Monday 15th August 2016

The Smallholding Community
This is a photo of one of our stunning sunsets and as we stood on our decking to take this shot, the sound of the combine could still be heard in the next door field. Earlier, we’d given Andrew a wave as he turned the huge machine in the corner by our green lane and we thought just how many people we already know in our new community and how helpful and knowledgable everyone has been. Running a smallholding is not an isolationist activity despite the fact that there may be days and days when you never go anywhere other than your own holding and weeks and weeks when you seem to do the same chores day in day out!
Relaxed At Home
There will however always be some jobs that other people have to do for you either because of legal restraints (such as dispatching livestock, emptying septic tanks etc) or because of the skills/machinery required (e.g. fencing, making hay, cutting hedges…). We are very lucky, that without exception, we have so far found people to do all the jobs we have needed (with the offer of more besides). And loathe though we are to admit it, Facebook is INCREDIBLY useful for making contacts, finding skilled people and as we have already commented on, acquiring new stock!!
Building up and becoming part of a smallholding community is crucial, visiting other holdings is invaluable and the use of social media cannot really be underestimated.
In the last three and a half weeks since we moved we have received advice on how to manage our 4-acre field; ‘talked goats and cows’ on three very different farms/holdings; commissioned people to do fencing and hedge trimming for us; been visited by someone offering on-site livestock slaughter; purchased new stock directly from the breeders...
This week alone we have two more smallholding visits lined up and at the weekend, we have a chap coming to talk to us about our pole barns. We saw an example of his work at a nearby holding two days ago and were VERY impressed!!!
It’s amazing what positive thought processes watching a sunset can inspire!!!