A fundamental part of our thinking here at Lackan Cottage is resilience – being able to cope with whatever life happens to be throwing our way at the time. For us, this means doing more ourselves and being less reliant on outside sources.
The mainstay of this is our elderly wood fired range cooker, which also heats our water and heats the house (when its in the mood). It gets a little help from another wood burner in the living room.
We are fortunate to be able to harvest wood fuel from our own woodland, which we manage with coppicing to ensure that there’s enough to keep us going indefinitely.
The cold conditions, and seeing the problems other people are having has definitely spurred us on to get other measures in place.
We have rainwater collection to organise, and our well needs to be cleaned and got up and running asap.
The off-grid power setup from the truck is getting a boost in the form of some panels kindly donated by our friend Philip from Leisure Batteries Ireland, and our lighting and a couple of sockets will shortly be going back off grid.
That leaves us with food – the one area where we are currently totally reliant on external sources. A second polytunnel will allow far more year-round food growing, and if the past seasons are anything to go by, we’ll need it just as much in the summer as in the winter.
The past weeks have shown just how fragile our infrastructure is, and that in the future we may not be able to rely on it in the way we have done. Change is coming.