FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Friday, 30 June 2017

Five on Friday

Welcome back for another Five on Friday!
Happy 59th Birthday to Cindy The bee lady from hilltop farm! We hope you have the best day :)

Thank you to all the amazing people that have posted such beautiful and positive comments in the last couple of weeks. We are so blessed to have such a fantastic family of supportive people around us through this blog.

Speaking of blessings lets get stuck in with this weeks Five. As many of you know I am a biker through and through, I've been riding motorcycles since I left school and nothing short of death could stop me continuing to ride them for as long as I am physically able to. This week I got the chance to snap a photo of my bike parked up at the front of our land when I visited to check in on the people doing the geotechnical survey for us

Our Land
I've owned this old girl longer than any other bike I've had, when I am on her she is an extension of my body and I can move her in and out of traffic as easily as breathing. The land behind is ours as far as the eye can see (obviously excluding the mountains but that would be far too much even for us!) The plot is narrow and long, making up a total of 5 acres of mostly almonds with a couple of olive trees. One of the first things we'll be doing is adding in more diversity so that there is always something to do and more importantly always something to eat!

Nasturtium flower
This is a photo of one of the nasturtiums we're growing. Apart from being beautiful you can eat the flowers, leaves and seeds of nasturtiums and they are also a great natural parasite remover when fed to chickens etc
They came from seeds given to us by my mother which she had saved from my grandmothers garden, who in turn had saved them from my great grandmothers nasturtiums! So this strain has been saved and kept every year by my family for at least the last 4 generations, I'd hate to break a tradition like that so have to grow them myself and in time I'll be teaching my children all about this amazing flower and the fierce women of our family that have grown it for well over the last hundred years.

Home Made Falafel
This week we've also cooked home made falafel, in fact we had it twice this week because they were just so good! They're easy to make too and great for vegetarians or even vegans. Perhaps I'll do a post with the recipe etc if it's something that would interest you then let me know in the comments.

Figgy Goodness!
Last week I showed you how well the almond trees were coming along and I clean forgot about the figs! as you can see from the photo it's fig season in our area now so we'll be collecting a daily handful of natural goodness for as long as the trees allow :)

Badass Dad Clan Sticker and Badges
I've mentioned the Badass Dad Clan previously but didn't go n to much detail. The Badass Dad Clan is a Facebook Group I've created for all the Badass Dads to get together. This group is about Celebrating each others achievements as fathers, supporting each other through the hard times and building each other up. This group is for the modern Badass Dads that give a shit about their kids, support their family and take care of business. It is a place that dads can share stories, support each other and continue to be their awesome selves. If you know anyone worthy of joining please spread the word whether it's your father, partner, a friend or even your children that have kids of their own. It is growing in to a truly amazing group full of inspirational fathers.


Thank you all once again for joining in with us for Fie on Friday, we hope you have an amazing weekend

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 23 June 2017

Thank You!

First of all I'd like to say thank you to all of the people that have kept coming back for Five on Friday every week despite me being a terrible host recently. I love everyone that gets involved every week and I'm going to find the time somehow to get around and visit and comment on everyones blogs if it kills me!

I'm also sorry if anyone was offended by the confederate flag in my last post, to be honest I didn't even notice it was there until people pointed it out in the comments as it has no real significance in modern British culture so I didn't even think about it. Although it is meaningless to me I can understand why it would upset certain people so I'll be sure to be a bit more mindful of it in the future.

I'm totally out of my routine at the moment but that should settle down by next week, we've got some exciting things to share with you about the land but I'll keep it under wraps, for now its pretty late on Thursday night as I type this so I'll share the last 5 photos from my camera and tell you what they're all about:

1 - Almonds
Almond Tree
 The Almond trees on our land are absolutely LADEN with almonds right now so I guess we will be inundated with almonds when it comes to harvest time. Not a bad position to be in I guess! I estimate we have around 250-300 almond trees so it will certainly take some effort to collect all of the nuts, I'm not sure how many we will yield but it is sure to be far more than we could need so I may throw a work party and people can come and help out and take away a generous bag of almonds for their trouble.

