Reason for life

This blog is for my best friend, driving force and most beautiful person in the world. Sue.
It is also dedicated to my 2 sons both of which I am so proud of. And the prettiest girls in the world my daughters. Also Jack, Hannah, Callum and Marco who can not share this experience but are always thought of.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


This is a subject close to my childrens heart, ie. how to avoid eating it, and can I grow baked beans in the garden preferably ready canned with a H......... label. The answer is of course NO, now eat up your greens they are good for you! This lead me to thinking about  children who are brought up from birth in a self sufficient household and how they will differ from a child with a "conventional background". As Thai and Libby had a less selfsufficient start although vegetarianism and organic produce played a large part they actually eat more vegetables more willingly than Kisha or Louis who had self sufficiency almost from birth and complain bitterly or just not eat veg, although age may play a part in this.
Anyway after this ramble which is probably unsolvable anyway I will get to the subject I was going to write about VEG. The two pigs, porkers and scratchings, we had last year as weaners and raised to the fine weights of over one hundred and twenty kilos a piece, one of whom is sadly no longer with us apart from in the freezer, did, as a bi~product of their general living habits, create a superb new veggie patch for us. After a bit of a spend on the credit card I am now in the position, thanks to Dobbies, of starting to make full use of the marvelous rotovating habits of pigs. Broad beans are doing marvelously, the leaks are putting up a good show, and the salad crops in the newly acquired polytunnel (again thanks Chris) are showing signs of a speedy free and healthy tea time.
Dispite all this and the fact that Sue is a truly great and innovative cook, will the kids sit down happily to a good home produced meal with real fresh produce get up from the table and say " wow thanks
Mum and thanks Dad for all the hard work"? Will they will they f.........
To end this sad but vaguely humorous tale and restore the faith of our eldest daughter in me being a worthwhile human being and Sue not being a poisoner, I have deciced that after we have raised this years piglets and gained yet another superbly rotovated veg patch I will search the seed catalogues next winter for grow your own Prada shoes and Gucci handbags( I probably got that the wrong way round. Bang goes my street cred,  I can still be a digger and part time dreamer can't I?)

some pics

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today we said goodbye at least for a while to our friends dog, Charlie. We were looking after said little yorky for Jen while she was in hospital, thankfully Jen is much better now and back at home and so is Charlie, but he has left a lasting impression on 4 of our chickens by grabbing them warmly by the throat and trying to stangle the life out of them. Charlie has when it comes to chickens and I am told cats, the targeting instincts of an excoset missile and the killing instinct of a trained assasin, but he is fantastic with the kids!
Charlie's one dog attempted extinction program for the chickens prompted me to think yet again about our fencing situation. Our three sheep Mutty, Little Man and his sister Little Girl are at present in their winter grazing which is well fenced. Although and let this be a warning to all if you buy sheep fencing, there is a right and a wrong way up. The little sqaures go at the bottom this stops the sheep sticking there heads through and getting stuck because the horns face backwards. However despite just before erecting the final 50 meters of the stuff a friend saying " I have had a terrible day, had to take all the sheep fence down because it was upsidedown etc." I have now realized that all 100 meters of my new sheep fence is UPSIDEDOWN and spend many a happy time extracting the sheep from the wire.
But back to the point about Charlie, despite the cost of good quality fencing being a never ending problem to us and I guess many a smallholder we will have to bite the bullet this year and properly fence the big field that we used the electric fencing on last year. As the electric stuff has about the same effect on the sheep when they have a good fleece as me shouting stop at them when they are striping all the bark of the neighbours prize trees, absolutly none at all. But good quality fencing properly erected ( yes I will have to redo the existing 100 meters in the summer, sorry Sue) keeps preditors out as well as the livstock in and as such is worth all the money and the effort.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Only Recipes: Stewed Borlotti Beans with Smoked Paprika

Only Recipes: Stewed Borlotti Beans with Smoked Paprika just found this site it really does have some good recipes. One of the problems Sue and I face is getting the kids to eat the produce we grow. The kids like processed food despite the great efforts that Sue makes to give them a healthy balanced diet. I suppose advertiseing and friends have an influence on the likes and dislikes of the kids as well as the ease of eating of processed food naturally gives the kids a preference towards them and the fact that the home produced stuff is around them all the time and therefore lacks the exotica of the supermarket stuff.

The Bee Space | Smart, Simple & Sustainable Beekeeping

The Bee Space | Smart, Simple & Sustainable Beekeeping absolutly my favorite reading at the moment maybe I am becoming a dreamer

new chickens

As part of the egg and table chicken drive I have pleasure in welcoming 2 new chickens and their fine cockerel to the farm. Their previous owner was quite convinced that their egg laying days were over but I have got 4 beautiful eggs from them in their first 4 days and look forward to many more. This is probably due to the conditions they were sleeping in if they do not get a weekly clean out and fresh straw no matter how nice there day time conditions are they stop egg production a good warning to any one thinking of keeping animals you have to get out and look after them morning and night 7 days a week and in the winter this is not for the faint hearted.
The whole farm idea really took off from chickens, we got the first 5 girls and the colenel in part payment for a bit of work I did for a family. After that all the rest of the chickens and cockerels have been giveaways. But now armed with the incubator, many thanks to Chris for that, I should be able to start raising some new homegrown egg layers and some chickens for the freezer. There is a growing air of discontent with the all pork diet!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fancy sharing the experience with us for your holiday....?

If a holiday in France seems too expensive, or the dream of a smallholder's lifestyle too much to dive into headfirst, try a holiday with us!  Our website gives details of accomodation available - the longere gite or mobile home on site here.  We can offer lifts to and from Roscoff port or Brest airport, or you can use the rail connection to Pont de Buis, a 10 minute walk from our home...

Once here, your holiday is whatever you want - there is always something interesting going on; Porkers loves her daily belly rubs, the sheep enjoy being given their hay, you can look for eggs with the chickens or just play with the dogs and cats.  In the autumn there are apples to be gathered and pressed, or our Apple Festival to enjoy and all year round cider to test!   If you want to get out and about, we have many beautiful, quiet beaches within 20 minutes drive, fishing, swimming, sand-surfing, surfing, or the traditional pleasures of the French market day in Chateaulin or the Chocolaterie at Pleyben...

Have a look at our website and contact us to discuss rates - we'd rather have some visitors than no visitors so  feel free to negotiate!!!

The first post

This is the first test run of the blog. Stand by for the first bullitin