Saturday, 28 June 2014

Why, hello there!


It has been seven months almost to the day, 209 days to be precise, since I last posted here.  In that time I’ve moved country, had one house move fall through and spent far too long in a temporary home with no garden.  Safe to say things never go smoothly; but as I write I can only think - it was all worth it.

Ever since I was a child my sole ambition was to own a field, my Sister’s was to be a duck so in that respect I wasn’t that odd in comparison, but the space and potential a field could offer me was overwhelmingly attractive.  My partner and I had a burning desire to follow our joint ambition and buy a smallholding and I guess we’ve finally realised this.

After our first house move fell through things have moved very quickly.  We found our new home online and after all the legalities had been sorted we moved in.  We’ve been in around five weeks now and things are starting to come together.  The plot consists of an old farmhouse, once a pub back in the 1800’s, and just over 4 acres, divided between garden and pasture.  The garden is around 0.4 acres as it stands and is pretty much all lawn, which is great for me as it offers a completely blank canvas.  Although at times this is quite daunting!  We also have a large Rose pergola, a small vegetable garden, a greenhouse and a few other plants (most of which flower pink – not my colour).  The plan is to extend the vegetable garden considerably, plant an orchard and develop the ornamental garden – in time.

As I write the housing for our horse has just been erected and tomorrow she arrives along with our first batch of ex-battery hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust.  I also have around 20 or so hatching eggs in the incubator, one of which is hatching prematurely on day 17/18 and the rest are likely to hatch over the coming days with Wednesday being day 21.  These chickens will be a mixture of laying and meat birds as we move more closely to becoming self-sufficient.  We’ve chosen Speckled Sussex this time around and I’m informed by chickeneer extraordinaire and Twitter friend Andy Cawthray of Chicken Street that they make good table birds.  I also have a few Brahma eggs due to hatch and these will stay with the laying girls of which there are currently six.  

Sadly not all of my old flock made the trip and Mc Gee, Roxy and Diana are now in chicken heaven after a fabulous vacation on a friend’s farm on Gower.   The wonderful Sophia La Hen and Edna made the trip safely and are busy bossing our young hybrid girls. We’ve also been treated to two quail, although sadly one passed away, and the latest addition, a Cream Legbar Cockerel courtesy of the lovely Sharon Hockenhull.

The next few weeks and months will see me fencing, cutting, mowing and digging until the place starts to look good.  This is a big project and is likely to take some time - wish me luck!  

It’s so good to be blogging again!

11 comments:

  1. Welcome back. Funnily, I checked earlier today to see if you'd found time to resurrect the blog. I must be prematurely psychic! I'll put jealousy aside, wish you both all the luck in the world and look forward to regular (?) reports of progress.

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  2. Hi John, the blog resurrection started yesterday with the updating of images/links etc so perhaps your timing wasn't too premature. Thanks for your good wishes. The blog will now be a regular thing and I can't wait to post more progress updates. Chicks hatching and horse and ex-batts arriving tomorrow so it's all go. I may even get around to gardening at some point!

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  3. Hello Ryan! Pleased to have you back in blog-land. I must ask, has your sister achieved her ambition yet? Looking forward to reading more.
    Rosemarie

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    1. Hi Rosemarie,

      Thanks for the comment - it's great to be back!

      Ryan

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  4. Exciting times ahead! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with that blank lawn.

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    1. Hi Celia,

      As I type it's still lawn but that is set to change! I think a third is likely to go to veg and then we will see what I can do with the rest ... watch this space I guess :)

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  5. I was delighted to see this post pop into my inbox this morning Ryan :) (I've not been blogging for about 6 weeks as I'm on a course that's taking up all my free time). You've got such a blank canvas to work with and I'm sure it will be so exciting planning the new garden. My friend has adopted ex battery hens too and the difference in them after a few months is amazing.

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    1. Hi Rosie,

      Thanks for getting in touch. It's a difficult balance blogging and life but we'll get there I'm sure. Given that I haven't posted since the last I'm quite the authority on the matter! Haha!

      The change in the ex-batts is amazing and I'll blog on this shortly.

      I look forward to catching up on your blog too.

      Ryan

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  6. Nice to see you back. Looking forward to your new adventures!

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    1. Thank you both. There'll be a new post coming soon :)

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  7. Ah, this struck a chord. We are 5 years ahead of you (but not necessarily wiser!) i feel you may be located nearby

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