Sheepy smallholders

Given that we’ve spent over half a year starting to mould our land and getting chickens established, it might sound strange if I say that I only really started to feel like a smallholder a week ago when our lovely sheep arrived. We’d been looking for sheep for some time; we even went to a […]

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Catching up with the chickens

Getting chickens was probably one of the least demanding things we’ve done since becoming smallholders. It seemed like. huge endeavour when we actually went to get our first flock, but it takes practically no effort to run a chicken. As long as they’re fed and watered and have a little house to snuggle up in […]

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Deforestation on a tiny scale

Watching trees being felled makes me very uncomfortable. Not so my oldest son, for whom the sight of chaps in high vis vests skimming 20 feet into the air to whizz about with chainsaws is second only to the circus, but I really dislike it. We recently felled a number of trees from our new […]

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We are determined to DIY (or DIO!)

We’re facing a massive project here with our smallholding. We’d eventually like to be self-sufficient in most fruit and vegetables and meat, as well as cut flowers and so at the moment we’ve got a lot of big “one-off” tasks. Planting the orchard with our 32 trees was obviously one of them, and creating a […]

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Planting an orchard

In our rush to become self-sufficient, we somewhat madly placed an order for 32 bare-rooted fruit trees, 160 raspberry canes, 36 fruit bushes and 10 rhubarb plants the day that we exchanged on our little smallholding and a couple of weeks ago, they arrived. Faced with all these bushy twig things and a finite dormant […]

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Chilly chickens

It’s cold here at the moment. I mean seriously, nose-achingly cold. We can’t have had ice covering the car more than twice in the last three years that we lived in London but here it’s been almost every day for at least a month and as I type this the thermometer already reads less than […]

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Chickens, chickens everywhere, but three are on the blink!

When we first adopted our ex-battery hens I had visions of finding ourselves knee deep in eggs. The reality (as with most of the things I had idealistic, city-person thoughts about) is somewhat different. We do actually get a steady daily supply of eggs from our girls but at a rate of exactly one egg […]

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