Welcome to the first edition of The Nuts & Bolts! We thought we’d introduce our founder, Justin Kelly, and give you some background on How to Basically.
Justin founded How to Basically in 2022 as a one-stop-shop where people can come and learn useful, practical life skills. Having produced a film & spent a decade as a lawyer in the film industry, he decided to create what he had always wished had existed. And so How to Basically was borne! The classes will empower you with new skills which you can use in everyday life. Reducing your reliance on expensive call out fees and helping move the needle towards a more sustainable way of living. Our profits are used to subsidise or provide our courses to people who might not otherwise have access to them.
What we’ve been up to
Busy in the workshop
We’ve been bowled over by the response to our enterprise! Since the start of 2023, we’ve taught a range of classes in the workshop. Its great seeing first hand how simple and transformational the skills are which we teach. This is so empowering and mentally rewarding. We love growing our community and meeting all the different people who have come to our classes.
“I got such a buzz from having learnt something new without it feeling difficult”
We’ve been working with pupils from Step By Step, a local school for children with autism. They’ve been coming to the workshop on a weekly basis which we have subsidised from our profits. They’ve learnt the basics in plumbing and have also been busy making wonderful creations from pallets. This involves breaking up a pallet, sawing, sanding & measuring the timber, and then using a power drill to build things. We have been so impressed with what they’ve made (check out the bench below)!
We are excited to have started on our workshop extension. This will allow us to grow our class sizes beyond our current capacity. In addition it’s a handy place to teach our Car Maintenance course when the weather isn’t being kind. We also have plans afoot to teach bicycle repair & maintenance classes (watch this space) for which this will be ideal!
What we’re looking forward to
Easter Holiday Workshops
We’re really excited to be running our first Holiday Workshops this Easter. They’re 3x 3 hour sessions over 3 consecutive days (lots of threes!). Our pupils will learn how to break up a pallet and prepare the timber to make something to take home. They can choose to make things such as bird houses, clocks, keepsake boxes etc – we can’t wait to see what they create!
These filled up really quickly so we’ve put on extra condensed sessions on Friday 14th April, either 9:30am – 12:30pm or 2pm – 5pm. These are £50 and can be booked here: Easter Holiday Workshop – How To Basically.
Getting our fingers dirty
With signs of Spring all around we can’t wait to start sewing seeds and watch them germinate & grow. You don’t need masses of space, or even a garden, to grow your own produce. With the cost of living crisis and unpredictable supplies from Europe there’s never been a better time to get started. We have a fab gardening course which takes you through the basics step-by-step giving you the confidence to get growing at home. This is the perfect time to get started!
JULIA PARKER OF PARKERS PATCH ON HOW TO GET GROWING AND WHY YOU SHOULD START NOW
Julia is passionate about growing fruit & vegetables. She runs informal workshops from her home in Sussex. She teaches people how to sow & germinate seeds and have a successful harvest throughout the year. She co-wrote Little Growers Cookbook and styled a greenhouse at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 and is back again this year. She’s a regular contributor to Dig It on BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey as the vegetable correspondent and has just launched a podcast, Two Good Gardeners, with Dan Cooper.
Why would you recommend growing veg?
Not only is it cost effective but home grown produce tastes so much better. It also encourages us to understand the seasons more. The mental health benefits are high on the list too. Gardening is definitely therapy for me and indeed for lots of people who discovered it during lockdown. Now with the cost of living crisis, growing our own food could not be more important.
Top tip for someone who wants to start
Don’t grow too much!!
Top 3 bits of equipment to get started
Trowel, garden fork & good quality gloves
Easiest plants to get started with
Herbs. Especially perennial ones such as rosemary, thyme & sage – you can’t go wrong with them!
Most inventive container you’ve grown something in
An old plastic dustbin which I filled with sand and grew exceedingly long, straight carrots in. I drilled holes in the base for drainage (easy if you know how to use a power drill – which I do having done your course). I made holes in the sand with a long dibbler and filled them with compost. I sowed a carrot seed in each hole. A few months later I harvested the longest, straightest carrots. They won first prize at a local horticultural show!
Gardening tool you couldn’t live without
Hmmm. Tough question; probably my long handled garden fork.
Favourite gardening book
My Book – The Little Growers Cookbook! In all seriousness I am really enjoying Sustainable Garden by Marian Boswall. She’s a landscape gardener who’s very aware of how we need to preserve our land. She creates dead hedges, is mindful of moving plants/trees for the sake of it and has the greatest respect for nature.
What should we be planting now?
Onions, shallots, garlic & broad beans – planted outside into boarders or a raised bed on a dry day. Tomatoes, peppers & aubergines can be sown now indoors in the warmth.