Building a smallholding

I’m becoming increasingly impatient about this smallholding lark. We have the property, why don’t we have the immediate self-sufficient homestead? The answer, of course, is that this is a significantly larger project than either of us thought. We’ve lived here for over six months now and we’re not even close to having it running as […]

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Round two: keeping chickens for beginners

“Watch out for Doris” warned the friendly chap showing us around the chicken smallholding at Suzie Baldwin’s Happy Healthy Hens in Hampshire. Alarmed, I pulled out oldest son (who had his hand outstretched to pet the turkey bustling around after us) away. “Why, will she peck him?” I asked. ” Oh no” He replied in a […]

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Watering worries: garden irrigation

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink (if you’re the trees in our orchard) because frankly I’m getting tired of having to haul entire bins full of water up a steep hill to water in excess of 30 trees, 120 raspberry canes and 20+bushes. I’m fed up. It’s back-breaking. And this leads me to […]

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Tree-mendous change is afoot

I’ve written before about becoming obsessed by our little orchard and how it’s progressing, and I wonder if everyone peers at every new bud with this much enthusiasm. It’s beginning to feel a bit like vanity actually, the way in which I march every visitor up to our orchard and point them at the trees, […]

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Fort fox(proof): building a luxury chicken enclosure

After the shock of finding that the chickens had all been taken by a fox last week, we decided to fortify the new poultry enclosure somewhat. It used to be a composting area behind our barn and was utterly overgrown with weeds that were literally above waist height. The irony of our loss is that […]

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