Welcome to downsizer

Editorial Midwinter 2016

Written by Nell Merionwen

Christmas, Yule, Midwinter, call it what you wish it is on it's way.

We at downsizer like to keep the seasonal cheer and celebration with an ethical bent.

From making our own decorations and gifts to rearing our own animals and trimming them with our own veg. There is nothing quite as rewarding as doing it for yourself.

So, throw another log on the fire, pull up a chair and dig in.

No doubt you will deserve to warm your fingers and tootsies if you have been on the plot. Have a look at our article for inspiration and instruction on what to do on the plot in December.

A gardener's work is never done. Yet harvests will always lift the spirits. We can even help with the storage of your hard earned goods.

Not only is the goose getting fat here at downsizer but so are the chickens, ducks and even guinea fowl. Rear them yourself with the assistance of our articles. You can find it all from hatch to dispatch and even how to dress and joint the bird when it is time.

However, you need not stop at just the Roast! Have a look at all the cakes, pies and puddings you can enjoy during this time of indulgence.

Don't forget to keep the cooking economical. Pop over to this article to see how there is always room for improvement.

Don't forget the seasonal tipple. From home brew home brew to wine making, it is all possible.

Ask yourself, “is there anything I cannot do myself?”. Well the answer from the holly and ivy bedecked halls of Downsizer is a resounding “No”.

However, if you are shopping for food, drink and gifts this year. Think about keeping it more ethical with the local farmers market. Consider a box scheme for your veg. Check out our own traders for meat and gifts; and think about the environment and small business man in your choices. We at downsizer are here to support and encourage you along the way.

Think about giving crafted gifts to your loved ones this year.

Turn your hand to producing the obligatory socks to hand crafted chocolates. You can find a plethora of useful articles in our Make your own section.

Are you considering the traditional yomp across the countryside this boxing day? Have a look here for foraging tips. You never know what you will find!

Of course many of us like to “pay it forward” at this time of year. You could consider gifts to a worthy charity like Kiva or simply offer your time to a friend, or even a stranger in need.

When it is all over and done with, and it's time to put your feet up, have a look at these articles to make the most of your left over roast. Then sit back and enjoy the warm glow from both the fire and your own sense of wellbeing.

Please feel free to sign up and share your plans, stories, expertise or simply seek advice from our friendly forum.

Step over the cosy downsizer threshold and settle down.

Thanks to Nature's grafter, Nicky CiG, Bodrighy, Green Rosie, marigold, Sally too, sally_in_wales, Jamanda, tai haku and Barefoot Andrew for the pics above.


Spotlight on

downsizer.net member Pilsbury. Find out how downsizer has touched the life of our members. Each month will bring a fresh interview with members new and old.


The downsizer forum

Sign up here to become involved in our free, informative and welcoming forum. From community matters to growing and making your own. You will find a hive of information and encouragement.


What's on

Why not celebrate the autumn's harvest at one of our own member's cider and juicing events? Alternatively, if music is your dish you could pop along to a local gig try Blowzabella for example. You can find many interesting reviews of all manner of things on our reviews and what's on page.



Want to keep it ethical? Have a look at our downsizer traders section and forum based trading pages to find ethical, hand made and locally produced, food, gifts and other essentials.

Know how
Using up leftover scraps.

Little Knitted Pumpkins

Give your crafting a seasonal Halloween edge with sally_in_wales Little Knitted Pumpkins


Fairycake Bath Fizzies

Add some fizz to your stocking with sally_in_wales delicious Fairycake Bath Fizzies.


Sewing for knitting

Keep all your knitting essentials organised and tidy with Cathryn's knitting needle roll. You will never need to search the back of the sofa for that errant needle again.


A darn too far: quilts made from old jeans

Don't throw those care worn jeans away. Give them a new lease of life with Cathryn's patchwork quilt.


How to Rebatch Soap

Take a bland soap and experiment with texture, scent and colour with this easy to follow method from sally_in_wales.


Peach Jam

Preserve the taste of Summer for the Winter Months with Green Rosie's scrumptious Peach Jam


Cooking a Pig's Head

No need to be daunted by using up everything but the oink with this great article by Colour It Green: Cooking a Pig's Head


Winter Spiced Jelly

Use up the Autumn cooking apple windfall with gardening-girl's delicious Winter Spiced Jelly


Mixed rice with chickpeas, raisins & herbs

Give simple rice the wow factor with Jamanda's mixed rice with chickpeas, raisins & herbs


What to do with an egg glut

What to do with an egg glut emergency. Solve your conundrum with Nell Merionwen's article.