From £60 a week to a six-figure hit: Meet the single mum who turned her off-grid life into a £120,000 business | Leaf Probably

A single mother who once lived off the grid in a caravan with her three children and made £60 a week teaching other mums how to find food, is now making £120,000 a year as a guru of self-sufficiency, the ‘expertise’ on what’s going on Surviving the Apocalypse Shares.

While Diana Hamill Page, 50, was studying business administration and criminology at university, it was her life skills — honed during childhood by a scientist father and ex-military grandfather — that equipped her with the superior survival skills she needed now teaches .

She currently lives in a three-bedroom rented cottage on a two-acre farm near York, North Yorkshire and teaches 60 people a week how to forage, make toiletries from natural ingredients and become totally self-sufficient.

Diana in the forest (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

Divorced Diana, who raised her children Maya, 23, Noah, 21, and Matthias, 18, in a trailer for five years, said: “After having my first child, I learned a lot about permaculture, which is based on understanding nature, and Having children fueled my passion for their future.

“I wanted to future-proof my children. I had to learn the skills we would need in a power outage situation so I could save her.

“I feel like I have to raise my children so that they can contribute to our society. I think self-reliance and building resilient communities requires resilient individuals.”

Diana in York (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

Diana started the Wild Harvest School in 2006 and now charges between £18 and £159 for courses, which she runs from a series of tipis in the farmland surrounding her home.

But she hopes to one day be living off the grid again in France’s Dordogne region, where she has invested £24,000 in a 50m2 single bed cottage surrounded by four acres of land.

She said: “As soon as I finish work and my children are old enough, I will go to France and live my dreams off the grid.”

Diana foraging (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

Diana developed a taste for independence as a child, being raised by her father, Fred Page, and her grandfather, also named Fred, an Army veteran, after her mother left the family home when she was a baby.

She says her father “never bought anything” and made everything, including soap and yogurt, while growing up without central heating.

“I think that lifestyle started for me at birth,” she said. “I was raised by my dad and grandpa and they didn’t know what to do with a little girl in the ’70s.”

Diana is a black belt in Taekwondo (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “They even taught me to break into the house because they kept locking me out. They taught me how to unscrew the window!

“Everything was done and also repaired.

“We lived in a coastal town, so I spent a lot of time in the backyard of our regular semi-detached house, where my dad grew things like corn, strawberries, and rhubarb.”

Diana owns an airgun (Collect/PA Real Life)

Growing up, however, Diana remembers a typical teenage life — going to clubs and going to college.

She said: “Learning and sport were always the focus throughout my youth. I got through college and had a normal life, hitting up nightclubs and hanging out with friends, and went on to study business at Newcastle University.”

But that changed after 1997, when Diana became increasingly drawn to “doomsday thinking,” meaning she feared everything from civil war to economic collapse or some other type of apocalypse, and decided to call the Masters, which she then taking up giving up riminology to teach her kids how to be self-sufficient.

Diana with her children (Collect/PA Real Life)

She said: “This passion for preparing came from a love for my children, as I wanted to make sure they had a good life.

“And I knew that you can survive on very little.

“I had to be able to protect her.”

In 2000, Diana was earning just £80 a week from being her grandfather’s carer and living in a dreamy two-bedroom thatched cottage in Farndale, North Yorkshire.

But the house was full of things they didn’t need, according to Diana, who started giving away items without at least two functions — meaning she parted with her toaster, kettle, and many other items until she was down to just a bed . wardrobe and a sofa.

She said, “The house was full of so much we didn’t need.”

Diana and her grandfather (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “Everything we own should have at least two functions.

“Once I got rid of everything at the cabin in Farndale, I realized I didn’t need it.”

Most of Diana’s income went towards paying for her children’s £20 weekly private schooling at Moorland Waldorf School in the North Yorkshire Moors, which values ​​childhood as a time of freedom, curiosity and discovery and is funded in part by the community becomes.

Then, in 2005, Diana decided to uproot her family and move into a 20ft caravan on a farm in the North Yorkshire Dales, which cost her just £50 a month.

There, she was determined to teach her children how to forage, preserve fruit, use an airgun, and survive in the great outdoors.

In the trailer (Collect/PA Real Life)

She said: “My children are my whole life. I just wanted to live in an environment conducive to their happiness.

“We took nature walks and ate the freshest, healthiest food.

“I had it all going and was on this journey of freeing myself and connecting with nature.”

In the trailer (Collect/PA Real Life)

Diana and her three young children, aged between 18 months and seven at the time, all slept in a large double bed with no heating or television and survived the harsh winters by making fires and boiling water.

Diana washed the family’s laundry in a nearby farmer’s washing machine, while the children showered at their grandpa’s once a week.

They had a bath day, a swim day and they ate on paper plates to start a fire.

Matthias learned archery (Collect/PA Real Life)

Diana said: “One day would be bathing day and one day would be swimming day.

“On Fridays we cooked outside on an open fire.

“The kids brought their friends, we ate on paper plates and then used the plates to light a fire and dance by candlelight.”

Maya, Noah and Matthias (Collect/PA Real Life)

The family lived “off the grid” in the remote countryside, had no toilet or hot running water, and needed logs or to boil water for heating.

Diana taught her kids how to preserve fruit, and they ate mostly homemade jams and chutneys — while also learning basic skills like basket-weaving, candle-making and archery.

Diana, who also owns an airgun, said: “It was really amazing because every day we were foraging, going to the river and exploring the great outdoors.”

The caravan is snowed in (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “I just wanted to make sure my kids have all the tools they need to survive.

“We were given airguns mostly for self-defense, like something happened, I was just a single mom with three kids.

“I needed a way to protect my children. I took them to boxing and they learned how to shoot.”

The Caravan (Collect/PA Real Life)

Despite being a vegetarian, Diana still showed her children how to skin and butcher street murder they found.

They made their own soap and yoghurt and only went shopping occasionally.

Diana said, “All you need is in nature and while it can be a more humble life, it is the most fulfilling life you can live.”

Diana foraging (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

When her eldest daughter Maya went to ‘regular school’ at the age of 14 so as not to feel left out, Diana bought an Argos TV for £60 and they watched Waterloo Road so she would have something to talk about with her peers and could “fit in”.

But after they watched everything, Diana left the television.

She said: “We bought an Argos TV knowing everyone was watching Waterloo Road. We watched it together so my daughter could still fit in when she started school.

“It was quite a project.”

Diana weaving a basket (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

With her children, now grown – Maya has just graduated from Bloodstock Studies at the Royal Agricultural University, Noah is a mechanic and Matthias, 18, is a high school student and still lives at home – Diana’s life has changed all over again.

Living in a house since 2010, she insists that despite their unconventional upbringing, her children are all very well-adjusted “normal” people, but armed with extra life skills to survive an apocalypse.

She said: “I’m so proud of my children, they all live normal lives and do the things that everyone does, but my daughters and sons can sew, bake and make everything.”

Diana foraging (Natasha Holland Photography/PA Real Life)

She added: “They still like to go out and socialize but they have all these skills.

“And I now hope that through my coaching I can help as many people as I can learn to survive in nature.”

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