Blogging: real-time education.

I occasionally search for other blogs with a similar subject matter to my own and I was rewarded in the last couple of days when I found an inspiring site for anyone who has an interest in straw bale construction. The detail provided expands upon my own write up of our straw bale house and the I have nothing but admiration for the team as they have built without plans and no real assistance from outside contractors; a true inspiration.

As anyone who reads my blog you will know, I tend to go beyond the subject of straw bale and as our future plans include the running of a self sufficient small holding, with bed and breakfast on the side, my search for relevant blogs stretches far and wide.

One site that has really caught my eye is the great Sugar Mountain farm, the livestock farming methods described are fascinating and I would love to go down the route of pasture pigs (sheep and chickens) as it will reduce our reliance on commercial feed; something that we would like to avoid altogether. The detailed information provided on the methods used and the reassurance that they have to deal with very similar climate conditions to those that we experience in Poland has convinced me that this will be a route that we take once we have completed the house. It will certainly raise the eyebrows of the local farmers who still marvel at the fact that we kept our sheep outside last year, never mind pigs!

As you would imagine there are a number of blog sites dedicated to running smallholdings and crofts, growing crops, animal husbandry and self sufficiency in general; many of which I subscribe to. In doing so I have access to so much valuable information that is written from experience rather than the prescribed methods set down in the many text books on the subject; and for me this a great example of the power of the blog. Of course this is in turn powered by the internet, but as we all know the internet in itself can be very confusing and provide conflicting and somtimes out of date information; what the blog format brings is real-time information from real people and as a rule you can get in touch with the author and ask them questions. I cannot think of a better format to educate oneself in your subject of interest and expand your knowledge further as you are drawn to the comments of others and invariably follow the links to the commentators own blog. My understanding and growing interest in permaculture has evolved as I have followed the route above and an honourable mention has to go to Deano at the sustainable smallholding; he provides detailed guidence as he journeys through his permaculture diploma. His dedication, enthusiasm, willingness to try something new to satisfy his own curiosity and the fact that he has spent the time to share his experience make this a must read if you want to explore the subject further.

It is also good to see that many bloggers decide to go that extra mile and I was pleased to see that Under the Linden Tree is involved in the creation of the Sanctuary Network, although it is still in its infancy I hope that its membership and ethos can spread far and wide; why not sign up and join in, the more the merrier 🙂

There are of course many other blogs which I follow and read, often making my laugh, cry, cringe or contemplate; I have listed a few of my favourites in a previous post so make yourself a brew and take a look, you may be surprised on what is on offer.

Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog

8 thoughts on “Blogging: real-time education.”

  1. Catching up reading posts after a few days off internet while waiting to see whether my flight back to UK is on this evening – security people on strike at Dusseldorf so in any case it’ll be a few hours in the airport – trying to decide what’s the latest I can go to sit there. Do I take it you’re back in Poland now?

    1. No, still in snowey Yorkshire till the end of the month:)
      The snow is easing off a little so I hope your flight will be ok, unless you are flying down south.

  2. I wonder if it’s become cultural norm to keep sheep indoors due to historical risks e.g. Wolves? Sheep are tough beasts, although the native black face and Hebrideans do better here than the bigger ( and more profitable) texels and Suffolks.
    Thanks for referencing a few more blogs, I’m always on the look out for interesting topics that go beyond food but have little time to browse at the moment. Thanks, T

    1. I think it’s a combination of factors; first of all there are no walls or fences dividing the land (not sure why), cows are normally tethered to a spike in the ground, which makes for some interesting crop circles in the grass 🙂 I also think that communism played a part as people hid their livestock inside away from the prying eyes of the authorities. This prevails, but now it’s a fear of the EU authorities as quite a number of animals still remain unregistered. There is also a fear of theft, as several people asked if we were not worried that our lambs would go missing in the night!
      I’m sure as you get to the more developed areas that practices are changing, but we are living in the poorest part of Poland and old habits die hard; we may end up being the trail blazers

  3. I know very little about livestock Eddy, and I imagine that comes as no surprise! However, around here, there are sheep out all year, (at least it seems so to me) as well as pigs, that live in tiny Nissen Hut affairs, and seem happy enough, in all weathers. we have had a lot of snow again recently, and there are animals out in all the livestock farms. Cheers, Pete.

    1. You are so right Pete, livestock live outside all year round in the UK and I was surprised when I noticed the different methods in Poland; especially as I have grown up with sheep dotting the landscape in Yorkshire. So I was heartened to read that the extreme cold of the winter months of Poland should be no bother for the right breeds and sheep and pigs.

  4. I definitely agree on the importance of blogs to obtain real-time info pertaining to very specific things. Especially in fast growing fields like natural building, the books become outdated kind of quick. There are always people figuring out new ways to do the little things, and that can save a lot of headaches for the unskilled builder! Thanks for the mention of our blog and we hope to keep it up with more posts about our progress so far coming soon.

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