Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Learning before you leap - courses for downsizers-to-be?
Page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property
Author 
 Message
Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 10:39 am    Post subject: Learning before you leap - courses for downsizers-to-be?  Reply with quote    

Does anybody have experience, suggestions, comments etc on getting some appropriate training - especially when you're still thinking about making the move to Downsizingland?

So far, we've only done a few fungi courses/forays - I could redo a summary we provided on Rivercottage.net if anyone here would like help on tracking these down.

Personally I'm especially interested in finding out if beekeeping is for me (have never been stung - surely best to find out while I'm still within crawling distance of a hospital? ) and we'd both like to see if there's something available like first aid for animals - so that when we get some livestock we can keep things going until a vet can be got in or got to.

There seem to be a fair few distance learning courses but when there are libraries and Amazon about, I think I can do that myself - it's the practical experience that will be most useful.

The small farm training group in the South East seems to have a good variety of courses but there must be others. I've also come across the Kent Rural Interest Group (beware, oddly designed website) but they don't have much info available to non-members.

Distance learning giants seem to be Horticultural Correspondence College and
The Institute for Horticultural and Rural Studies- any positives or negatives, or alternatives?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44254
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Whereabouts are you?

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Me personally, I'm in Surrey. I don't really like to travel too far but we do have a car so if it were worthwhile we could make it a bit further out.

Hate London though.

However, I still thought it'd be worthwhile to invite any suggestions, anywhere in the country, for other people.

I just thought of another one - http://www.pigparadise.com which is based in Leicestershire but runs its courses in Staffordshire. They do one day pigkeeping courses which sound very good, and when I was investigating for myself, the owners were extremely helpful.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44254
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Definitely a good idea, i'd love to do some courses, I'll have a look around

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44254
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Writtle college in Chelmsford run a wide variety of courses:

http://www.writtle.ac.uk/

Land-based courses since 1893
A continually growing postgraduate community specialising in Horticulture, Equine Studies and Business Management
A wide range of degrees from a range of subject areas, all validated by the University of Essex
Courses for 16+ school leavers looking for a practical alternative to A levels
Over 100 short courses which range from a few hours to a year of part-time study. Many of the courses accredited by national organisations

The College regularly holds informal information evenings.

Tracey Smith



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 37
Location: Rural
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 04 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Do take a look at John Seymour's site who recently passed away (cant find address sorry) - I am not sure of the plans for further courses (which I believe were in Ireland), but his book on self-sufficiency (recently updated) is a brilliant addition to the downshifters bookshelf.

This summer, I ran a few "Downshifting to France" courses and they were lots of fun to present.

They covered many aspects of downshifting, frugal living, skill and food barter, growing/rearing your own, you get the idea.

In truth, they were more popular than I ever imagined they would be and I ran them on an individual couple basis, as everyone has different expectations and personal circumstances.

Next year, I am thinking about condensing it and running something in the UK on practical ways to downshift. If I get to that point, I will post details on site.

I might be presenting a series on ITV/Ch4 about "How to Downshift" and will definately post details if that is going to happen!

mbeirnes



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 04 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The sorts of courses I was thinking about are basic - Plumbing, building, electrics, car maintenance etc. All could save you a small fortune in the future.....
They are all available from local colledges and night school mine charges 36 quid for 30 2hr sessions over the year. Language courses are also available if you are thinking about moving abroad
Along with livestock and agriculture courses

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44254
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 04 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hadn't thought of basic skills like plumbing etc, but obviously very handy for downsizers

Tracey Smith



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 37
Location: Rural
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 04 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, the practical skills are great to build on. We did lime pointing, small wall building, explaining plumbing and the fosse, that sort of thing.

Electrics can be a nightmare over here, so it is best to seek professional advice, unless you are very competent.

If you think of the thousands of pounds you could save with a little investment in a course or with good books, it is money well spent in your research period, when you are still earning a regular salary!

For anyone thinking seriously about France, this is a very good read.

"How to Renovate a House in France"

http://www.frenchentree.com/fe-bookshop/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=1241

When money is limited, you steer away from picking up the phone and just finding someone from the Yellow Pages. In truth, there are not many things you cannot do or get your head around - even though they might take you a little longer - and the feeling of self satisfaction is great.

Don't be frightened to ask neighbours or friends for advice either, there is no substitute for experience.

anneka



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 04 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Here is an example of how basic DIY can save you money - the aga temperature has been down recently so MIL arranged for chimney to be swept (I don't know why we didn't do this ourselves) any way the sweep came and had a look, the flue pipe had come away from the plate and as the liner was old (17 years) it needed replacing anyway.

The sweep said that they would be able to fix it for about 650 - 700. MIL got a couple more quotes 800 - 1000. So we ordered the flue liner (130) on-line an spent Saterday morning fitting it.

I will add that we had the ladders to do this, we also used a harness and had 4 people footing various ladders and passing liner, tools and shouting yes I can see it now. But the point is we saved a lot of money .

Anneka

PS. I joined the small Farm Training Group earlier in the year and have been on one of their courses - very helpful. Also the courses are reletivley cheap and in a wide variety of subjects.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 04 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I did the Organic Gardening Course with the Horticultural Correspondence College a number of years ago; certainly more than ten. I found it pretty basic, and not hard. I think it may have improved somewhat by now, and it may be worth investigating further.
I still have my certificate!

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 04 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our local Smallholders club organise courses all year round. It is Dash, Devon Association of SmallHolders.

Other half went on an evening course, before we moved, while we were property hunting in Maidenhead at the Ag college there, on basic Smallholding legislation and various aspects of.

Practical experience of pluming is essential, but even if you have to have these people in to do jobs, be there while they do it, and look and learn, asking questions. You can pick up a lot from this.

As for bees, the local bee groups in the area will have meetings and hands on trying to give you a taster.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26638
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 04 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think plumbing is one the skills people most worry about, that is actually one of the easiest, assumming a degree of dexterity.

With modern presoldered fittings in particular, it simply ain't hard at all. Biggest difficulty is the dexterity to deal with things in awkward places.

jema

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 04 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

One we would find useful here is welding. OH has done a little, but we are now considering getting our own kit, as we know a few people who can do it well, but you really need the gear here to save them bringing all their stuff.

mbeirnes



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Could have killed myself when I had bled the radiators, the pressure in the combi went and therefore no heat or hot water.
Various plumbers quoted 70 - 100 for the call out (which is all it would be) as all you needed to do was put more water into the system - a small leaver under the boiler

Why under the boiler?
So that you cant see it and call a plumber

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property All times are GMT
Page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com