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DIY Projects

All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

If you’ve not worked with electric netting before setting up a new system can appear daunting. But there is lot’s of help and advice available and the systems in use now are safe and easy to install. We’ve asked the experts at Electric Fencing Direct to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about […]

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Mark Abbott-Compton guides us through setting up and preparing the ideal growing environment for your veg. One of the commonest things I am asked is, “How do I increase the amount of vegetables harvested from the garden?” Well, over the years, gardens have become smaller and smaller, and many people no longer want to devote […]

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Here’s a quicky garden hack which makes a practical alternative or a great gift. Seed mats and seed tapes seem to be a popular feature in gardening catalogues but using basic kitchen items and seeds you can easily make your own. Using seed mats and tapes helps you to place your seeds exactly where you […]

By March 27, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Pallet Hack

Pallet Hack

Thanks to reader, C. Roberts, who emailed me this info on pallet deconstruction. A useful skill if you are planning to make use of the wood for projects such as our chair. Or seek out further inspiration from ideas on our Pinterest board dedicated to all thinks pallety. The different uses to which pallets can […]

By March 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Living with a Septic Tank

Living with a Septic Tank

If you move away to your perfect country idyll, it’s highly likely that it will have a septic tank. Heidi M. Sands ‘steps in’ with a layman’s explanation of the system and the ‘dos and don’ts’ Like a lot of people with an older property, we live with a septic tank. What this means is […]

By February 23, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
How to Make a Vertical Step-ladder Garden

How to Make a Vertical Step-ladder Garden

Making the most of a small garden or beautifying an outdoor area? Ladder stands are ‘stepping’ in to help. John Mason and the staff at ACS Distance Learning investigate and build one As gardens and outdoor spaces are diminishing in size, many people are looking at ways to make the most of their available space. […]

By February 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

in The Kitchen

Blueberry and Lemon Jam

Blueberry and Lemon Jam

This is a really simple way to make a very tasty preserve. Lizzie B’s recipe makes two jars, but if you grow your own blueberries, or find an economical source, you can simply double (or even triple) the quantities. She has only crushed half of the blueberries, as she likes a thick and fruity texture, […]

Kefir Bread

Kefir Bread

Kefir is considered to be good for restoring lost microbes in your gut. You create your own ‘mother’ kefir from kefir grains. This is a useful way of using up the ‘kefir milk’ and imparts a lovely flavour to the finished bread. INGREDIENTS – FOR THE STARTER 320g strong white bread flour ½ pint kefir […]

HF Guide to Fermenting Food

HF Guide to Fermenting Food

Seren Hollins looks at fermentation as a way to preserve and enhance food – an ancient form of storing produce as well as using Kefir as an ingredient. Kefir is reputed to be very beneficial in restoring important gut microbes and is generally good for all-round health. Throughout history, mankind has used fermentation to preserve […]

Blackcurrant Ripple Ice Cream

Blackcurrant Ripple Ice Cream

The bushes are dripping with blackcurrants – time to make this ice cream with a seam of delicious, feisty blackcurrant sauce running throughout. When preparing the fruit don’t worry too much about removing the stalks and whatnot (some of it impossible anyway), you will be sieving through to remove the gubbins during the process anyway. […]

How to make Your Own Gin Infusions

How to make Your Own Gin Infusions

Food historian and professional cook, Seren Hollins prepares some tempting gin infusions. Gin has a history. G&T may today seem perfectly civilised, but the idea of a ‘gin drinker’ sounds slightly seedy, and the term ‘mother’s ruin’ is still commonly used to describe this drink currently enjoying a huge and fashionable resurgence. To say gin […]

Lemon Drizzle Cake with Gin

Lemon Drizzle Cake with Gin

This ‘British Bake-off’ inspired twist on the traditional afternoon lemon drizzle cake uses gin in the topping. I used some drops of lemon essence to give it more lemon-omph in addition to the lemons and added stemmed ginger for even more ‘POW’. Ingredients 175g butter, at room temperature 175g caster sugar 2 large eggs, beaten […]

Renewable Energy

Solar Power for the Shed

Solar Power for the Shed

John Butterworth checks out recent developments in solar panels as he provides solar-powered lighting for a tractor shed I wrote about using a solar panel to power a hen-house light in a previous post, so now it’s time to see how things have moved on, and to get up to date with a newer, bigger […]

By February 8, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
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 →

Crafts

Pallet Hack

Pallet Hack

Thanks to reader, C. Roberts, who emailed me this info on pallet deconstruction. A useful skill if you are planning to make use of the wood for projects such as our chair. Or seek out further inspiration from ideas on our Pinterest board dedicated to all thinks pallety. The different uses to which pallets can […]

By March 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Getting Started on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Getting Started on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Ann Dishman is the Chair of the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers and a gifted weaver of Scandinavian-style rugs. Here she explains her technique and how to source the material I have loved spinning and weaving for many years – not the intricate and beautiful weavings of my fellow weavers but the […]

By February 13, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How to Make a Fancy Planter

How to Make a Fancy Planter

John Butterworth makes an attractive planter – a bit fiddly (his own words) but well worth the effort. Plus it will last a few seasons due to using good quality wood and preservative. Here’s a little project that will cost very little in materials, and it’s ideal for those long, winter days, but I have […]

