Janine and I work full time and have a family of five between us, recently the last two of our children have left home. We live in a terraced house with a small courtyard style garden.

We are not trying to change the world. We are not political, although some of our reasoning may be viewed as such. We just want to live a more sustainable, simplified life.

Our journey started about ten years ago when we were thinking about our retirement. We both work in the public sector and austerity measures have meant that without a pay rise linked to inflation we have had to make our money go further and our pensions have also suffered.

We then embarked on our long term project to learn skills and invest in a different way of life which will see us through our retirement years comfortably, healthily and happily.

The first thing we did was to get an allotment. We realised quite quickly that if we made things with the food that we produced and collected from the surrounding hedgerows we could add to its value. We started making jam, wine and beer as well as experimenting with other methods of preserving such fermenting.

We supplemented our home grown food with a vegetable box scheme and organic meat. As I have an intolerance to milk we make most of our meals - it’s just easier that way.

When my two vegan teenagers came to live with us full time we soon discovered that prepared vegan meals, especially meat and cheese alternatives, were expensive! After a while, we began to make our own plant based foods; meat alternatives such as seiten, plant based milks, tofu, vegan cheese, and started using dry beans and lentils. Not only were the meals cheaper and healthier than supermarket offerings we noticed that even with the addition of two almost adults our monthly food bill had decreased.

Our focus for the next few years is to learn the skills to live more sustainably by consuming less and reducing waste.

We hope that this website will give you some ideas to help you on your journey.