Nick Rosen |
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Agric Hardon, Off-Grid's self-sufficiency expert
Agric- our man with a garden plan

Agric Hadron has spent the past few months working at the Utopia Project in Scotland, Dylan Evans’ project to simulate life after a major social collapse. Agric has been responsible for planting, and over the next few weeks he’ll be writing a regular series of articles on how to have the very best self-sufficient vegetable garden in the world, plus a few tips on meat-rearing for those who are so inclined. You’ll be able to check it out in the self-sufficiency section.

Here’s his first article:

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I’ll be writing a regular column about all aspects of self sufficient growing here at Off-Grid starting very soon. Here’s a picture of me hard at work at TUE early this spring:

TUE (The Utopia Experiment) has been virtually self sufficient in vegetables since mid July – not bad from a standing March start – and gives away as much as it eats to locals who drop in at this time of glut. It’s off-grid except for internet access and hopes to implement wind or hydro generation in the near future.
Many folks (50++) have passed through and learned and contributed much, almost all of them will be returning, it’s kinda addictive.

The population has rarely dropped as low as three, I was there for 3 weeks to the end of September and it was between 4 and 8 then, but we never had more than
12 for the evening meal! Increasingly local people drop in sometimes just for a bag of fresh veg and cuppa, but some stay for a meal, a night, a week, more…

We’ve had a wide range of ages, too, from two year old to almost seventy, and from as far afield as USA and India. But there have been times when a few more people would have been helpful, the place really buzzes when there are eight or more, and some ambitious infrastructure projects have not happened yet due to lack of human and financial resources.

Food often tends to the excellent side of good, home made bread and a bewildering choice of fresh veg, eggs like you can’t buy, occasionally pork and bacon from happy pigs I’ve known and butchered. The chefs seem pretty good, too. Local foraging is excellent:
raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, mushrooms, cherries, blackberries, elderberries, rowan, sloes.
There were about a dozen different home made preserves and pickles on the shelf last time I looked.

Over winter the population is likely to be mostly between two and five but we’ll be planning some weekend get togethers when there could be ten or more to discuss global issues and plan for next year.

You’ll really need to join the Yahoo Group to follow the discussions and know more:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/utopia_experiment/

Perhaps it will enthuse you, too, and we might see you there sometime in the next year.

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