Died and Gone To Devon A Blog on Self Reliance

Preparing for the New Year. Never Stop Dreaming!

Living the Dream for Another Year

Preparing for the New Year is something I like to do in January.  The start of another year is often a time to reflect and prepare.

While the days are still short and the weather cold, not much growing outside, I am beginning to get excited about what is to come.

Renovations are on-going

This is our sixth year of living in Devon, and we are beginning to see the end of the big build and renovations.

The inside of the Victorian farm house is nearly renovated, with the hall, landing, family & en-suite bathrooms and master bedroom remaining.  This may seem a large proportion of the house, but considering where we have come from and what we have achieved is not much.  This February we will start the renovations on the master bedroom. Our bedroom!

Outside has evolved significantly, and has nearly taken shape.

The garage still needs rendering and a few bits of facia and sofit need putting up, but apart from that, most of the major landscaping and building has been done.

The big outside project for 2018 is a brick bread oven (in what we call the Mediterranean Garden), and the erection of the final 10x8 greenhouse we brought with us.


January is always a time to plan for the future and contemplate on past successes and failures.  2017 was the best year so far for vegetable and fruit production.

Fruit & Vegetable Production

As the fruit trees and bushes we've planted over the past five years begin to mature, production should start to increase.  We now have most of the vegetable plot organised and prepared.  This now means time can be focused on planting, weeding & picking.


The ducks and chickens are all doing well in dedicated enclosures and paddocks.  In 2018 will see the arrival of new ducks to try and focus on one breed.  We will continue to hatch chickens for on-going egg production, as we have done in previous years.

Hopefully the addition to our live stock this year will be geese, which will be housed in the newly built stable in one of the fields.

Another focus will be to try and increase the number of populated beehives.  Currently we have three hives, one of which was a swam collected late last year from the local village.  Fingers crossed these are doing well and will get through the winter.

Over the past few years, the bees have been neglected and just kept ticking over, so we plan to try and get a balance between honey production and multiplying the hives.

Never Stop Dreaming

These are the plans and the dreams for the New Year.  I am sure most will come to fruition, and some will be put off for another day.

If we don't dream, the impossible will never become the inevitable.

Tom Good

View posts by Tom Good
Read my blog about buying a Victorian farm house in Devon, England. What started as a dream of self sufficiency, is now a midlife reality.

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