Our Story thus far

Exactly a year ago, Martina and I set out on a journey of discovery. The better part of 8 acres of Barren and Un-Kept land  was purchased. And we have set about the task of converting this wasteland in to a Smallholding.

Now the first thing to point out is one we are both in our 50’s [ her just in and me nearly out 😉 ] I have a full time job where I work a 38 hour week (but over 4 days) this gives us Friday Saturday and Sunday to actually work together up at our German named farmstead “Der Bauernhof” which is German for the “The Farm” .

As with all new adventures we have had ups and downs along the way but generally we have coped well with our new lifestyle. We have HOWEVER Achieved a huge amount considering we are “part time” at present . The “Plan” is to eventually live in a wholly self sufficient ,self-contained lifestyle , but to render this possible first we have had to make the land usable then we need to acquire all the prerequisites for a productive smallholding , you know the score ! As landowners you DO NOT have the automatic right to live on your land You must prove to the local authority that you ,

  1. Need to be on the land to tend stock etc.
  2. that you can support yourself from the said piece of land.
  3. You can overcome the many and various objections to you wishing to do this.

But in our case we had the added hurdle of having a hunk of land that had been left to turn to wilderness by the previous owners. So we had to start by removing 15yrs + of overgrowth ( I cannot begin to explain fully how bad it was the brambles were 5 ft high the Bracken grew through them and the Stinging Nettles grew through them both ,we let the subsequent photos give a clearer idea ) then the property had fencing of sorts only on parts ,So we set about this with nice new posts and mole valley fencing. We have cleared trees and bracken and more brambles than you can point a stick at but the end product is awesome.We have over come planning objections and built a barn / kid weaning shed , we have moved thousands of tonnes of earth to make access to the lower fields easier and it had the added bonus of the earth was put on top of a bog thus pushing the trapped water out and down our central gully. We  may have a piece of land that is on a hill but everywhere you turn there is a spring we have diverted as many as we can in to our central gully and “MADE” a new stream that runs down the outer edge of the field to the collection point where we intend to build our reservoir and power station . We do occasionally get new springs pop up when we have moved something and will in due course endeavour to re-direct these to the same location.

Our only livestock at present are Store Pigs bought in as weaners and will hopefully be big enough to consume by Christmas or January . We did name them ( people said we should not due to you getting an attachment to them , However we have named everything else inanimate or living so they got named Salt, Pepper and Porky Scratchings.

The forward plan is to raise Kid Goats for meat ! Billies as they are plentiful and reasonably priced. Have some chickens and turkeys and a couple of Guard Geese . We fancy a few odd animals ie. Pygmy goats , rare breed sheep etc. but that will come .

The horticultural side of the business will be a mixture of the exotic ( wasabi ) and the mundane ( brassica’s / Strawberries / tomatoes ) the former in an AquaPonics system the latter in HydroPonics . There is plenty of room to plant a cash crop of Potatoes double cropped with probably Kale as that is one of the success stories from our “Test” bed this year. Unless someone out there can tell me of a use for “Dock” because that grows 6 inches overnight.

The following pictures are in rough date order and show what we started with and where we are thus far.

Day One , Not too daunting EH!

Day One , Not too daunting EH!

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The arrival of the First Heavy Moving Equipment

The arrival of the First Heavy Moving Equipment

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Arrival of wood for the Top Barn

Arrival of wood for the Top Barn

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Site Office in place after the Top had been re-profiled

Site Office in place after the Top had been re-profiled

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My Bro Simon and I burning stuff , Like men have a propensity to do :)

My Bro Simon and I burning stuff , Like men have a propensity to do 🙂

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Every Week we won little battles against the overgrowth

Every Week we won little battles against the overgrowth

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Martina doing a Jig of celebration after finishing the last of the west side top brambles

Martina doing a Jig of celebration after finishing the last of the west side top brambles

Soft Rush, The baine of my life in ten months time this is under thousands of tonnes of earth

Soft Rush, The baine of my life in ten months time this is under thousands of tonnes of earth

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Martina and Hanz

Martina and Hanz

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Martina rests in our natural bench after killing more brambles

Martina rests in our natural bench after killing more brambles

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Polly Naked

Polly Naked

Application for our planning

Application for our planning

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In a few months time this has gone and there is a road

In a few months time this has gone and there is a road

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Sometimes its Awful

Sometimes its Awful

Not always sunny !!

Not always sunny !!

