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nicgee

New and shiny

Hello all, I've just stumbled across this site and am really excited by the tiny amount I've read so far, forum and articles. I really need to be in bed rather than reading on here so will introduce myself and come back tomorrow to read more!

I'm Nic, married to Ady and with two children (12yo son and 9yo daughter). Originally from the south coast with fairly conventional lives but chucked it all in last year to travel the UK in a 30yo campervan WWOOFing. At the end of the year we fell in love with Scotland and in April 2012 we moved to the isle of Rum - a small island off the west coast with just 40 residents where we have an 8 acre croft. Currently there is nothing at all here yet - it was a bare field when we moved.

We have been here five months and have a 3 bed static to live in while we build a house. We are, and will remain totally off grid - we have a genny which goes on a few times a week to charge stuff up, 12v battery for lighting and water pump which gets charged by solar panel and off the mains in the village a few times a week. Another 12v battery and larger solar panel keeps the internet running. Our energy needs are pretty low. We're currently using a portapotty and digging holes to bury waste but are in the process of crowdfunding a compost loo which hopefully will happen before the end of the year. Water is rainwater collected in a waterbutt or collected from the river if there has been no rain (not a big issue here in Scotland!).

We have chickens, ducks, geese and pigs and plan to have turkeys, goats and bees in the future. Our long term aim is to be as close to self sufficient as possible in fruit, veg and animal produce with additional produce for sale / barter.

We have a blog at www.wonderingwanderers.co.uk and I look forward to spending more time exploring this fab site over the next few days.
gz

croeso Smile
and the link doesn't work Sad
Nick

Suspect an extra r.
sean

Fixed. Welcome aboard. Very Happy
Penny Outskirts

Hello - welcome to Downsizer.

We went to Rum when I was about 8, beautiful place. Can you see the Cullins from there?

How's the soil on the croft? Will you have to do much to it?
Nicky Colour it green

welcome Smile
sally_in_wales

welcome Very Happy
AnnaD

Hello there! Rum must be a lovely place to live. I've never been there, but I used to go to Skye every year.
JB

Hi there. Sounds like the sort of place lots of us would like. Not sure if I could persuade Mrs JB that it would be such a great idea though.
12Bore

Hi Nic, welcome in to DS hello2
cassy

Hi and welcome!

It all sounds very exciting! Very Happy

How are your preparations for winter going?
Chez

Welcome! wave
Bebo

Rum sounds ok, but I think I'd rather live in Beer. Welcome from one still down by the south coast.
gardening-girl

Brilliant blog.
Very Happy
nicgee

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone Smile

Winter preparations are going well - we've been insulating under the floor (from the outside) with loft insulation and will be putting a skirt around the outside of the static this week which should help both with warming it up and preventing the wind from getting underneath. We have the static bolted down against the wind already. The main issues at the moment are condensation (for which I can't think of any other solutions than opening windows wherever possible and trying to reduce water vapour - ie trying not to cook on the hob.) - it is very wet though and we are worried about mould forming, the walls drip during the night Sad

The other tough bit at the moment is mud! The croft is a south facing slope but the ground is very wet and peaty / boggy so the more we walk on it the more we are turning it up and creating puddles. We are researching options for putting down some sort of track at the moment which would help a lot with that but us four, our dog, 11 chickens, 5 ducks, 2 geese and 2 pigs are a lot of feet trampling around and creating puddles!

The soil is not great and I think we'll have to do a lot of soil improvement if we ever want to grow direct into the ground. Polytunnels and raised beds seem to be the most sensible answer although we are looking at options like gathering seaweed to rot down and improve the soil which was a crofting solution here in days gone by. The trouble with having pigs is we have no composting material as they eat everything!
Went

What an interesting story - welcome from Asturias... Very Happy
Ginkotree

watched a programme last night showing Scottish Island life and everyone seemed to be much more of the community...as has already been said..sounds like the sort of life some of us have dreamed to achieve but time has passed and other directions taken(old age creeping on etc)..a Lot of hard work even on the mainland so very good luck to you all...it all simply becomes a way of life in the end...Have been running compost loos for some years now and the soil is brilliant when totally broken down...I used sawdust to cover the offerings in bucket loos and that does tend to take a while to break down in the main compost bay...putting pig poo in with it might speed the process....I know adding the composted animal poo helps the worm population.
Ventilation is the only way I know for keeping the mould away from caravans...seems like you loose your heat but with even breathing causing it there is no choice...I would be interested if you found a solution...
Ginkotree

Embarassed oh and hello and welcome Laughing
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