By February 2, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

So many recipes for extracts are designed to produce amounts which could keep the WI going for months on end, so I’ve reduced the typical quantities here to make this a bit more realistic for the average-sized kitchen and the requirements of a ‘normal’ person. In each case the preserving of the extract in vodka […]

By January 26, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Simple Clock Make Over

Simple Clock Make Over

I spotted this rather sad and dated clock in a charity shop, the mechanics worked fine, it even had a working battery so well worth the £2 being asked for it. Here’s how I brought it ‘back to the future’. YOU WILL NEED Coarse, clean scouring pad Wrapping paper (strong, good quality ‘Kraft’ type is […]

By November 24, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
You’ll love this candle hack

You’ll love this candle hack

Wax candles in jam jars (or any other glass containers including the Yankee Candle variety) look great BUT after a few hours of burning the amount of air getting to the wick isn’t enough to keep it burning brightly. As a result your favourite candle is limp and lame if lit at all and more […]

By November 15, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Livestock

Funny Shaped Chicken’s Eggs

Funny Shaped Chicken’s Eggs

Eggs can be different sizes, and different colours, but you would expect them mostly to be egg-shaped. However, that’s not always the case, and Terry Beebe explains why. Laying eggs is a normal process for hens, and not laying is indicative of a problem, which should be investigated. Exceptions are during the moult and in […]

Keeping Pygmy Goats

Keeping Pygmy Goats

                            Christine Fuller from Kent Smallholders Group passes on her experiences of keeping pygmy goats, describing her first encounters as well as giving some valuable dos and don’ts for anyone considering keeping them. Our first goats were ‘pygoras’ – pygmy goats crossed with an angora goat. Their names were Lillie and Rosie, and they […]

All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

If you’ve not worked with electric netting before setting up a new system can appear daunting. But there is lot’s of help and advice available and the systems in use now are safe and easy to install. We’ve asked the experts at Electric Fencing Direct to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about […]

How to make Cider Vinegar

How to make Cider Vinegar

There are always some free apples for the taking in autumn, writes Elizabeth McCorquodale, whether from wildings, community orchards, or through social media sites like Freecycle, and making up a batch of apple cider vinegar is a cheap way of acidifying soil or making your own spot weedkiller. You can of course use it for […]

Living with a Septic Tank

Living with a Septic Tank

If you move away to your perfect country idyll, it’s highly likely that it will have a septic tank. Heidi M. Sands ‘steps in’ with a layman’s explanation of the system and the ‘dos and don’ts’ Like a lot of people with an older property, we live with a septic tank. What this means is […]

By February 23, 2017 1 Comments Read More →
NFU Appeal to Lift Neonic Ban Flies in Face of Logic

NFU Appeal to Lift Neonic Ban Flies in Face of Logic

Invertebrate charity, Buglife, is dismayed that the National Farmers Union (NFU) is ignoring the compelling evidence that neonics have damaged wild bee populations and has again asked Defra to temporarily lift the EU-wide ban on using neonicotinoid seed treatments on insect pollinated crops. There is abundant scientific evidence that neonic seed treatments do not consistently […]

By February 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

The Kitchen Garden

Weeds – friend or foe?

Weeds – friend or foe?

Whilst acknowledging the inconvenience of weeds in a garden, award-winning gardening and environment author, John Walker, extolls their wider and more important value to our ecosystem in his latest book, Weeds. (Please see the offer at the end of this article)  @earthFgardener www.earthfriendlygardener.net Weeds are amazing. When I stumble upon a clump of creeping thistle, […]

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Mark Abbott-Compton guides us through setting up and preparing the ideal growing environment for your veg. One of the commonest things I am asked is, “How do I increase the amount of vegetables harvested from the garden?” Well, over the years, gardens have become smaller and smaller, and many people no longer want to devote […]

How to make Cider Vinegar

How to make Cider Vinegar

There are always some free apples for the taking in autumn, writes Elizabeth McCorquodale, whether from wildings, community orchards, or through social media sites like Freecycle, and making up a batch of apple cider vinegar is a cheap way of acidifying soil or making your own spot weedkiller. You can of course use it for […]

Zen and the Art of Pricking Out

Zen and the Art of Pricking Out

For Elizabeth Arter pricking out seedlings is one of the real joys of gardening not a tedious task that seems to drag and drag. Instead make it a time for calm, made calmer by doing a bit of planning and using a bit of common sense. Each season I extend the range of kitchen garden […]

By April 27, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Low Allergy Gardening

Low Allergy Gardening

The author of the following article is Max Wiseberg, who has suffered badly from hayfever since childhood, and as a consequence created Haymax, an organic, drug-free barrier balm for allergy sufferers. Here he provides some timely tips for any other gardeners dreading the coming hayfever months. Surprisingly, there are many ways to considerably reduce your […]

How to Grow Citrus Fruits in Pots

How to Grow Citrus Fruits in Pots

  If you follow some basic rules, growing citrus fruits in containers can be productive, ornamental and aromatic, writes Mark Abbott-Compton One of the great things about growing citrus fruits is that you get both the fruit and flowers on the plant at the same time, and they will flower right through from spring to […]

By March 28, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

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