2 - EDC Pouch

Maxpedition EDC Pouch
 As many of you know I am a survivalist or as some people call themselves these days Prepper. I took this shot of my EDC (Every Day Carry) setup and thought you guys and gals my be interested in what is actually crammed in there. If anyone has any questions about it I'd be more than happy to talk about it. I use a Maxpedition pouch to keep it all in and from left to right it contains:
Lansky Blade Medic, Vintage Style Compass. Pen Torch, TacPen, Cable Ties, Ferro rod, Striker, Lighter, Scarab Multitool, CRKT Eat'n'Tool, Field Notebook, CRKT Edgie, Plasters, Mosquito & Insect Repellent, Glowstick, Afterbite and of course the bandana that it is resting on.

You'd be amazed at the amount of things a kit like this comes in handy for, I think everyone should carry one.

3 - Me'N'You Vs The World

Me N You Vs The World Tshirt
 This Tshirt was one of my Father's Day gifts from the kids, I absolutely love the biker vibe of the print (and their whole brand to be honest) so of course I had to get Carly to take a snap of me on my bike wearing it. The maker is a friend of ours and I can't recommend them highly enough if you want something epic, you can find them here: ME 'N' YOU VS THE WORLD


4 - Shirtless Selfie

Shirtless Selfie 
I took this photo first thing in the morning as I went to let the chickens out, which is why I still look asleep!
Until now you have never seen me without a top on. Most people that have known me all my life have never seen me without a shirt on.  All my life I've had issues with my body. When I was a teenager I was real chubby. When I was 13 I was at my heaviest and weighed 16 stone and absolutely hated the way my body looked. Since then I have been an unhealthily thin 10.5 stone, one way or the other I've always thought I was too fat or too thin.Now my weight is somewhere inbetween, the sixpack is firmly buried within the DadBod and I've stopped worrying about it. Truth is we all need to learn to love ourselves and others just the way they are, we don't need to be what the magazines tell us to be! 

5 - Viking Badges
Vegvisir, Valknut & Mjolnir

This last pic is sort of in the wrong place, I saved it to my phone so I could reshare it on the Thor's Threads Instagram but I've included it because I love the meanings behind the symbols

The black and white badge is Vegvisir, the norse compass, it is said that a person bearing this symbol will always find their way, and in this day and age I think there are more than a few people that have lost their way and could do with a magic compass to help get them back on track.

The red and black badge portrays the Valknut, the knot of the slain warrior, it is regarded as a symbol of Odin and the afterlife and is said to represent the 9 worlds and be an aid for reincarnation, cyclical relationships and in talismans to ward against evil. To me it represents the connectivity of everything, infinity and immortality.

The last one is a simple but bold image of Mjolnir, the mighty hammer wielded by Thor, God of Thunder. It is a symbol of strength, courage and protection and is widely used in modern Paganism due to Thor being the "God of the People" as he is the protector of Humankind.


I hope you've enjoyed this weeks post, Thanks for stopping by and continuing to support Five on Friday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 16 June 2017

Five Photos - Five on Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!

So as I mentioned last week I went back to the UK for the weekend to party with the Badass Dad Clan at the clubhouse with my brothers in the White Wolf Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. What a fantastic thing to be a part of! One of the best parties I've ever had, great atmosphere and full of genuine good people

Badass Dad Clan Meets White Wolf Brotherhood
It was amazing to be back in the UK for a few days and see my brothers, one of the hardest things to deal with for me since we moved is being away from the club.  I don't very often post things about my association with the club but here is a picture of me at the clubhouse bar. In the UK the club became my life, I was one of the founding members and was voted in as President when the last President stepped down. Every week we were out and about, going on rides, visiting other clubs and partying at our own clubhouse and the brotherhood side of the club is second to none, being away from it all kills me. A few of us have started the Alicante chapter now but I loved being around my Essex chapter brothers and having a laugh like we used to.

