Wed, Aug 31 2011 at 12:02 PM
We have a 1 hectare (2.5 acres approx) small-holding in Central France - 2/3 in pasture for goats and sheep ( we buy in local grain and make hay for free from neighbours unwanted hay-fields) and a vegetable plot that provides all of our veg needs for the year. We have a 2 hectare woodland that provides all our fire-wood from coppicing ( a sustainable carbon neutral practice) and we aim to construct our own solar water heating panels to provide all our Summer hot water needs and will supplement the wood-fired Rayburn stove/boiler in the Winter. The FIRST thing you can do is reduce the AMOUNT of MEAT you eat AND reduce the amount of electricity you consume - This will make the whole exercise a lot more doable. We have helpers via HelpX and WWOOF who come from all over the world to help us and learn first-hand how to do it, We produce food to feed all these people too! I make cheese from the goat's milk and have just bought a cream separator to make cream and butter too!. We work 4-5 hours per day and do what we want the rest of the time - do crafts;write;play musical instruments; read; spin yarn....I have an ideal,idle life!!!