SUSTAINABILITY: Our main aim is to develop the smallholding using low input, sustainable systems such as permaculture, biodynamics and organics. We are aware of the twin issues of peak oil and climate change and will do what we can to minimise our carbon output and to prepare for a future without cheap oil.
Whilst aiming to be as self-reliant as possible we would also like to connect with like-minded people and to encourage others by holding courses, farm walks etc. Apart from growing conventional veg and fruit, we are interested in the possibility of establishing a permaculture forest garden on the 5 acre field with a view to growing perennial food plants, nuts and unusual fruits.
LIVESTOCK: We would also like to keep a couple of goats for milking and will reserve a suitable area for their living accommodation and for producing their food.
As soon as possible we will add one or two hives of bees to help pollination and for our own honey.
WOODFUEL: The woodburning central heating, hot water, cooking, cast iron range (the Dragon) in vital to our plans and providing fuel for this is essential. We would like to be 100% self-sufficient in wood fuel but this would need about 10 acres of woodland cut on a rotational basis which we don’t have. So we will probably plant up some short rotation coppice as part of the forest garden.
BIODIVERSITY: By creating a series of different habitats we hope to build on the existing ecosystem, which will be of benefit to nature as well as the smallholding.