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Prior to me and Martina fencing

Prior to me and Martina fencing

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Planting the first of our Nut trees ( Walnut)

Planting the first of our Nut trees ( Walnut)

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Frosty Morning Brrrr

Frosty Morning Brrrr

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Yup Fencing

Yup Fencing

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various fruit bushes

various fruit bushes

Martina and Tutti frutti corner

Martina and Tutti frutti corner

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The transverse Gully and cross field fencing

The transverse Gully and cross field fencing

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Me and Chrissie fighting

Me and Chrissie fighting “lil ali “

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Footlands Rhubarb

Footlands Rhubarb

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Life starts on tutti fruitti

Life starts on tutti fruitti

Living fence by Martina, Willow and sycamore

Living fence by Martina, Willow and sycamore

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Micks Wood named after this man

Micks Wood named after this man “Mick Wood” how wierd is that !!!!

Deutsch Frau , Deutsch Name , Englisch Zeichen , Englisch Bauernhof

Deutsch Frau , Deutsch Name , Englisch Zeichen , Englisch Bauernhof

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West side Fenced

West side Fenced

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Boggy, Nah ! :)

Boggy, Nah ! 🙂

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Martinas Sons (Pat) lot doing the tour

Martinas Sons (Pat) lot doing the tour

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If its blocking light or in the way ... CUT it Down.

If its blocking light or in the way … CUT it Down.

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Me and Rhonda

Me and Rhonda “the honda” Jeez shes done some work.

More dancing , More fencing

More dancing , More fencing

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Nosey Neighbours

Nosey Neighbours

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Diverting the Central Gully down the property

Diverting the Central Gully down the property

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Diverted gully and martinas steps

Diverted gully and martinas steps

The Dunny... ( Tool Shed )

The Dunny… ( Tool Shed )

ITS ALIVE !!!!!!

ITS ALIVE !!!!!!

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First of the Veggie

First of the Veggie “test beds”

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Frutti tutti springing to life

Frutti tutti springing to life

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A Famous

A Famous “Der Bauernhof” Weatherstone . Confused do a search on the blog 🙂

“MO” molly mower driven by the headless farmer

Building

Building “new Scotland yard” the first of our PIG arks.

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Micks Wood Looking Good. ps its an orchard

Micks Wood Looking Good. ps its an orchard

THE SHARD the second of our pig arks

THE SHARD the second of our pig arks

Entrance Gates Hung

Entrance Gates Hung

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Fighting

Fighting “Lil Alli “

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Footlands Propper / Apple trees par excellence.

Footlands Propper / Apple trees par excellence.

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Tommy trailer

Tommy trailer

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Martinas drystone walling of the inside of the entrance

Martinas drystone walling of the inside of the entrance

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We have Deer , dear said martina

We have Deer , dear said martina

Second Veggie Test Bed

Second Veggie Test Bed

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Water everywhere so we might as well save some .

Water everywhere so we might as well save some .

Strwaberries

Strwaberries

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes

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Temporary re-cycling store

Temporary re-cycling store

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Ellie 3 legged romianian rescue dog .. Our Guard Dog..

Ellie 3 legged romianian rescue dog .. Our Guard Dog..

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Mollies bridge over the central gully

Mollies bridge over the central gully

Tommy with a Hat ( For stock movements )

Tommy with a Hat ( For stock movements )

Lost It :-)

Lost It 🙂

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No Martina this is how you do it ...

No Martina this is how you do it …

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Martina and my daughter Lauren returning from the tour

Martina and my daughter Lauren returning from the tour

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Second test bed

Second test bed

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Salt , Pepper and Porky Scratchings arrive

Salt , Pepper and Porky Scratchings arrive

Wanna tip ? If you want a rest full existence DO NOT Buy a

Wanna tip ? If you want a rest full existence DO NOT Buy a “Sprollie” cos they are mental lovely BUT Mental

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Molly with her trailer

Molly with her trailer “Dolly” carrying Dr Mow , the BIG Strimmer

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Frutti tutti in full flow

Frutti tutti in full flow

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Moving the hill to make a road and fill the bog

Moving the hill to make a road and fill the bog

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remember the Soft rush ? No More

remember the Soft rush ? No More

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Chrissie and

Chrissie and “B” start the barn

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“B” my son and his wife sammii

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Main Veggie garden

Main Veggie garden

progressing

progressing

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Roofed

Roofed

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Eldest son Aron and

Eldest son Aron and “B” helping me build the top barn

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Overview Map of the property

Overview Map of the property

Pollies new home

Pollies new home

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Hill Gone and New road

Hill Gone and New road

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