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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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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The fox got our chickens

Death came to the farm last night proving that nature is indeed red in tooth and claw in the form of some mangy, vicious foxes. We were appalled to find that all six of our chickens were slaughtered last night. We found two, headless but otherwise whole, and some entrails by our fence. The other […]

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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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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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