Today, which also happens to be Easter Sunday, is the first day of British Summertime here in UK but our local Scottish weather wouldn't have you believe that. It's around 5 Deg C in the sunshine, the ponds are still frozen and there are still lanes blocked by snowdrifts. It is, however, dry and breezy, so frugal line drying of laundry is a boost. The roads are also clear enough to gt back out on the bikes, assuming you're careful and stick to main routes. This is the bike sitting next to the roadside on the main route into our area - still quite deep with snow, to say the least.
Yesterday, we cycled down to the local village to meet with someone who is keep to establish a project that really appeals to me - one involving a food co-operative for local growers and producers, along with a community based cafe and work space for the local artists and crafters among us.
The project revolves around the old corn mill and adjoining 16 acres of land. There are already hens, ducks and pigs there, plus the two Clydesdale horses that are being put to work, hauling out debris and ploughing the land where a heritage variety of wheat will be grown. It's hoped that the old water wheel can be restored and put back into use, powering the mill, while outdoors can be run as a self-sufficientish smallholding, providing fresh food locally. There's also a small fishing boat and scope for a wide variety of fruit and vegetable plots. And lest we forget, the favoured mode of transport could help reduce carbon emissions if work and local travel was done by horse power, on foot or by bicycle. It all sounds great, I just hope the project can get off the ground and achive success.
The bartering system may well come into play, but the project needs
to establish itself and garner the support of the locals in order that it may progress.
Spud, one of the Clydesdales, has already endeared himself to the village by being put to work during last week's power cuts, when he was out and about pulling fishcrates filled with fuel and delivering it to places that modern vehicles simply couldn't reach. Photo here is of Charlie and Spud relaxing by the side of the burn that flows alongside the mill.
Aside from visiting the old mill, we also had a stop off at the shore, where it was rather amusing to see snow lying along the edges of the slipways, right to the water's edge. Sunny it may be, but warm it is not. Who knows how or when anything can be sown in this weather but one thing's for sure - we'll be needing many more logs and pinecones before it's warm enough to do without the stove indoors and the prospect of being warm outdoors is still looking pretty distant, even in the greenhouse. Speaking of which, I wonder if there's space for a couple of fullsize polytunnels at either of the nearby frugal projects? Must ask!