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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Top 10 Christmas present ideas for gardeners

All I want for Christmas this year is more time in the garden. Oh the pleasure that can be found in the idle pottering about of a summer evening, or the power harvesting of an autumn morning after the school run. I revert to childlike status, begging my family for “Just five more minutes” as […]

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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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Picking flowers for the cutting garden

I feel incredibly spoiled in saying this given how lucky I am to have all of our growing space, but I am sometimes paralysed by indecision when it comes to growing. Coming from a tiny terraced garden where I had so little space, I’m slightly overwhelmed by the amount of potential I have here. I […]

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