We are a family of 4; our children aged 12 and 10 years and are home educated. Our aim is to give them the tools and resilience to live a happy, sustainable life.
The last 2 years we have lived off grid in a cabin in our 36 acre woodland near Llandovery in carmarthenshire. Our existence has been very basic. We have our own spring water, a 12V electric system powered by solar panels; we have a compost toilet. We’ve minimized our waste through composting and recycling. We minimized travel, by walking or cycling.
However, we have spent the last year fighting the LPA and have now won 3 years temporary permission to live in our woodland.
We really want to live more sustainably. We can’t grow food in the woodland because of the lack of light. Our solar panels are not working as efficiently as we would like, again due to the lack of light. Our access to the woodland is via 4 fields and through a river. This can only be accessed through a fuel guzzling 4X4.
We have a vision to set ourselves up with a small holding, to start a centre for sustainable living and eventually expand into an eco-village.
Our aim is to provide the public with information on how to live sustainably.
Having an areas and buildings: for workshops; talks; films and a sustainable education centre. An information resource centre providing help on skill sharing, lift sharing, land share, recycling, free giving of items.... many, many more ideas to create a resilient community for the future.
We would like to share experiences and ideas for an ideal sustainable living model, sharing food production, transport, waste management and energy use.
We are buzzing with ideas and are at present in the process of selling our woodland to finance the purchase of suitable land. We are looking for funding and support for our huge project to set a precedent for the future of community resilience.
We're really looking for other like minded people who would like to come in with us on our plans. Please contact us if this sounds interesting to you.
On our site I've done a mind map in the form of a PDF that sets out all the aspects of our vision, please take a look.
Hi Kate, it looks like you and yours have plenty of ambition! It sounds like you're planning to establish a less education- and research-centric version of CAT which not necessarily a bad thing; have you got a location or tract of land in mind? What sources of additional funding are you looking at? How to you intend to generate cash in order to realise some of all of the projects you've outlined in your mind map?
Apologies for the questions; I have an inquisitive mind
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
HI Kate and Co. Hope you're making progress and what's your status? I'm a little baffled. Might you please explain. Woodlands are wonderful for many aspects of permaculture and homesteading. Why not use what you have, the woodland. You may be familiar with a book,The Woodland Way? Check out Feral Farm which is an almost identical climate in Washington State. It was almost entirely woodland and also on a river. Much food and solar can be collected from relatively small clearings. I personally planted a cleared dairy farm to a woodland. It seems human beings want something other than what they have. Please illuminate this topic. I know someone who placed solar panels and a wind turbine high on top of a tall tree. "The problem is the solution" but he needed to cut the top out with a chain saw. If one is a purist using no modern infernal combustion engines it can limit the choices available. "Fossil fuel" is solar energy, from plants and algae primarily, stored by the Earth for us to use wisely. I personally think we are not using nearly as wisely as we could.
An interesting story, I feel that all sustainable living schemes in the 21st century, will require a certain amount of conventional income and connection to the outside world, even John Seymour had income from books and TV work etc., to provide cash for a few manufactured items.
I have recently moved to a rented property with small back garden/yard plus large veg garden and orchard plus two paddocks of 2.5 acres in all, which I currently graze a small flock of sheep (2 x lambs for the freezer).
I have started down the road of a food forest and perma culture using wood chip mulch to get the ball rolling. I have a dozen hens behind moveable electric netting using solar power.
I would be interested in the possibility of a person/persons joining forces with me to produce vegetables and fruit for the local market.
I live in rural north Herefordshire am retired with enough income from pensions etc to keep house and vehicle running but lack the energy to tackle everything.
I have a couple of spare rooms, so, for the right person/s lodging could be an option.
The soil is in excellent condition and the fruit trees have been very productive, there is plenty of scope for a good supply of fruit, eggs and veg in 2018 season and maybe moving into the paddocks when we want to expand.
Anyone out there interested?
Hi, a message for Brian Gable, you and I have a similar set up, I live a couple of miles from Bromyard, perhaps we can help each other though what my hubby and I lack is also energy , but we have met some great folk who would love to have land , both very knowledgable, both with more energy than us, both help us out. Would love to chat more.
Judith and Brian Leavesley