January 2011:

City and the Mountains is a book by the Portugese author Eca de Queiros, published in 1901. It is a fictional reflection on the real and romantic aspects of city and country life from the viewpoint of the Portuguese elite. Starting in the city the main character is coaxed back to the country and to his family estate where he realises the benefits of country living.

We are a recently married couple who want to learn about growing, catching and making our own food. To that end we are starting with an allotment and seeing where that takes us. Maybe one day a small holding and a self-sufficient lifestyle.

This blog will contain our notes, successes and failures. Hopefully we will be able to give and receive tips from people trying to achieve the same thing.

Feb 2013: Our move to Poland and a bigger project:

Following a period of inactivity on our blog in 2012 we are picking it up again under quite different circumstances.

When we started this blog we had just acquired our first allotment in Cornwall and were  keen to learn about growing our own fruit and veg, as well as catching fish, foraging and anything else that would help us live a bit cheaper.

It has been our distant dream for a while to move towards self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency revolves around having access to natural resources as well as enough capital, experience and time to set these things in motion. Like most people the access to the resources, namely land, was always our problem and kept self-sufficiency a distant dream. But in 2012 things  started to move forward when my wife’s family bought a small-holding in Poland. We signed up to move over and help work the land. Our inactivity on the blog in 2012 was due to a few changes we had to make in England to get us into the position to move over to Poland in that November. Our allotment suffered a lot because we moved into a caravan a 20-mile round trip away. Initially I kept up planting by cycling to and fro, but this wasn’t sustainable over the year with work etc. It was a bit sad but our allotment suffered and we took to monthly visits just to strim the weeds. In summary we packed everything up in England, left our regular jobs, and I moved away from family and friends to emigrate to Poland.

A few months on and we are in Poland, waiting out the winter in the city ready to start restoring the buildings so that we can live there, and working the land. Our goal now is to work towards the type of self-sufficiency I first read about in John Seymour’s ‘Fat of the Land’. This is a loose goal, I see ourselves on a path from our recent way of life, working all week just to spend all our hard earned money on food and accommodation, to a life of working very long hours on our own small-holding to directly provide the things we  need as a family.

This obviously involves a lot of learning and making of mistakes, this blog is a documentation of that process. As I mentioned when we first started the allotment I am not in any way an expert on anything but hopefully our efforts will be of interest to people who are thinking about a similar move. The blog also serves as a way to document things for ourselves and our family to come, its already interesting to look back at our first posts from a couple of years ago when all this was just a pipe dream.

2 Responses to “About”

  1. CharlieB Says:

    Thanks for signing up to my blog! How exciting that you are just starting yours – I’m looking forward to following you over the year and wish you lots of luck!

  2. Thanks Charlie,

    Just been up the allotment to make a wonky compost bin, will do the job! We look forward to following you as well, maybe pick up some tips.

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