At Field End, we are on a mission to say Nil to Landfill. Every year each one of us produces about 500kg of waste of which only 1/3 is recycled. We are recycling more but total waste will double by 2020 – that means you could fill the Albert Hall every hour with our garbage!
Where would it all go? Well at the moment, containers of part-sorted recycled material is shipped off to China to be fully recycled.
At home, we have created our own systems for collecting and recycling. We are trying to train and encourage each other to use them – me, Ros and the boys. It’s not easy.
For collecting tin cans, paper (and cardboard), glass and plastics we have bins outside the backdoor. All food stuffs go to the compost that Ros and Will built by our planters. We collect it and take it out once a day, or sooner if it is too awful to have around.
All the other recycling is then taken to the local centre when we take the boys to the swimming club so we don’t burn additional diesel on a recycling-run. You can find your nearest recylcing point by typing your postcode into the search of the Recycle Now website. That reminds me, I must write to the council to get some collection service for our community.
The boys are getting the hang of it. They will be a less wasteful generation than us. And, as they rightly pointed out, if we get less rubbish in, there is less rubbish to put out. Therein lies the solution. Reduce the rubbish we buy and the packaging that it comes in.
And let’s get some joined up action on infrastructure to help each one of us make this more efficient. Nil to Landfill!
I was strimming at 6am for an hour before work. Why? To get rid of thorns that have been scratching the noses of the lambs, which has led to them contracting orf…
So, the lambing/small holding saga at Field End continues. No sooner did we get the little lambs to feed than they got Orf. This is a painful skin disease, like a type of eczema, that affects the nose and mouth of the lambs. It looks like raised lumps and it can be transferred to the mother’s teat and udder. If that goes pear shaped (not literally) then we might end up hand feeding all 7 lambs, which makes strimming weeds at 6am a breeze!
We have sprayed the lambs and ewes with an antibiotic to contain the spread and it seems to be working. We understand that it clears up in a few weeks but this whole thing was a new one on us. Thankfully, help was at hand again as Jill who sold us the sheep came by to see how we were getting on and spotted it.
It is at times like this that we feel embarrassed by our lack of knowledge and we do need to ask advice a lot. There is also a wider responsibility to the farming community to make sure we are running our small holding properly. But, while I am sure there is some rolling of the eyeballs, we have not seen it or encountered it. We have only had positive encouragement and advice.
Despite having ‘to-do’ lists longer than a politician’s nose and the inevitable feeling of being total and utter amateurs, this whole lifestyle is important and worth going through. There are so many benefits, from a deeper understanding of the food chain to a greater ‘feel’ for more sustainable living. Our family and friends are getting involved and it is desperately good fun, for us and the boys. We love it, so we won’t call it Orf.
What a weekend. What a week. Our sustainable, Planet Positive lifestyle means living in the country and working in London. So, when our 4 ewes came into lamb we have been a bit stretched. We now have 7 by lambs and it has been a steep learning curve.
I’m writing this on the train to work in London. Every time I leave Field End I feel like I am ‘bunking off’. I love it at home but I need and want to work - so I would not want to give up the 9-5 yet (see Guy’s post last Friday). I’ve a busy day in town working on developing our pilot programme for the Carbon Army, a task force of community carbon auditors to help people make carbon and energy savings at home. Later, I’ll go to my first Green Monday meeting. It’s a networking event for businesses leading the way in sustainability and I’m looking forward to it.
But, poor Ros will have to handle Field End…
All the lambs came last week while I have been at work, leaving the burden entirely on Ros’ shoulders. In the evenings and over the weekend I did my bit as we struggled to get our first flock sorted with feeding. The last two, tiny lambs have been the most tricky. The ewe had mastitis which makes it uncomfortable for her and the milk taste disgusting for the lambs.
We mixed the hours with massaging her udders, expressing milk, using warm towels, bottle feeding and eventually persuading them to eat. We seemed to get breakthrough last night as they were consistently feed from their mum.
It was parenthood all over again, with all the tiredness and worry too. And the upside is that we have seven chocolate brown lambs bouncing around the field. Spring is truly amazing.