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10 ways to make the most of staying at home

Staying home
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

From baking together to having a good old clear out, there’s plenty you and your family can do while staying at home.

As the world slows down, families stay home and so many businesses shut their doors, there are still reasons to stay positive, says Anthony Davison, founder of BigBarn.

Our hectic lifestyles rarely leave room to slow down and appreciate the small things. But, as we contemplate the quiet weeks ahead in our own homes, there are lots of things we can do to turn a difficult situation into a positive one.

1. Cook

Having time at home is a great opportunity to cook delicious meals, get more confident, and enthused and to encourage children to get involved in the process.

Technology means we can now watch video recipes instead of wading through stodgy cook books. A video allows you to see the end product and stop and start the video as you progress.

BigBarn’s Keep It Simple Cookery videos are worth a look and you can even type in what ingredients you have and get a recipe to match. Or even make, and add, a video recipe to the site and be discovered as the next famous chef. These new skills could be life changing for you and your family once life resumes normality.

2. Befriend your local producers or retailers

This might be difficult in lockdown, but we all need food and if you want to avoid the supermarkets then local deliveries could be the best option all round.

Chickens won’t stop laying eggs, cow’s will continue to produce milk, and veg won’t stop growing, so potentially, there should be plenty of local food around.

Our Local Food Map will point you to producers in your area, many with online shops and locally deliveries. In wake of cafe and restaurant closures there will also be lots of businesses offering new delivery services so sign up to updates at BigBarn to discover new options in your area.

3. Grow your own

We humans have been growing food for thousands of years and it is within our souls to get satisfaction from producing a bountiful crop. We would all feel a lot more secure if we grew and shared food locally.

So why not start up your own veg patch? If you’re short on space invest in a Veg Trug, or create some window boxes. I’ve seen people use juice cartons as planting troughs; get inventive and get the kids involved too!

4. Fermenting food or drink

Fermenting food was very popular, and essential, in the past, both to preserve food for shortages and add flavour to meals. Fermented foods are also very healthy as they contain many essential gut bacteria to help increase immunity.

They are also extremely easy to make and could even develop in to a nice home business. Look online for items on what you can ferment and how to use your stock in every day meals.

5. Get baking

If you are lucky enough to have a flour stash, then try your hand at baking. Not only is it healthier, but it is also a great way to relax and you can get the kids involved too.

Healthier, satisfying, self sufficient, and saving money, should be enough reasons for this activity. There are hundreds of videos on bread making and sourdough on You Tube to help you get started.

6. Have a clear out

This could be difficult if you have crammed recent purchases on top of old foods, but lockdown is a great time to get organised.

Eat the old food first and list everything you have to see how long you could last before you need to shop again. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people have enough food to last months!

7. Forage

Since we are still allowed to enjoy one outside activity a day, this could be a great opportunity to forage for some free goodies.

Over the next month you could look out for wild garlic, sorrel, elderflowers and even nettles. It’s also a great family activity that even the kids will enjoy!

8. Join your community

This is a great opportunity to rebuild our local communities.  Sharing food, seeds and seedlings if you have them, or offering neighbours help with essential shopping. Join a local Facebook group to see how you can help out.

9. Exercise

We must stay fit and active to fight off bugs. Although the gym is closed, there is no reason why we can’t exercise at home, or practise yoga.

Experts say that if we all spent just minutes a day doing the Sun Salutation the NHS would save millions in back pain treatment. With lockdown now enforced, many PTs and fitness experts are offering free videos to keep both adults and children moving.

10. Reconnect

Most of all, this quiet, at home time we’re all embarking on is a great time for rediscovery, whether that be of yourself or your family.

Use the time to slow down, play with your children, engage with your partner and do games and activities together such as cooking, dancing, gardening or painting.

Look at the positives and the next few weeks will be gone before you know it.

To view the BigBarn map or shop on marketplace visit

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