Frugal Family

What do I hope 2016 brings us?

Firstly, Happy New Year! 2016 is here and whatever your plans are for this year, we hope that you succeed and have fun.

This year we have decided to knuckle down with our self sufficiency and prepping journey. I have started planning our garden layout, seeds are being collected and my diary is filling up fast with planting plans and ideas. Our garden was used last year but not to its fullest, as it was our first year living in our new home. The house was our main priority and the front garden was made to look slightly more appealing with some quirky flower beds- a toilet full of pansies and some old Land Rover tires with some basic herbs.

In our back garden you will find our hens and minimal vegetables (along with piles of wood and a stripped washing machine drum that we use for cooking and burning waste), but unfortunately the back garden gets next to zero sun, making growing opportunities tough. We have decided to keep the back of the house as our storage and play space, as it is not much better for anything else, and the front garden we shall convert into our growing area. The main challenge is using space efficiently. While I call the front garden a ‘garden’ is it nothing more than a few square feet of shingle but it is an absolute sun trap. We have a front porch that works as a great greenhouse and that is where we shall start most of our seedlings off. My only concern will be passers by helping themselves to our crops, but hopefully that worry won’t need to be tackled.

I have ideas of making space by growing vertically, using the deep windowsills and filling every inch of wall space with either trellises, hanging baskets or hooks. I have been reading up on minimalist gardening and scouring through Pinterest for some fun ideas.

Over winter I have been teaching myself how to knit. I could knit basic squares but I threw myself into a couple of jumper projects and even knitted some Christmas decorations and a teddy for Ivy. I think I did quite well! I view sewing as more of a summer hobby, so as the nights get longer I hope to find myself sat at the sewing machine for longer hours and whipping out some clothing for us all… I hope! I’ve become a master at stitching up some quick baby wipes and family cloth, but making my kids some pretty dresses still seems a little daunting.

So, as it would seem, homesteading will be our main focus this year. Anything to keep our hands busy, our boots muddy and our wallet’s a little less used.

What are your plans for the year? If you don’t want to brush up on your DIY skills maybe you have another goal for 2016 like going vegan, or getting that book you have been writing published. Whatever your goals and wishes, I hope you all the best and good luck!

me and margo

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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