About Us

This blog began in 2013 as Foraging in Birmingham (FiB). After a year of investigating the frugal life in Birmingham however, we discovered there was a wealth of areas we wanted to explore including building from reclaimed wood, bushcraft, keeping livestock and other free foods. We therefore expanded on 25th March 2014 with Sustainable Life and created a new facebook page to showcase our new website.

Basecamp – Humble Beginnings

Our base of operations is now in Perry Barr, we started life in a small terraced house in south Birmingham with nothing but a small paved back yard. Many of our courses are available across Birmingham including Stirchley/Bournville, Highbury Park (Kings Heath), Kingstanding, Perry Barr, Hall Green. We are always looking to expand our venues to make our courses more accessible so if you have a venue you think we may be interested in please let us know!


Who We Are


Name: Stephanie Adelaar
Title: Course Leader & Admin
Jobs: Maintain the Sustainable life blog/website/facebook, manage courses, create marketing materials, manage accounts/finances and run or assist with courses.
Experience/Skills: Foraging, “allotmenteering”, managing livestock, preserving foods, IT and graphic design.
Extra: Stephanie is currently working with teachers at Raddlebarn primary school to introduce kids to edible foods and growing plants in their school playground. You can read more about this and other community projects here.



Name: Alan Bale
Title: Primary Course Leader
Jobs: Run courses, engage with the community, manage training opportunities.
Experience/Skills: Foraging, “allotmenteering”, trees, outdoor learning.
Extra: Alan Bale is a qualified and experienced tree surgeon, an experienced forager, a bushcraft enthusiast and a qualified Forest Schools Birmingham practitioner. He worked for 3 years as a gardener for the Kingstanding Food Community (a lottery funded charity) where he taught vulnerable adults how to grow and cook their own food. He now works as a freelancer for the Kingstanding Regeneration Trust, Forest Schools Birmingham and St Martins.


Our Livestock/Animals

Our livestock and animals at the moment include:

  • 5 hens
  • 3 cats
  • Bees

Sustainable Life Voluntary Organisation

Board Members

Vice Chair: Stephanie Adelaar
Chair: Alan Bale
Secretary: Dean Gammon
Treasurer: Afric Crossan Wale
Member: Rebecca Cowley

If you wish to become a member of the Sustainable Life Voluntary Organisation please get in touch with us via email to SLVO@spiderstudio.co.uk




We DO NOT offer advice without thoroughly looking into it online first. If we see conflicting advice online we will err on the side of caution instead. We do NOT provide half arsed information. However, we encourage all readers to look into this from Multiple sources not just us! We are not perfect, and neither is anyone else (although we may be pretty damn close). If you see anything on our website you think is incorrect TELL US, we need to know! Good luck!


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