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An Introduction to Sustainable Living

Dates Available

Course Detail Picture 1 This course is led by Dick Strawbridge with assistance from James Strawbridge.

About this course: If you’re wanting to make your home as green as possible it can feel like there’s a minefield of confusing information out there. This course will demystify the jargon and help you decide which systems are right for you and your home. We’ll do this by taking a thorough look at all the systems we have invested in at Newhouse Farm and explaining the decisions we have made to get to this stage.

Throughout the day the topics that will be covered include solar power (solar PV & solar thermal), water power and management (waterwheels, water turbines & ram pumps), harnessing wind power, green kitchen & bathroom products, waste management (recycling/ compost loos), insulation, spring water, biodiesel (how to make it and is it right for your car), self sufficiency, permaculture & animals. The day will be a mixture of practical demonstrations and digestible theory presented in an informative and enjoyable way.

Here are 3 detailed examples of how we will cover the topics throughout the day:

Course Detail Picture 2 Solar Power
The day will begin with Dick explaining how electricity works, taking you step by step through areas such as AC/DC, Voltage, Current, Power & Energy. No matter how limited your grasp of maths or physics is, Dick will help you gain a crystal clear understanding so that you’ll be able to judge how energy saving and energy generating devices will work for you. For instance you’ll be able to see how much installing energy saving light-bulbs in your kitchen will knock off your electricity bills, or how much electricity a 3 kilowatt grid-linked solar PV system will generate.

Course Detail Picture 3 Water Power & Wind Power
By using the Newhouse Farm waterwheel as an example Dick will explain how much energy can be generated, energy wastage, batteries and gearboxes, as well as discussing other water power options such as turbines. Following this you’ll look at how to harness wind power and whether or not a wind turbine is the right option for you. Dick will clarify how much energy is available, Betz Law, & planning issues. You’ll get to see how the wind turbines at Newhouse Farm work and the problems we’ve encountered with them.

Course Detail Picture 4 Permaculture & Animals & Meat
James will take you on a tour of the Newhouse Farm smallholding plot and explain what permaculture is and how it can help you make decisions with how to plan your plot, no matter whether you have a small urban garden or a couple of acres. Dick will discuss the decisions we have made about the meat we consume and the pros and cons of keeping animals for food production, in particular hens, ducks, turkeys, geese & pigs.

Quotes from previous attendees:
"The Introduction to Sustainable Living course has provided me with a new level of confidence that I did not have previously. I have been telling everyone about it! Great course, great people and great atmosphere." Lee Sterrey

"A relaxed and friendly course. The food was excellent and there was so much to learn. Dick was brimming with enthusiasm and energy and had a way of explaining things that made me feel that I could easily make steps towards sustainable living." Leon Palmer Wilson

"Thank you to you all for such an enjoyable and informative day - I had a great time and came away feeling very inspired!" Kate Baumann

Course Detail Picture 5 Lunch: You will be invited to join us for an organic and tasty Newhouse Farm lunch. Onmivores, vegetarians, vegans… everyone is catered for and we’ll guarantee there’ll be more than enough food to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites! Local ales, organic wines and cordials are also on offer. Lunch time is always a good opportunity to fire questions at Dick and get to meet the rest of the Newhouse Farm team.

Booking: If you'd like to book one of the dates above please email us at courses@newhousefarm.tv to register your interest. Payment details will be forwarded if an applicant is given a place. Full payment is required 21 days before the course date.

Price: Course prices are £165 (inc VAT).
In an attempt to make the course available to people on lower incomes, we offer a limited number of concessions. To apply for a concession please email us at courses@newhousefarm.tv

The course is held at Newhouse Farm in Cornwall. Full directions will be provided once payment has been cleared. We are a short distance from the local train station; transport can be arranged if necessary.

New for 2010, why not stay at Newhouse Farm in Holly's beautiful gypsy caravan? Visit www.gypsycaravanscornwall.co.uk for more information and to check availability. Alternative details of B&Bs in the village will be provided upon booking.

What you need to bring:
Newhouse Farm is a working smallholding with plenty of mud, uneven ground and nettles. So please bring sensible footwear (wellies or trainers are good but definitely no flip flops). Also as we cannot guarantee the weather so a raincoat or umbrella could come in handy too.

Newhouse Farm Course days are typically organised as follows:



0930 - 1000

Course meets with organic tea, coffee and nibbles

1000 - 1230

Introduction, theory (!), and practical demonstrations

1230 - 1330

Lunch break - you are invited to join us. We are never sure how many people will be there - long arms are an advantage!

1330 - 1630

More theory and practical work

1630 - 1730

Tea, coffee and more nibbles - an opportunity to discuss individual projects.

1730 ish

Course disperses

'Tell me,
I'll forget;

Explain to me,
I'll remember;

Involve me,
I'll understand'