ‘henservatory’. It’s a very simple lean-too-extension that goes on the side of a chicken hut. Instead of shutting the birds away at night, the pop-hole can safely be left open, so they can wander in and out at will, and still […]

Revamping Your Flowerpots

Revamping Your Flowerpots

That crafty art of decoupage has all sorts of applications (no pun intended). I particularly like that you can bring back to life rather old objects to make great gifts or just to have around the house or garden. I’ve used wrapping paper in the past to cover clocks and old placemats. Here I’ve used […]

How to Build a Cane Wigwam

How to Build a Cane Wigwam

HF contributor Mark Abbott-Compton creates a sturdy wigwam to support peas, beans and squash. See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-grow-beans/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/grow-vegetables-small-space/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-your-own-hotbed/   One of the best ways to increase the amount of growing space we have in the garden is to use wigwams or frames to create a vertical growing space. These wigwams can be used for […]

in The Kitchen

Rose-hip Soup

Rose-hip Soup

In the same way that many of us in the 1960s were required to take our daily dose of rose-hip syrup, Swedish children were encouraged to eat a bowl of this tasty soup at the weekend. A nation of foragers, Swedes often use ingredients – even in packaged versions of familiar products – which are […]

Nettle Beer

Nettle Beer

Dave Hamilton, author of Grow your Own Food for Free shares one of his favourite recipes for making nettle beer. It’s cheap to make and follows a traditionally English recipe. Before hops were widely used in the 17th century all sorts of plants were used to flavor the ale including nettles (Urtica dioica). It was […]

Lavender Scones

Lavender Scones

Cooking with lavender has a fined history in the UK with lots of uses, both sweet and savory. Lavender is reputed to be one of Colonel Saunder’s herbs in his KFC mix. I first tasted these delicious scones when I visited the wonderful Yorkshire Lavender – they were served up with blueberry and lavender jam […]

Lemon Ketchup

Lemon Ketchup

Food historian Seren Hollins makes a special lemon ketchup – or catsup as it was actually should be called. This sauce is great for stir-frys, to drizzle over new potatoes or indeed to add a bit of zest to a standard salad. Naturally it is fantastic with fish and seafood – infact it is perfect, […]

Himalayan Balsam Recipes

Himalayan Balsam Recipes

In the 19th Century a plant was introduced into the UK as an alternative to the orchid. Himalayan Balsam quickly adapted and spread, it’s rapid spread helped by small children (and not just children) delighting in the seeds that shoot out from the pods when touched. These seeds can shoot up to 23′ – it […]

How to Make Clotted Cream

How to Make Clotted Cream

Here is a recipe from Diana Peacock of City Cottage for making your own clotted cream, a must for a traditional cream tea with rich Devonshire scones and a delicious, fruity strawberry jam. You MUST use milk with a high fat content, like Jersey milk or it just won’t work. You can not make clotted […]

Renewable Energy

Is this the end of Fracking…or Renewables?

Is this the end of Fracking…or Renewables?

As the UK government attempts to limit local democracy in the UK to force through fracking, and goes cap in hand to the Chinese to enable its nuclear ambitions, it seems the Americans have done a U-turn – apparently, solar and wind power are surging forward as shale gas and coal falter. It seems that […]

Anaerobic Digestion – Spreading the Goodness

Anaerobic Digestion – Spreading the Goodness

Through the process of combining biodegradable materials, a new fuel was created that produced electricity and other self-sufficient solutions. This not only saved money, but also reduced environmental impacts by making our waste once again useful. Known as Anaerobic Digestion, we saw a reduction in fossil fuel by 50% as we discovered what materials would […]

By August 18, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Going Off-grid

Going Off-grid

So you’ve heard the predictions regarding fuel shortages and you’re fed up with being held to ransom by Tom, Dick and every other fuel provider. Or you’re planning your escape to the big, green outdoors with limited access to on-grid fuel supply. Either way the idea of going off-grid is tempting to most home farmers. […]

