Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Busy doing nothing!!!


Well, not nothing exactly, but taking some time out to enjoy the countryside around me! Look at all that wild garlic!!! The wood was overrun with the stuff! OMJ wouldn't let me pick any though as its right behind here

Beautiful, but its known as the 'plague' church. A whole village was buried and moved a mile up the hill to finally rid the plague!!! All that remains is the church.......... and the garlic if you believe my other half!!!

Oh well better start looking for other places to gather it.

Monday, 23 March 2009


Today I have been watching (online of course) the Gardener's World 2009 Special on no ground gardening. It features Patrick Blanc's living wall in Paris. It opened my eyes to new possibilities within my garden. I'm thinking of a 'wall' garden on the back fence, of herbs and edible flowers.

Greenhouses and seeds

Our plot is too small for an actual green house but so many of the vegetables we like to eat in the summer seem to require hotter growing conditions than 'in the garden' can provide. So at the weekend I treated us to a mini greenhouse!! Whilst we were at the store I let the children buy a packet of seeds each Little Miss bought a mixed selection of herbs to grow on her windowsill and Jonsey bought Tomato seeds (never tried these before!!) OMJ bought parsnips and swede!

We spent an hour or two planting seeds then scuttled them of to their various homes.

Beetroot and Swiss Chard have both been popped in the mini greenhouse for now as the raised beds aren't quite ready. Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Courgettes and Chillis in the heated propogator. Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Chives, Coriander) were placed in the airing cupboard in their own little propogator until germinated - as recommended on the pack!

Our garden looks very empty at the moment but by late spring it should be packed!!! As well as 2 raised beds by the conservatory (part shaded) we have a 2 x 4 square ft bed in the back border.

Future plans include shelves and hanging baskets on the rear (south facing) fence, window boxes on the shed and summerhouse, raised beds down the side fence (shaded) ...... and possibly attacking the front garden too!!!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

How to make Super Easy Bread?......heres the recipe!

Part of the change to a simpler life has been making our own bread. This has meant me searching and trying ALOT of bread recipes and this is the one I love for quick super easy bread!!

1.5 lbs of Strong white flour

0.5 lbs of Strong wholewheat flour

4 tsp of easy blend yeast

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

Put these into the breadmaker / bowl then add

1/2pt cold milk and 1/2 pt boiling water - mixed together first before adding

If using a breadmaker put on dough program for ref mine takes 1.5 hrs)

If by hand knead dough for 4 mins then cover with cloth and leave to rise for 1.5hrs

After it is ready, knock back and shape into loaf / rolls / pizza bases, sprinkle on toppings (herbs, seeds, cheese) then cover and rise for 1/2hr.

When ready bake in oven 220oC for 20mins.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.
(freezes well)

I normally split my 2lb mix into 1 loaf, 6 small rolls and a pizza base.

Changes to the simple life

Today is the first day of spring and yes the sun is shining!!! I can't help but reflect on the changes we have made towards a more simple life over the passed few weeks and months, both big and small...

We have turned off (and taken away) our refridgerator. See here for the full story

I have started growing our own vegetables,
We make our own bread and over 90% of our meals are homemade
We have removed our televisions and I listen to the radio instead (wind up/solar powered of course!)
We use homemade cleaners around the home and for washing, we recycle some of our greywater.
I volunteer at the local school and have joined local community groups
All small changes in themselves but together they have made a huge difference to our lives

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


My Family by Little Jonesey
Welcome friends, old and new!!
Maybe you've come via my other blog or you've stumbled across us by chance, let me introduce ourselves (starting from the left of our picture)
Little Jonesey: Our Five year old son:- cheeky, outdoorsy, practical and hands-on. He got his first proper toolkit at christmas and loves to help daddy on projects. Favourite thing '
Little Miss Jones:- Arty, musical, a girly tomboy, loves helping mummy cooking or gardening and daddy in the workshop. Favourite thing 'getting muddy with daddy'
Mrs Jones to be:- Me!! I'm a homemaker, I spend my days cooking, baking, and learning new skills. I love growing my vegetables, being in the kitchen, learning new stuff via the 'net and the great oudoors
Old Man Jones :- The newest addition to our family! When daddy comes to visit he loves to be in the workshop or garage, creating new projects. Favourite thing 'exploring woods and climbing trees'
Together we make up the Jones Family. This blog is our journal of the changes we are making to live the simple life, the skills we are learning and our journey towards self sufficiency.