Wolfpack Forever, Forever Wolfpack!
You can see a bit of it in the photo above, but whilst I was in the UK I picked up another bit of ink from my favourite tattoo studio. This time I opted for a realistic compass, it took 4.5 hours and I am so happy with it! I guess now I will always know the direction that life is taking me in :)

My Moral Compass


When I got back there was something else very new and very purple that had materialised outside our chickens corral, a gigantic thistle. I guess I didn't notice it growing up being lost in a sea of green but it is so beautiful now that it has flowered, a giant thistle about 1.5m tall with a flower head the size of a fist

Purple and Proud - Thistle

On a totally unrelated note I have just released a new patch and for the very first time a pin badge too. I LOVED the Addams Family growing up and thought they were the ultimate in cool, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would pay homage to them sooner or later.

"They're Creepy and They're Kooky, Mysterious and Spooky...." (try getting that theme tune out of your head!)

Addams Family Pin Badge and Patch
And as if they didn't look cool enough like that, they really stand out when the sun goes down....

Glow in the Dark Pin and Patch
Boom! What? Glow in the Dark? I must dash now, I think I'm going to surround myself with them and turn off the lights to bask in the spookiness hahaha

Hope everyone has had a fantastic week and wish you all a wonderful weekend :)



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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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Friday, 9 June 2017

Fantastic Friday

Today is a glorious day.

If you could bottle happiness......

It is the day we find out what happened in the general election. Since I'm writing this on Thursday I do not know the outcome yet but I genuinely think it is the most important election of my lifetime and eagerly await the results. But for us today is important for a very different reason, we have officially become land owners!

Yesterday we finally completed the purchase of our land, it has taken six months from start to finish but we are now the proud owners of 5 acres and can start building our forever home at last!

Today is also the day that I fly back to the UK so see my old friends, my brothers in the White Wolf Brotherhood Motorcycle Club for a party this weekend and to get a new tattoo. This will likely be the last time I travel anywhere away from the homestead for quite some time as we'll be  busy building the house and setting up the infrastructure on the land etc.

If anyone wants to get involved we will be building facilities for people to come and stay with us so they can help out with the build, anyone staying with us will also be able to attend the courses taking place free of charge. At the moment I believe there will be a straw bale building course, an earth plaster and lime render course and also a green roofing course. There will also be various other natural building courses and no doubt a few permaculture courses over the next couple of years too :)

So this week I'll talk about 5 things I'm looking forward to now that we own the land:

The Land
I cannot wait to get started with the land! To get to know every part of it intimately, to study the wildlife, the flora and fauna and feel the passings of the seasons and their impact on our ecosystem. I want to use permaculture and regenerative agriculture to put in place the systems that will not only heal the land but improve beyond that and create a thriving diverse ecosystem, a naturally abundant food forest.

The House
I haven't shared much detail about the house we are designing yet because I didn't wan't to jinx things before the land was signed off. We have been working with our architect to create a house shaped like an almond flower, drawing inspiration from the hundreds of almond trees growing on our land. It will be built from straw bales, with lime render on the external walls and earth rendered internally. this will all be topped off with a living green grass roof planted with wildflowers and a geodome that will light up an interior courtyard that will be used as a library and meditation space. I'll be putting up photos soon of our architects 3D model of the design

The Kitchen Garden
This is something that excites and terrifies me in equal measure! We'll be creating no dig beds and trying to supply as much fresh fruit, veg, herbs and nuts to the kitchen as possible. I'm looking forward to installing the kitchen garden and designing the layout but the scheduling and timing is the bit i'm not looking forward to as I'm not the most organised person, luckily I have some of the most amazing friends that have this type of thing down to an exact science so once I learn how to tweak things to our climate it should be a bit more manageable.

The Animals
We already have chickens but I'm so excited about the possibilities on our own land. I'd like to keep quail again, and some ducks, we've spoken about turkeys, and goats.......and pigs. OK OK I know, I just want all of the animals. I can't help it, I love spending time with them and getting to know their quirky little personalities is the best. Of course the fact that we are vegetarian now makes it easier knowing that I'm not making friends with these animals only to eat them at a later date!

