Thursday, 29 January 2009

Please Sir, can I have my greenhouse back?

Hopefully my automatic music file will be working by the time you reach my this blog!
I now understand why web programmers wear anoraks and don't have girlfriends - even with all the info handed on a plate it still took me 11 hours.
I just wear an anorak because:-

a) It has rained non stop now for 14 years
b) I found one on a dead programmer
c) It makes me hot, not dead sexy (which I am) but hot warm hot.

Ah yes I remember, we forgot to peg the greenhouse back down whilst building our new outside lounge. Really high Northerly winds and I woke up in the morning sans greenhouse. Two fences later, I found it in my neighbours garden.
The Scottish chill out summer lounge - with greenhouse attached

Greenhouse flew over a pergola, two fences and my palms!

I got the idea from some photos I found in flickr from a Scottish lady in France (google "la ferme de sourrou" in Flickr) and had some posts given to me by a Scottish couple nearby.
Since I am one eighth Scottish, that means that the construction is technically 1/144th Scottish.
Then again, maths never was my strong point.

What my finished "glorriette" will hopefully look like. No anoraks will be hurt in the construction of the above!!

Since the eighteenth century, we have been persuaded by laws and conscience to accept that all power, water and gas should come from a centralized source. We all expect mains water, mains electricity, telephones and gas to be plumbed to our front door. Some people even want a stronger electricity supply, better mains water pressure. How the heck can we run the sexy crome coffee machine, the microwave and the breadmaker at the same time otherwise?

It was at this point last year, after installing electric underfloor heating in my farmhouse was the point I woke up. My quest is this. If the electricity, gas and water supply tomorrow ceased, how would I survive? The answer is, I wouldn’t. But if I knew that on the 1st January 2018 the grid would crash could I survive? I believe so. I have set myself ten years (now actually just under 9) to become fully off grid and fully self sufficient in water, food, energy and shelter.Food. This winter I planted a lot of fruit trees to take advantage of the winter rains. Underneath these trees I constantly rotate a large selection of onions, tomatoes, broccoli, corgettes, peppers, beetroot, anything that is in season. Since I have to water the trees, the vegetables get watered as well, and the greater the combination (currently random!), the greater the symbiosis and the better the veg and the better the fruit. As they mature, then they will require less water and create shade for growing more diverse vegetables in the shade as the Algarve sun blasts down in the summer. My chickens are a big success, free to feed and using little water and producing fantastic eggs. My ducks and geese were a waste of time, sincemy land is too small to allow them to roam,few eggs and as a vegetarian no use!I am learning to collect some of the crop as seed but it will take a few years to get any where near sufficiency. I guess I manage to grow 10% of my food, less in winter. More than some buggers though

... and now for something completely different:-

International economic systems based on the cow currency.


 You have 2 cows.

 You give one to your neighbour.


 You have 2 cows.

 The State takes both and gives you some milk.


 You have 2 cows.

 The State takes both and sells you some milk.


 You have 2 cows.

 The State takes both and shoots you.


 You have 2 cows.

 The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws

 the milk away...


 You have two cows.

 You sell one and buy a bull.

 Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.

 You sell them and retire on the income.


 You have two giraffes.

 The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

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