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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Auditing the new orchard

When we planted our small orchard over the winter, we did so with no knowledge of how to do so. Luckily for us, the amazing Monty Don had made a short video on how to plant bare-rooted trees which we watched the morning we decided to make a start. It took us several weekends to […]

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10 things I’ve learned since moving out of London to the countryside

I was delighted to be asked to share our experience of leaving London to move to the country by the wonderful Life after London team, who are well worth a visit if you’re planning your own River Cottage exodus. I chose to try to be brutally honest about how we’ve found it so far, and I’d love […]

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Snow joke: cold weather is for the birds

Life in the UK has recently been brought to a standstill by the revelation that we on this Northern European island have had some snow fall on us. It was admittedly something of a shock for us ex-Londoners to see just how deep snow falls out in the rural countryside and we woke yesterday to […]

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Planning a traditional country garden in the front

We tend to focus on practical (read: food producing) parts of our smallholding when prioritising projects. But one thing I did want to do when we moved in was to fence off the back garden and paddocks from the front. This wasn’t just to make it more secure for the children and various pets that […]

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Harvest Monday

This past week has actually been very fruitful. I’m still mainly getting herbs and leaves (spinach and rosemary and parsley) and although I’m really looking forward to getting some actual fruits and vegetables, I’m still really enjoying being able to wander out to the garden and harvest these greens whenever I like. Once again I […]

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How to release ladybirds with a toddler

Ladybird in situ The day the aphids came back was a dark one. There they were, hordes of them swarming and pulsating all over my innocent strawberries and mint. I was beside myself in rage and frustration at their sheer numbers (previously I’ve always pulled aphids off by hand before their populations reach critical levels) […]

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