The Family
I've saved the best til last, I cannot wait to go through all of the experiences of this adventure with our family, for the kids to see their parents and grandparents build the farmhouse, to learn about sowing and growing, animal and land management and all the ups and downs of the homesteading rollercoaster. I also can't wait to share it with our extended family, our blog readers and the people that touch our lives through social media. There are so many friends that have said they want to get involved and come out to help with the build and visit that I know we will have the time of our lives



It's taken what seems like an eternity, but things will finally start to REALLY happen now, watch this space!


Wishing you all a Wonderful Weekend, thanks for stopping by and joining us for Five on Friday :)







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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML



















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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Black Locust Beads


This week I've had the pleasure of working with an amazing wood, Black Locust.

Lansky World Legal making a start on the beads
 Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), as it has come to be called, offers AMAZING qualities. It's fast growing and fixes nitrogen, improving the soil as it grows. Because a locust's trunk contains mostly sapwood, it's strong. In drying, locust hardly shrinks. In stiffness, it outdoes hickory. Fighting decay, it outlasts white oak. Burned, a cord of black locust throws off the heat of a ton of coal. And machined and sanded, the wood takes on a high luster.

On the American frontiers people have found abandoned settlements where almost everything has turned to dust except the Black Locust fence posts still standing strong over 100 years later without ANY chemical treatments/preservatives.

It's such a wonderful wood to work with, having so many benefits and advantages I imagine many of you are wondering why you haven't heard of it before, why it isn't a mainstream timber any more?

The only answers are that it doesn't grow quite as large as exotic species, it isn't a "popular" wood so there is a lack of experience in managing and processing Locust forests. Lastly, in it's native range, the tree suffers from attack by the Locust Borer (Megacyllene Robiniae). None of these reasons should be holding back a tree with such potential, I will definitely be planting some on our land and encourage any one that strives for self sufficiency to consider Black Locust on their homestead

Beads finished up with an incredibly old Mora, ready to be pyrographed
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Five on Friday Jumble

May has been a total whirlwind of a month for us, I've only just realised it's June!

The Face You Make When A Palm Tree Grows Out Of Your Head

I've been a terrible blog neighbour of late, owing largely to the amount of travelling about we have done. In the last 6 months we've moved around more than we have in the last 6 years! Although I suppose that is all about to change because we'll be far too busy building the new house to have any time for travel. This week we have finally been told that the paperwork is ready to sign for us to officially complete on the purchase of our new land, it's only taken since January! So things will start getting very busy very soon after that.

Like Father Like Son

Last weekend we escaped on a last minute getaway a bit further south in La Manga to see the brother-in-law before he returns to the Falklands for work. Its a beautiful place with fantastic beaches and a great coastal atmosphere. It really reminds us of just how remote and rural we are where we live, the fact that we get excited when we visit somewhere that has more than one restaurant!

Two Of The Most Amazing Women In The World
It was great to spend time away as a family together, away from home and the businesses and our day to day lives. Carly especially has been so busy with Lucky Sew and Sew and releasing the new collection that we haven't had much time to all just have fun together. That's not to say we don't have fun, just that it always seems to end up that someone is working and misses out, usually Carly!



Breastfeeding Sat On The Harbour Wall, As You Do!
It was great to reconnect, to build sandcastles and walk barefoot on the beach, to re-wild a little. Aurora is at that age now where in one photo she looks like a grown woman and in another she looks like the tiny baby that in my eyes she will always be. I love the photo above of her and Carly breastfeeding on the harbour wall, as you probably know Carly is a massive breastfeeding advocate, not surprising since the core of her business is designing and creating hand made nursing bras.

I'll leave you with a snap of the view from our apartment that weekend, our little slice of paradise before the storm of building an entire house ourselves. Thanks for stopping by this week for Five on Friday, we hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Cheers To The Weekend

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

















Share:

Etsy

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