Sustainability From Your Sofa | Living Off Grid with Maddie Moate | Earth Lab

Sustainability From Your Sofa | Living Off Grid with Maddie Moate | Earth Lab

January 28, 2020 27 By William Morgan


I’m on a mission to find out how I could
live a more sustainable life I’ve already looked at the ways I might be
able to power my own community in future and also at the future of food on a
large industrial scale but it’s not all about food there must be other little
things I can do inside my own home I appreciate that I alone can’t make
changes that are going to affect climate change on a global scale but I should be
able to make tweaks in my own environment so I’ve come to LA most eco
village in Wales to see how they live at the moment we are in one of your poly
tunnels which is where you’re growing a lot of your food are you completely
self-sufficient with your own food if there was a zombie apocalypse next week
yeah we wouldn’t go hungry but we’d bought be bored of turnips and
Swedes and stuff like that do you find that you’re growing a larger variety of
food here yes yes totally and and crops that don’t normally make it to the
supermarket because they just don’t necessarily work I mean you know mizune
is a really really good example you know this is a fantastic green it’s a lovely
slight peppery flavor very easy to grow but it doesn’t mean hip yeah yeah just
doesn’t keep so if you were to pick that and take it to the supermarket it would
wilt it just wouldn’t be presentable so there’s a lot of crops that people
traditionally grew or people grow yeah you don’t find in the shops I’m gonna
keep snacking on this you’ve had to do a lot of work to make sure the soil is
rich and nutritious how have you done that here naturally through harvesting
biomass and building compost you know kind of moving things around just I take
my recycled cardboard and then I mix it with manure from the cows or the goats
and then I mix it with garden weeds mix it all up a narrator and then I build
soil or compost so actually the animals I’m just providing you with dairy and
meat but there are huge parts of the things you’re growing as well in the
grounds totally the main purpose of the animals is to help me with the land
management the goats cows they graze and then bring the nutrients up to the barn
where they produce the back gold for me yeah I think the geese they crazy
orchard keep the grass down in the orchard that keeps the apple trees
healthy the Ducks they roam the vegetable garden eating the slugs and
the snails and any other insects that might damage my crops and how are you
ensuring that you waste as little as possible anything organic
just just part of the becomes part of the cycles right now you’ve got a full
polytunnel worth of food if you were living in the city you were living in an
urban area like it is this possible is this achievable it’s totally achievable
you just got a replicator on a small scale you know anybody could be growing
this in a window box just outside their window you know or if you’ve got the
garden just in a little cold frame or you know a tiny little greenhouse
anybody could be growing food how do you manage your energy here well
we have three systems we’ve got a solar pallet panel on the roof and that runs
the LEDs around the house and then we have a hydro system which is constant
that’s always flowing as long as those River at river water happening okay so
if it rains a lot then that’s going to be busier and generate more electricity
into we have more than enough electricity we were so lucky the turbine
was actually here before we moved here enos so it’s just a matter of hooking in
and getting it moving again and then we also have a solar rig as
well so we have a one-and-a-half kilowatt solar wreak I mean an
interesting little meter that we have in the house it’s called an owl just like
this little meter you plug it in or tune it in to your electric consumption and
it tells you at any given time how many watts you’re burning and both my kids
are completely watt savvy I love this idea of being what savvy the the fact
that we should be aware of how much energy we are personally consuming it’s
like going back to the old ways but as a modern human being you know I think
that’s really really important because so often the assumption is made that
living off-grid or living with reduced power means that I can’t live a modern
lifestyle it’s just not true the towel has shown us everything
growing else on the veg pattern in the poly tenormin this is the aftermath of
everything so all of the food that you grow gets stored in various places yeah
what kind of things we got here so we’ve got potatoes that’s all our winter story
got hazelnuts we’ve got pumpkins various varieties onions green tea we’ve got our
own tea bushes I know I didn’t know that green tea could grow here in climates
like this absolutely green beans that are frozen
gooseberries raspberries and black currants and then we can use those for
crumbles and jams and stuff in the winter was this so this this was mister
togs this is our goat right I don’t actually eat goat meat I don’t I find it
quite strong but I do work with the skin right and I make rawhide I make drums I
make rattles I make also different strange things but Thao loves it he
loves goat meat and he’s he eats meat we eat meat what about he got bits and jars
okay so I haven’t actually got any passata left so tomato passata which I’d
normally have breaks off but we’re we’re getting closer to spring now and by this
sort of time of year most of the kind of jarred stuff has been gobbled up by my
family do you think you appreciate the food more because of it because you’re
like yes we’ve got new tomatoes coming my supermarket I’ll go around the garden
and it’s like okay what we’re gonna eat okay so we’re gonna go for spagbol all
right so let’s have a look what we got so I go around I pick some oregano you
pick some garlic pick some onions you know and just pick the ingredients from
my garden and that’s what we’re gonna eat how do you deal with food waste
what’s what’s your I guess your your system for creating compost yeah we
split it we basically have uncooked food waste so that goes into one bin and then
we have our cooked food another raw food it goes onto a compost heap and then the
worms do their thing they just turn it into compost and then we can put it on
the beds and of course then out of the waste we grow more food so those natural
decomposers are really useful yeah totally worms oh queen I don’t have a polytunnel or even a
garden so what are my options I’m hoping that the team here at the
center falter ‘native technology in Wales will be able to help me find
something more manageable Petra are worms a genuine real-life
solution and to helping with waste management at home yeah they’re a big
part of the process of composting okay so anyone who has a fairly small
space for a bin like this and curds get worms to help them with their waste
management okay so before worms we kind of need to know the basics of composting
let’s do that first get your newspaper yep and you just get it nice and soggy
this is the first layer of my worm trifle it’s just sobbing like that it
sort of helps with it not falling through the holes all of it soggy base and then this just keeps getting layered
up so you’ve got the visual feeling some more of that carbon many material alkaline pH it’s always good to add some
eggshells okay and what is it about the eggshells that helps towards a pH well
they’ve got a calcium in the show I’ve started using recently it’s called
diatomaceous earth and what’s the point of this this will really help to keep
your eyes from developing okay because flies tend to like decomposing materials
so it’s an insecticide it doesn’t bother the worms no not at all and I it’s
actually good for them and then Williams just gonna cover this all with papers
I’m just using paper that you’d have at home and maybe not such big egg trays
but you know the insides and kitchen roll okay this is the start of compost
yeah at what point can you put worms in well that will do about now
Susy start thinking down and that’s why as a friend can I take this one take it
one night we’ve got a new home for you yeah there we go
oh that’s a good bundle of loans yeah yeah so I can just put these guys straight in
yeah Renan very happy you could start your compost in something like this yeah
so I could pop this in my kitchen it would create a really nice fertilizer
that I can use on my pot plants my herbs that I can then use in my cooking and we
start the full cycle again exactly yeah so composting is all about cycles we’re
trying to think about waste in a different way it’s not something we want
to get rid of it’s something we want to incorporate back into you know what to find out more and how’s that if
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