I’ve decided it’s time to move away from Blogger to WordPress. So here we are! We have lift off. A very warm welcome if you have stumbled upon us by chance, and a huge thank you if you have followed us from Blogger.
Who are we? A family of 4: Tracy (hi), Steven, Grace and Jack. We moved to our lifelong dream home back in January 2016, so we’re fast approaching 3 years. Life has grown since then and dreams really have started to be fulfilled. The dreams have also grown! Every year, we’ve had new ideas, new projects, new animals and new friends! Truly blessed.
The North East of England isn’t thought of by many as one of the most idyllic places to live, but I love it. We’re 10 minutes away from the local town and pretty much 20 minutes away from everything else, yet we are secluded in our little piece of England.
Today we’re running low on animals, mostly due to Mr Fox. We have 9 chickens, 4 geese and 4 ducks and 19 chicks. We had 70+ chickens and more geese and ducks at one point but the fox wiped us out over a couple of months. So we are now trying to increase our stock again, hence the chicks. 15 of those are being bred for meat as we raise our own meat and the other 4 are Rhode Island Red chickens of which 3 are female and 1 male.
We have 3 dogs (Annie, Rodney and Buster) and 3 horses, 3 ewes and their 6 lambs from this year. 3 of these lambs are in the freezer now with the last of the pork from last year’s pigs. Hopefully we’ll get more of both this coming year.
Over the summer, we have preserved as much as possible, using the freezer a lot more this year actually. We thought we were stocked up on logs however we are going through them at a fast rate. We’ve just taken a small delivery of oil which we hope to take us through the last of the winter and we’ve plenty of coal in.
The hayledge has been ordered and animal bedding delivered. We do need more hay though and word has it that if it’s a bad winter we will see a £10 increase per bale next year so fingers crossed we don’t.
So we should be all set outside, what about inside? The word of the year is FRUGAL. Income needs to be maximised and outgoings minimised. We’re wanting to save as much cash as possible for the next few years, so the blog will focus on the usual smallholding antics with the animals, the growing seasons but with a thought all of the time to keeping all costs down.
So free fun, frugal meals, cost saving ideas, income generating thoughts and a make do and mend attitude are the order of the day now. It’ll no doubt be a turbulent ride but we’re ready for it.
At present we’re eating out of the freezer, we’d like to empty one so that we can switch it off until we have the next lot of bulk meat to go into it. We’ve had a lot of “freezer surprise” meals in the last few days! Next on the cards is sorting the electric reading out to see what our monthly payments should be as they’ve suddenly shot up.
Making things a little more difficult is our new health drive. This isn’t a new year resolution thing, don’t worry. Since September 2018 I have lost 27lb and found a love of exercise. We’re both getting fitter (Ste already was!) and keeping the weight off. It’s doable but just takes a lot of planning.
So that’s us for now. Both back to work as of last week and taking lunches from home. Healthier and keeps the cost down. Watch this space for updates as we move through the year.