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.  

Sunday 21 May 2023

Polytunnel Plant Up

Feels a little late, but also feels good to have the polytunnel planted up for the summer. 

 I'm looking forward to this being a place of absolute abundance in a few months time. 

Do you grow under cover much? 

What are your favourite crops to grow under plastic or glass?

Thursday 18 May 2023

Seed Savers Lament

Saving some fennel seeds the other day I stupidly put the jar on a sawhorse I had stored in the polytunnel. then I stepped on a loose slab and it smashed down. 

Why do little jobs like this always turn into such big ones! The picture sums it up perfectly though. The seed savers lament. 

Sunday 14 May 2023

May Garden, Orchard & Coppice Homestead Tour

Nothing hidden here, just a tour around our place, warts and all. 

If you're feeling a bit behind what you're doing this will probably make you feel better. That said I have some things that are doing great. The soft fruit in particular has been awesome for a number of years now, and I'm looking forward to future harvests. 

How is spring treating you? 

Are things as far on where you are?


Saturday 13 May 2023

Laid Hedges A Few Months On

Well good news, Al the hedges I laid are still alive! 
And they're growing really well. 

 Have a watch of the video above to see how they're doing. I honestly smile to look at them and although I know we've lost a bit of privacy for a few years I know it'll be so much better in the long run. 

Let me know what you think. 

Would you like to try your hand at hedge laying?


Thursday 11 May 2023

What Would You Do With It?

Down the lane we live there is this beautiful old barn

 It's used to store a few tractor implements but nothing else. 

Owned by one of the biggest landlords around here so will never be sold, but what would you do with it?

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Me & My Stuff

A friend popped over the other day and snapped this picture of me. 

 Me, surrounded by the stuff I proudly make and sell. Wearing wellies...

I keep organised with my work and storage space. Pretty much everything is a custom build and fit to make it work for me (all the shelving is 800mm deep). I have a good work flow now and I'm really enjoying having some products I have put a lot of effort into designing and making. 

Is your workplace organised and tidy?

Saturday 6 May 2023

Homesteading/Smallholder GUILT - Do You Suffer With It?

 This is probably the most candid video I've done, just me chatting to the camera about the constant guilt I feel in my gut. 

Funny, as really I'm just talking to myself, but once I started I struggled to stop. It does feel a bit like I'm putting myself out there with this one. 

Let me know if you suffer with the same, or what you do to combat it.

Much love. 

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Timber Delivery

I get a fair bit of timber delivered here. It is in all honesty a bit of a pain as the timber lorry can't get up the drive.

Instead it has to be carried up the drive we share with our neighbours. I have to run about and check no one is going out just before he comes. 

Then I have to hope I get a nice driver, I have two I like that will help me carry the stuff and be really helpful. I always reward them with a few beers or some eggs. Occasionally I get a driver that wants to leave it on the side of the road. 

 Last time the driver came and was helping me when the girls came back from getting their hair cut. They then went and put on their wellies and helped carry some of the lighter timber up the drive to my workshop. The driver was so impressed with them, I think it really made his day! 

In the summer I get a few bigger orders of timber and get them to drive it straight into the field, but if they did that at the moment I think they'd sink! 

Anyway, tomorrow I need to order some more and have to hope I get a nice driver when it comes! 

Who else has delivery issues with where they live? I'd love to have it so I could unload with a forklift! 

Monday 1 May 2023

Why Did I BRICK Up The Kitchen Window?

 The other day I posted my first patio renovation video and Sue G (a long time supporter of the blog) asked a really good question- 

Why did I block up the kitchen window?

I thought the best way to answer this was with a short video and look at my reasoning. 

Give it a watch and let me know what you think.

Would you have done the same?

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