Winter in the polytunnel

Winter in the poly tunnel should be a time of leaves and carefully staggered late crops of things but mine looks a bit like the half price sale at a garden centre that’s going out of business. We’ve been so very busy lately that we haven’t been able to find the time to get some […]

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Slaughtering livestock at home: our first sheep are killed

Yesterday I watched as our four store lambs were slaughtered and went from bouncy vivacious sheep to hung and carved carcasses. It had a greater impact on me that I could possibly have imagined and so I wanted to write about it. When we moved from London to the countryside and decided to keep animals […]

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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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