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DIY Projects

How to Make Seed Bombs

How to Make Seed Bombs

Elizabeth McCorquodale looks at the principles of seed bombing – a wonderful method of recolonising impoverished verges and embankments as long as the important dos and don’ts are adopted which includes which seed to spread and which to avoid! Guerrilla gardening first came to light in New York in the 1970s, when a community group […]

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 […]

in The Kitchen

Courgette Wine

Courgette Wine

Reader Andrew Homer’s recipe for courgette wine uses up an impressive full 5lb of courgettes, so will help with any excess of this prolific veg, to be drunk with Courgette Goujons or a little bit of Courgette Fudge Cake perhaps? INGREDIENTS 5lb courgettes 3lb white sugar (or use brown if you want a darker, rum-type […]

Sugar Free Pear Jam

Sugar Free Pear Jam

HF’s food historian, Seren Hollins, digs into her rationing cookbooks for inspiration to turn fruit into slightly more wholesome preserves. Like our recipe for parsnip cake this brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit (or veg) to sweeten. Whilst some recipes suggest replacing sugar with stevia this one uses the fruit’s natural sweetness and […]

Gooseberry and Custard Tart

Gooseberry and Custard Tart

  What could be more refreshing than the tart but sweet taste of gooseberry, and what could possibly be a better complement than the delicious and comforting taste of custard. The Jammy Bodger‘s recipe is a wonderful taste of summer wrapped up in a delicious sea of comfort. INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY 200g (7oz) plain […]

Ginger and Walnut Flapjacks

Ginger and Walnut Flapjacks

Ruth Tott’s recipe for Ginger and walnut flapjack is a real treat; a particularly rich and and stylish way to enjoy an afternoon tea, and delicious to boot! The combination of ginger and walnut is definitely a winning combination. INGREDIENTS 150g (5oz) butter 40g (1½oz) molasses sugar or dark soft brown sugar 3 heaped tbsp […]

Courgette Tea Bread

Courgette Tea Bread

This is actually Jennie Rutland’s kids’ favourite teatime treat, yet neither of them will eat courgettes in any other form – no one will ever guess the secret ingredient. This is a tea bread that is lovely warm or cold, and it’s great sliced and buttered. Alternatively, make a glaze using 3 tablespoons of lemon […]

Courgette Boats

Courgette Boats

LizzieB provides a great fun dish to make for the kids during the long summer holidays, and just perfect for getting them to eat one or more of their ‘5 a day’ while using up a courgette glut. Serve with mashed potato, rice or chips (my own four-year-old’s favourite) and additional vegetables of your choice. […]

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

Rich Moisturising Cream

Rich Moisturising Cream

You can spend a small fortune splashing out on hand cream – essentially, though, they all contain the same ingredients and do the same job – rehydrating the skin. City Cottage’s Diana Peacock makes a rich moisturising cream that uses beeswax and pure rose oil. An ingredient which is expensive but gives a luxurious finish […]

Natural Vegetable Dye Recipes

Natural Vegetable Dye Recipes

For many years Claire Boley has run workshops and exhibited her own hand-spun and hand-knitted creations, and here she reveals the exciting colours available from the typical English garden. You may also be interested in our post about dying with kitchen ingredients too. Dyeing both fleece and hand-spun yarn using natural dyestuff can be interesting […]

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 →

Livestock

Can Small Family Farms Survive in the 21st Century?

Can Small Family Farms Survive in the 21st Century?

See also: Butchering your own lamb A viable self-sufficiency checklist It will come as no surprise that small and independent family farms face considerable difficulties, and a major new independent study commissioned by The Prince’s Countryside Fund into the future of such businesses across the UK has revealed a steep decline in numbers since the […]

Keeping Goats in the Garden

Keeping Goats in the Garden

With recent interest in keeping goats we asked reader Carmel Smith shares her experience of keeping goats in her suburban garden. The other day I caught a couple of dog-walking strangers peeping through a gap in my hedge and pointing. This happens to us all the time because we keep goats in our suburban garden. […]

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 […]

The Kitchen Garden

The Original Bramley Apple Tree Is Dying

The Original Bramley Apple Tree Is Dying

No one knows whether the chicken or the egg came first, but there is definitely an original Bramley apple tree, which can be found in a cottage garden in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, and sadly it is dying from a serious honey fungus infection. The tree – the original ‘mother’ of all Bramleys worldwide – was planted […]

How to Make Seed Bombs

How to Make Seed Bombs

Elizabeth McCorquodale looks at the principles of seed bombing – a wonderful method of recolonising impoverished verges and embankments as long as the important dos and don’ts are adopted which includes which seed to spread and which to avoid! Guerrilla gardening first came to light in New York in the 1970s, when a community group […]

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 […]

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