By January 29, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
E.Coli to the Rescue

E.Coli to the Rescue

E.Coli to the rescue – probably one of the less likely phrases you might expect to come across. Universally it has quite rightly always been considered one of Nature’s real bad guys, but in the same way that John McVicar became a force for good, British and Finnish scientists have been using E.Coli to create […]

Building and Using a Solar Cooker

Building and Using a Solar Cooker

Article by Joanne Brannan June 2012 Home Farmer Many solar cookers are either complicated to construct, very expensive to buy, or suitable only for climates far sunnier than ours here in the UK. But there is one simple solar cooker design that costs next to nothing to build and works remarkably well, even here! When […]

By December 5, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
DIY solar power projects | For the shed or poultry house

DIY solar power projects | For the shed or poultry house

John Butterworth ‘sheds light’ on a simple DIY solar-powered system for illuminating your hen-house or running an electric fence. See Also: Preparing Poultry for Winter DIY Poultry House Plans Building and Using a Solar Oven   Always a drawback, isn’t it, to have a shed too far away from a mains supply? It makes you […]

By October 25, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Crafts

How to Make a Willow Plant Protector

How to Make a Willow Plant Protector

Willow remains a popular choice for making plant supports and with reason. It weathers well, is strong and rustic looking and is often used to make other garden and agricultural structures such as our practical ‘how-to’ posts on making wattles and wigwams. Jayne Neville’s willow plant protector is attractive, practical and portable. It is also […]

Revamping Your Flowerpots

Revamping Your Flowerpots

That crafty art of decoupage has all sorts of applications (no pun intended). I particularly like that you can bring back to life rather old objects to make great gifts or just to have around the house or garden. I’ve used wrapping paper in the past to cover clocks and old placemats. Here I’ve used […]

Build an Insect House

Build an Insect House

Tony Lush, author of the Haynes Garden Buildings Manual, shows how to build an overwintering hibernation place for garden insects See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/creating-a-wildlife-garden/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-help-hedgehogs/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/building-and-using-a-wormery/   Many gardens are kept unnecessarily tidy and consequently provide few hibernation opportunities for insect life. Most insects benefit the garden in one way or another, so why not provide […]

By March 17, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
How to Make Perfume

How to Make Perfume

Here’s some instructions for making your own, unique, light scent. Do use brown bottles to store your perfume and invest in plastic pipettes as well as 100% vodka at 37.5% vol to use for the base and distilled water. Plus you’ll need various essential oils. See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-real-soap/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-natural-beauty-treatments/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/make-your-own-radox/   Distilled water is available […]

By March 17, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
How to Darn

How to Darn

Julie Butterworth picks up needle and thread to rediscover the lost skill of darning stuff as part of our series on fixing things. See Also: knitted-slippers-pattern making-felt-the-dry-method   First, you’ll find this far easier if you invest about £3 in a ‘darning mushroom’ – available from craft stores, good old haberdashers or online – or […]

By March 17, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
How to Whittle Your Own Garden Dibber

How to Whittle Your Own Garden Dibber

Peter Benson, whittling enthusiast and author of The Whittling Handbook due to be published April 2016, shares his simple instructions for how to whittle your own useful dibber – a great first time project for anyone wanting to have a go. See also: how-to-make-a-walking-stick how-to-whittle-a-spoon how-to-whittle-a-bread-spreading-knife   This is one of those implements that you […]

Livestock

Building a Chicken Coop Extension

Building a Chicken Coop Extension

John Butterworth calls this extension that he added on to his chicken shed a ‘henservatory’. It’s a very simple lean-too-extension that goes on the side of a chicken hut. Instead of shutting the birds away at night, the pop-hole can safely be left open, so they can wander in and out at will, and still […]

Keeping Ducks

Keeping Ducks

Whilst keeping chickens in the garden is popular once more keeping ducks on the same basis is often considered far more difficult yet, as Terry Beebe explains, you don’t need a huge pond or land to keep them and in many instances they are proving to be better and more reliable layers than chickens, more […]

