Starting Our Self Reliant Dream

Today, we finished the polytunnel! Well, technically we finished it a week ago, but today is when the video goes up, so I’m going to pretend it’s today.

If you’ve been following this channel for a while you’ll know that our plan was to buy a home (check) start a garden (check) and work towards being as self-sufficient as possible. That last part will be a lifetime work-in-progress goal – it’s impossible to be entirely self-reliant – but especially with how the world is going at the moment, I’m incredibly glad that we decided to tackle the garden this year instead of waiting any longer.

Our herb garden was last year’s project; we have lavender, thyme, two types of oregano, Chinese chives, chives, peppermint, calendula, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, bay, and chamomile all growing in our herb garden. I also have chilis growing very nicely on my windowsill along with my old friend aloe-vera.  I still need to add sage, parsley, saffron, basil, peppercorns, garlic, vanilla, and possibly lemongrass to the herb garden; but those will need to be added slowly over the rest of the year. The next plant on my list is nettles which will go directly behind the compost bin. They’ll be fantastic for supporting bees, butterflies and be a constant reliable source of food and tea for myself. I’m so excited to see them grow it’s not even funny!

Just before the lockdown started we decided to bite the bullet and get a polytunnel and build a propper composting area. I also had to clear out a large stump from the corner of the garden and dig up the decorative bushes that lined the garden when we bought it since we need a rain collection system and quite a few raised beds eventually. It took a month in total to assemble the polytunnel and compost-bin, and as of today our potatoes and tomatoes are going in the tunnel.

Over the rest of the year, our targets are to get the patio re-laid with a pergola above it so that we can harvest the rainwater, along with five raised beds and two fruit trees planted in the winter. I’ll also be building a large enclosure for our quail/chicken so that they have a large meadow grass area to enjoy, but with everything we need to do this year I think I’ll only be able to plant the seed-grasses for their enclosure. The last thing I want to do is get quail before I have the time to learn how to take care of them.

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