In only 9 years, Tendring Green Party member Chris Southall and family have turned a 1930s home and small plot of land into an example of more self-sufficient living. Solar panels generate electricity, while rainwater in recycled and also bathwater via a reed bed. They grow 60% of their own food and the garden is brimming with apple trees, pear trees, vegetable plots and a polytunnel. There are several large vines brimming with grapes and you can find out about beekeeping and buy some of their honey. The very friendly hens roam freely around the garden and produce a good supply of eggs while the large pond is alive with frogs and newts.
We don't all have the time or land to do all of this but if most of us just did some of this we could make a difference.
I also met some people who are staying (and working) at the house as part of the WWOOF UK (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) project (see link below).
Basically you sign up to WWOOF as either a volunteer or a host and then as a volunteer you get to stay with organic food growers and self-sufficiency people and learn new skills, techniques and methods.
Below are some pictures from the open day:
|Tendring Eco Group Info|
|The Bee Hives|