Winter in the kitchen garden: planting a future

The arrival of winter should surely herald hedgehog-like behaviour in all of us. We no longer shuttle too and fro from the kitchen garden to the house laden with gluts that we don’t know how to process fast enough, but rather wish to laze by the fire with a good book. Most flowers fade and […]

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Smallholding services and infrastructure

“That has to be the world’s most boring way to spend £10,000” remarked my husband after we were given the terrifyingly expensive quote to replace our clapped out septic tank with a shiny new sewage treatment system. He was right, and it got me thinking about all of the other things we spend money on […]

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Once you cluck, you can’t stop: new hens!

Keeping chickens has been something of a revelation. Who knew how seamlessly they’d fit into our lives? But now, a little under a year since we got our poor first brood, they’re just a happy part of our daily existence. Last year a survey showed that hens were the sixth most popular pet kept in […]

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Saving tonnes of tomatoes

Back when the raised beds were first finished in our kitchen garden, I was at once utterly thrilled that they were ready and also a bit panicked that it was too late to really sow any summer vegetables. So it was in a rather lazy frame of mind that I decided on the spur of […]

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Sneaky sheep

Our new sheep have been settling in well and it feels a bit like they’ve always been here. It’s rather nice, watching them potter about maa-ing at each and hoovering up the grass. However we have a problem. We built our new chicken enclosure in a nice sheltered bit of one of our lower paddocks […]

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Breaking down composting

We’ve spent an absolute fortune on topsoil and compost since we moved here. I’ve long intended to start making our own compost but it’s taken an age to get around to it. Our local council gave me a free 100 litre compost bin that I brought home to be smirked at by our gardeners. With […]

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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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