The Good Life, becoming as self sufficient as we can living in our own home. This is a good option for us. We have the house nearly paid off (nearly is still a lot of money in terms of house prices ;-)) and we have a large garden. We could grow vegetables and have space for a green house. We could even keep chickens and a goat perhaps.

In the UK you need a type of licence to keep a goat, plus you need to record all of its movements, even if you only own one. These laws were brought in after the foot and mouth outbreak. It is a bit of a hassle. The only thing I don’t agree with is the amount of vaccines the animals are given, it seems senseless to me and I’m not sure I would want to live off an animal that has been vaccinated, but unfortunately in this country it is difficult to avoid vaccines. It used to be that the first medical rule was ‘first do no harm’. Vaccines do not abide by this rule.

We have wood to supply us with heat and hot meals. We have carpenters and joiners in the family so wood is in abundant supply from renewable sources. The real problem is finding a way to create our own electricity. Our home eats up a lot of electric so we have to scale that down with energy saving appliances. Wind power is difficult because you need planning permission and it is unlikely that they will let us have more than one. Generators are expensive and run on diesel. Although, we could make our own biodiesel.

Solar power is incredibly expensive. Don’t expect it to save you money – in fact we calculated it to cost more than our electricity provider. Not much incentive, really is there? The only option we have is to literally save on electricity by using less and perhaps look into building our own solar panels. It can be done, it is expensive but I think we could save a lot by doing it this way.

I am looking into making my own soap for the family and laundry needs. My ecoballs smashed over the last few weeks (they didn’t last long) and I refuse to go back to using Ecover. So making my own soap would save money as well as being a natural alternative. Soap making is simply, but not without risk. Lye is a dangerous substance and you have to be well protected with proper protective clothing when using it. It is also best to have vinegar on standby to neutralize any spills.

Clothes would have to be maintained rather than bought and thrown away willy-nilly. So I will have to learn to sew!

There are a few drawbacks with this plan, but not many. Complaining neighbours, finding a clean electricity supply, using garden space for vegetables, devaluing our home perhaps? We would spend a lot of time living this way, so we would have to have part-time jobs just to cover the necessity expenses such as council tax, phone bill, water bill etc, etc. Hopefully we can get our bills down to a small amount and continue from there.

As I said before I am going to continue searching for smallholdings. In the meantime we are going to continue down this route.

Next installment –erm haven’t decided yet.

Stay happy, stay sane,