Apologies for such a delay in updating the blog but there have been some major developments at Frugaldom HQ! We've hatched yet another frugal plan!

The Frugaldom Project has been extended and has suddenly gone from being just under one quarter of an acre to over twelve acres. Preparations and negotiations had been underway for some time and we finally concluded the deal in July.

Welcome to the new Frugaldom project.

For as many years as I can remember, I have imagined owning a little house and some land where we could create a version of 'The Good Life'. I have never lived in a city, so the countryside is where I always expected to be.

Scottish wilderness

My ideal 'frugal freedom experience' would have the following:

  • A cottage in the country
  • Space for livestock
  • A fuel supply from self-managed woodland
  • Willow plantation cultivated for fuel and weaving materials
  • An orchard
  • Edible hedging
  • Herb gardens
  • Vegetable plots
  • A poly tunnel
  • Composting and recycling
  • Rain water harvesting
  • An alternative energy source
  • A river or stream
  • Wildlife in the garden
  • A pond
  • Poultry, game and waterfowl - for eggs, security and land clearance
  • Goats for milk and dairy products
  • Environmental arts, crafts and nature projects
  • Camping for whoever was passing at the time

This huge, pie in the sky, "head in the clouds", as a certain someone always called it, plan has been in my head for many, many years. It has slowly developed and slightly changed, most noticeably by divorce, debt, family and work-related commitments... the saga continued.

A river runs through it

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 brought about changes that made me much more aware of the potential to make my 'dream lifestyle' affordable! OK, so we can't exactly head off into the woods, stake our claim and build a house, but we can pretty much go where we want in Scotland, taking affordable opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors and see potential where others may fail to do so.

In 2011, after several years of extreme frugal living, we had the opportunity to buy a tiny version of the frugaldom ideal - the run down 'Thrift Cottage', where we now are. It had just under quarter of an acre of overgrown garden complete with a stream running through it, interesting out buildings and even an old hen run. It has come a long way since then but, as you all know, we are still living amidst the prolonged chaos of total refurbishment.

Fast Forward to 2014

At the expense of fitting a new kitchen and bathroom, we blew the savings on just over 12 acres (almost 5 hectares) of Scottish wilderness. It has a river flowing along one of its boundaries, a dry stone wall on another, a stream running through it, easy access off a public lane and a barn. There's a sturdy track leading in and some hard standing for parking & turning. It even has the beginnings of a native woodland, an orchard and a tiny willow bed.

This is the new Frugaldom Project

It has huge potential, but it's over 15 miles from Thrift Cottage and means over 30 miles of cycling at every opportunity we get to spend a day out there. With spectacular views of the Galloway Hills, miles of cycling and walking and only a mile from a fabulous camp site, it has everything we need for now. It's like having my very own personal fitness campaign.

This is the reason why I haven't got around to blogging and the reason for all those recent cycling trips, but this is also the reason I will now make much more of an effort to keep you up to date with progress.You can join us free in the www.frugalforums.co.uk to keep up to date with what is happening when and where.

We have already welcomed several Frugaldom members on site and I sincerely hope that many more of you will visit in future to experience frugal freedom for yourselves.

So, with no savings, no funding and no third party financial investments, every penny has gone on making my dream a reality. My head may be in the clouds, this may be pie in the sky, but this is Frugaldom and we will forever be pursuing that dream.

Feel free to pop along and lend a hand anytime - the drive needs weeding, the barn needs painting, fences need fixing, walls need repairing and there's an entire field of garden, woodland and orchard to be planted, not to mention the willow beds to be started, the bog myrtle to be harvested and the barnyard to clear. Frugal fun for everyone - just bring your wellies!

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