Keeping Native Breeds

Keeping Native Breeds

Benjamin Crosby looks at why it might be wise to sacrifice a little production for the relative ease of keeping hardy native breeds which often thrive on foraging in the British environment. Native breeds are those created solely in Great Britain. There is a great, often overlooked, selection to choose from, and a breed for […]

Homeopathy for Animal Health

Homeopathy for Animal Health

Homeopathy is viewed with a degree of cynicism in some sectors of animal husbandry, but is practised mainly by keepers intent on high standards of welfare. Heidi M. Sands, herself a convert, investigates: See Also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/natural-medicines/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/old-cures-for-poultry-ailments/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/call-to-end-routine-farm-antibiotic-use/   Homeopathy is widely regarded as an alternative form of medicine understood to have been recognised and […]

Pigs in the Cottage Economy

Pigs in the Cottage Economy

As part of her series on William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy, Dot Tyne, co-author of Viable Self-Sufficiency, looks at Cobbett’s view of the pig as a source of bacon for the self-supporter, and considers his advice in the light of 21st-century tastes and technology. See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/cottage-economy-says-making-bread/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/relevance-cottage-economy-today/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-bacon-at-home/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-sausages/   Pigs can be kept in […]

Auto-sexing

Auto-sexing

Terry Beebe looks at how you tell the sex of a chick and explores the curious and slightly confusing world of auto-sexing and sex-linked birds, and looks at a familiar bird with this useful characteristic – the Cream Legbar. See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/common-poultry-problems/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-a-chicken-coop/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/know-your-hybrid-chickens/   The term ‘auto-sexing’ describes when pure-bred, day-old chicks can be […]

The Kitchen Garden

How to Make a Straw Bale Bed

How to Make a Straw Bale Bed

Mark Abbott-Compton from www.learn-how-to-garden.com has been using bales of straw or hay for a number of years, either to grow crops or as the framework for some quick-to-construct and cost-efficient raised beds. Here he combines bale beds with the technique of creating a layered no-dig bed. no-dig techniques to both extend his plot and use […]

How to Make a Wicking Bed

How to Make a Wicking Bed

Dave Hamilton, author of Grow Your Own Food For Free, shows how to make a Wicking container, the ideal, permaculture solution to irrigate your container plants, for next to nothing. Container gardening is a very thirsty way of growing, and lack of water is especially a problem for those growing most of their produce in […]

How to Grow Lavender

How to Grow Lavender

Ruth Tott interviews Julia Snowball, head gardener at Yorkshire Lavender, to discover why her success rate at growing lavender has been dismal. I look in envy at those perfectly sculpted, round ‘molehill’ type mounds of lavender bushes which people have lovingly cultivated, trimmed and plucked into shape, then look down at my own spiky, woody […]

How to Grow Veg in Compost Heap

How to Grow Veg in Compost Heap

Make the most of an otherwise unproductive and often overlooked space – the compost heap! Mark Abbott-Compton shows how to prepare and use yours to grow the best courgettes ever. While it’s being made, the space taken up by the compost bin is normally unproductive… but it really doesn’t have to be. Courgettes, squash and […]

How to Recycle Grow Bag Compost

How to Recycle Grow Bag Compost

Dave Hamilton, author of Grow Your Food For Free (Well Almost) shares his tips on reusing spent compost from containers and Growbags. See Also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/organic-soil-improvement/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/home-made-fertiliser-recipes/   Container growers know all too well that at the end of the season, once everything is harvested, they can be left with piles of spent compost. This can […]

Home Made Fertiliser Recipes

Home Made Fertiliser Recipes

Feed your soil and the soil will feed your plants, and if that feeding can be done almost for free and naturally, then all the better, says Elizabeth McCorquodale See also: https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-have-liquid-compost-on-tap/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/organic-soil-improvement/ https://homefarmer.co.uk/making-your-own-liquid-fertiliser/   Look around any home or garden and you will find a host of raw materials that are perfect for being […]

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