New Home, New life, New Blog


This is my first post on Earth and Hearth. It’s a new blog inspired by the fact that I’ve just found the home I’ve been looking for and hope to move into it in about one months time. It’s going to make a huge difference to my outlook, ambitions and lifestyle. If you’re familiar with my photographic blog, chriscaff’s, you’ll know I have a love of nature and growing things. I wanted to keep my photographic blog and my lifestyle separate, so I’ve created Earth and Hearth hoping that that like-minded souls will join me on my journey as we move into our new place. There I’ll endeavour to grow more food and live in a more ecologically minded way that I’ve been able to in my current residence.

Garden October 2011

My new home has 120ft of garden backing onto fields. It’s a 1940s bay fronted semi with bags of character. It needs work to make it home for us. The energy rating isn’t too good, the kitchen is badly configured for our needs and we want to cut expenditure on wasteful items like energy bills and buying food. So I’ll be growing my own, building a greenhouse, doing up the house and making it our home. Along the way I’ll be learning new things and utilising the knowledge I have. I hope to share all this with you, so expect money-saving tips, ecological information and the odd wry smile at my observations as we go along.

The ethos of this whole change is to live in a much more eco-freindly way than we’ve previously been able to. We can’t go the whole hog and build a straw-bale house, but we can improve the home we’re buying to save energy, grow food to save carbon miles and packaging, re-use and recycle what we have and anything we can find. Why slave to earn money to buy things if you can make or grow what you need? Of course we will have to spend some money and I can’t make everything. Just like you. We can all only do what  we are capable of, and at fifty five I don’t expect to be able to do as much as a younger person with more physical strength. That won’t stop me trying though.

Jimmy lives in my current garden. He's coming with us!

I want wildlife as well as food in my garden, and fruit and flowers as well as vegetables. So there will be many projects, inlcuding bird boxes, a home for my hedgehog and possibly bat boxes. Insects will be encouraged, a herb garden created and all will be documented here. I hope to build pages of information you can plunder to help you make more of your home and garden.

I have over 30 years of experience as an amateur organic gardener, many years as a photographer and was trained in visual art studies, with a love for imagery and interior design. If you’d like to share my journey you are very welcome to follow me as I develop my home, garden and this blog.

We’re still packing boxes, editing out useless old paperwork and items we consider clutter. I’m determined to eliminate anything that isn’t beautiful or useful to make way for our fresh start.

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7 responses to “New Home, New life, New Blog

  1. It alls sounds fab. We are intending doing the same, food-wise, but with a straw bale house too. We’ll follow your blog for tips and advice on what to plant, grow and when to grow. If this blog is half as good as your photographic one, EVERYONE that has an interest in gardening, food production and living from a cottage garden should definately follow your blog. Good luck with the new venture Ric & Richard xx
    http://applesteamdream.wordpress.com/

  2. Well, good for you and more power to you both! Life is a journey and learning, changing, evolving is a natural part of it all…Age is of no real importance, just good energy…and that comes through investing energy in good things!

  3. Wonderful news! I applaud you! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love the new Blog! Age is just a number, I know thats an old cliche but If you have energy and belief in what you are doing, thats what its all about. There are plenty of younger people out there who dont even know what they want. Embrace wisdom and a certain comfort that comes with ‘ being older’. Looking forward to your journey.

  5. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I’m looking forward to sharing more as we go.

  6. All the very best! I am particularly interested in Jimmy, and the organic gardening. And oh, in what you do with the old pillows and mattresses. And your garden. I suppose I should simply subscribe.

    Congratulations!

    • Thank you Priya, and thanks for visitng the new blog and taking such an interest. Jimmy was out last night being very noisy. He sounded like a goose in the garden, but hedgehogs are very vocal when they are alarmed or another hedgehog is in competition with them. He came running when I put him some extra food down. Now I know why they’re called ‘hogs’! He’s my organic slug and snail control and does a good job, but he’ll hibernate soon.

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