Welcome back to our newsletter about our battle to become self-sufficient. Here are our plans for 2016. Also, Christmas has been and gone but we thought you'd like to see how we did Christmas, self-sufficient style.
We've got lots of ideas for 2016 to boost our supply of home produced food. Here are some of our plans.
We were on a steep learning curve in 2015 when it came to breeding our goats. Pinkie, pictured above, our milking goat, was successfully mated but she had a very difficult birth in May. She ended up having an emergency caesarian in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the 2 kids did not survive the birth.
Since then however, Pinkie has produced lots of milk and we've been learning to make cheese. The big job for this year is to register with the authorities so that we can sell our cheese and milk products. We will also need to build a milking parlour.
Geraldine (the black goat) was mated over Christmas. Georgina is still to be done. Their offspring will be used for meat. This is our next new venture for 2016. Assuming all goes well, we will be trying out goat meat recipes later this year.
Last year the bees put their energy into swarming rather than into making honey. This meant we went from having 6 hives at the start of the year to 12 by the end of July. We are hoping for a better year in 2016 though it is dependent on having some good weather. We will have a go at making more honey products and will process the beeswax to make candles.
We will be hatching more quail, chickens and ducks. We have a small number of regular customers for eggs and we continue to swap eggs (and our preserves) for other people's produce.
We will also be going to more local markets and swap events. There's quite a bit of interest in swapping surplus food and we've done some great exchanges over the past year. Once we've got through the inspection process for cheese production, we'll be able to swap our cheese as well.
Creating a self-sufficient seasonal feast
Christmas is over. Hooray! We had our most self-sufficient Christmas feast yet. We shot a few videos about the meal which you can see on the links below:
My name is Jonathan Wallace. I live in Sunniside, Gateshead, in the North East of England. I gave up paid employment in 2009 so that I could become self-sufficient. With my partner we are still learning, experimenting, failing, winning and occasionally bungling through.