Real self­suf­fi­ciency

Andy and Adam eat more and more food from their own plot – and they feel great as a re­sult

Country Smallholding - - ANDY & ADAM -

Christ­mas is the sea­son of cel­e­bra­tion, so there’s no bet­ter time to sit around a won­der­ful roast beast and toast your health and hap­pi­ness with fam­ily and friends. For most of us, roast tur­key and all the trim­mings, with all its smells and tastes, evokes child­hood mem­o­ries of safety, fun and be­ing part of a lov­ing fam­ily.

We’ve en­thused mas­sively dur­ing our time writ­ing for this mag­a­zine about the amaz­ing feel­ing of roast­ing our own pork. Rear­ing an­i­mals and eat­ing them has had a pro­found ef­fect on both of us and the way we value meat.

Last month we talked about Light Sus­sex cock­erels and the de­li­cious dark meat that we pro­duced. The amount of work that goes into pro­duc­ing the meat can be ap­pre­ci­ated in ev­ery mouth­ful.

And so we’ve found our­selves over the years nat­u­rally eat­ing less and less meat that isn’t our own, or from some­one we don’t know. For one thing the taste just isn’t the same, but also eat­ing a bog stan­dard su­per­mar­ket sand­wich just be­gan to feel wrong. There was no sense of oc­ca­sion, no re­ward for the hard work. Eat­ing meat that wasn’t our own just be­came a bit of an empty ex­pe­ri­ence. So a few months ago we stopped al­to­gether. We made the de­ci­sion to only eat meat that we know has been raised in the best of con­di­tions with noth­ing but the high­est re­gard for wel­fare, ba­si­cally, our own.

With­out us­ing any la­bels, as they tend to come loaded, we now eat around a 90% plant-based diet. We love the sense of oc­ca­sion that we get from eat­ing fan­tas­tic, well-looked-af­ter meat and that’s just per­fect for us. The shift in our diet has changed many as­pects of our lives.

More vi­able

We’ve been eat­ing this way for a few months now and sud­denly our ‘small’ smallholding has be­come im­me­di­ately more vi­able. Look­ing back, it very quickly dawned on us that we didn’t have any­where near the amount of space we needed to raise all the an­i­mals we needed to eat – but now we have the op­por­tu­nity to look at our lit­tle smallholding in a brand new light. If we eat less meat our smallholding sud­denly be­comes full of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

It’s like a light bulb mo­ment - it makes to­tal sense. We can pro­duce an abun­dance of fresh sea­sonal veg­etable and fruits on our land and, if they make up the bulk of our diet, they should take up the bulk of our avail­able space.

Andy and Adam’s pro­duc­tive poly­tun­nel

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