Monday, 5 June 2023

The Walk Back

 Sometimes I take a picture of our normal life and it feels like it's from a book. 

This one I snapped on our way back from children's cricket on Friday night. Walking on the footpath through a field of barley, the sun setting in the distance. It sometimes feels like our village fulfils some cliche of English village life long gone from many places, and I'm happy it does. A village full of friends, probably a dozen or more people I could drop our children with in an emergency with no worries at all. I feel lucky to bring the children up here. 

Saturday, 3 June 2023

Preparing For The Cold When It's Warm!

With the ground being harder we've been moving some firewood around. 

As soon as it gets warm my mind automatically switches to preparing for the winter. Preserving food, getting the wood ready to heat us. 

 This short video talks a bit about that and talks about when I was on building sites collecting my offcuts. 

Let me know what you think!

When do you start prepping for winter?

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

School Talk

 A few months back, the lovely Kat from the Hellen's Garden Festival team asked if I'd be up for doing a talk to a school she'd been working with. 

My brief was just that brief! My job was to talk for about 45 minutes and to inspire them about growing. 

Luckily Kat had been working with them for a number of weeks, she'd made some great planters at the school and talked about where we get our food from. 

The class were brilliant, so well behaved and attentive, they asked loads of questions and there was a few farmers children in the crowd so they had some great answers to my questions. 

I did some talking about what we get up to here and talk about our growing year. I then asked some questions about the names of different fruit (and pokemon) and they had to guess which was which, I threw out a few curve balls! 

It went down a storm (even if I do say so myself) and the head mistress even came up to me afterwards to say how it was perfectly pitched to the age group. All the kids went away with a couple of packets of seeds that I had bagged up and I knew it was going well when the teachers asked for some as well! 

I stayed afterwards and helped them make some planters from old milk cartons. This was Kats great idea and it worked so well, the children all got to decorate them in different ways and they looked great! The planters will then be used to put up around Hellen's Garden Festival in a few weeks time (Where I'm speaking again).

A great fun thing to do and one that put me a little out of my comfort zone. I wonder if I'll get to do any more in the future. 

Anyone else gone to schools to do a talk or speak to children about food and growing?

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Don't Fear Temporary Jobs!

I made a video the other day talking about temporary jobs and how I came here thinking everything should last me forever. 

As I've gone on and used the land my ideas on this have changed completely! 

 I wrote an article on this in Country Smallholding a few years ago, but as I look around my place it's worth reminding myself of it a bit as well. This video talks a bit about that and the farm I grew up on. 

I hope you enjoy it. 

What's your favourite type of temporary job on a farm or smallholding?

What's your worst?

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Thyme In The Patio Planter

When we built the patio I got two big planters built up as well. 

The one nearest the wall I didn't think much would grow that well as for a lot of the months of the year it wouldn't see much sunlight, being north facing and shaded by the house.

So for that planted I decided to plant some thyme plants I started from seed, a bit of risk but I'd see how they went. The other planter we used for annuals. 

Sorting seeds in the sunshine next to the thyme

 Last year we replanted the other planter with lavender, but unfortunately none of it really took, even with frequent watering.  

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