This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My sixth new little hen has laid her first egg today. Hurray! It is so good to have lots of eggs again. Mind you, one of the bantams has started eating eggs so I'm not sure where we will be going on that one...

And I have a new egg customer to add to my list. If I can sell as many eggs as possible now, then it will offset the cost of feeding them through the winter and when they are a bit older and not laying so many.

The new hens are getting really friendly and they are quite happy to be picked up. It is really nice to be welcomed by them. They behave with such good manners compared to the bantams.

We have spotted a really nice farmhouse with one acre near Llandrindod Wells. It is a cruck framed house, about 500 years old and thatched. Part of the stone barn has been converted into a holiday let with two bedrooms already so there is potential for income. The only trouble is that it costs £330K and I don't think we can go that high. It looks lovely. We would really prefer a little more land, though. That is the one downside that I can find - apart from the price.

Well, at least I can drool for a while.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Well, another week gone by. Sometimes they really seem to whizz by so fast and at the end you wonder what you actually achieved because the time disappeared before you could use it.

Anyway, I was given some bean and courgette plants this week so that will fill in the gaps for all the ones eaten by the slugs. And there is a promise of some strawberry plants and autumn raspberry canes and a rhubarb crown for my son. Hopefully there will be enough for us all to have some.

The offer my son has put on a house has been accepted, so that is exciting. The house has a lovely garden with a little greenhouse, so he will be able to grow a few things. He likes his veg.

My other exciting news is that some of my new hens have started laying. Just little baby eggs but it is a promise of things to come. The eggs laid by the two Hebden Blacks are speckled with a lovely dark brown colour and those laid by the Warrens are an even mid-brown. Pretty!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Second post.

I don't expect I'll keep count for very long but I'm still newfangled with this.

I've got 12 little hens out there in the garden, eating everything in sight - and not producing eggs. Admittedly six of them are a little bit young and we'll probably be overrun with eggs when they start laying in 2-3 weeks time. I've got several people queuing up for eggs and will have no problem finding homes for the surplus. In the meantime, though, WE want some eggs. The other five bantams and one hen are just not pulling their weight round here.

I'm just not good at culling the ones which don't lay for whatever reason. None of them are really too old. In commercial terms, they are well past it but these little hens are a cross between pets and me playing at being a very part-time smallholder. When we decided to get some new hens (so that we could have eggs reliably again) we got a couple extra because I had people who wanted to buy the eggs from me. Not that I charge much, but the few pence from the surplus eggs will subsidise the food costs for the rest. That is one try at 'smallholder thinking'. We'll see how that goes...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Well, here I am posting for the first time on my first blog. Where do I start? I suppose the name gives it away really. I wannabe a smallholder and not an urban dweller. I would like to have a field or two and a house with a green view and preferably a hill or two in sight. And animals.

I have some chickens in the garden now, so that is a start. I have 5 bantams which I took on from an elderly gentleman who couldn't look after them any more - they are not very good at laying. They would rather sit on imaginary eggs in the nest box. And then there is my oldest hen who still lays about 4 eggs every week. And then there are the 6 new kids on the block. They are warrens, bought last week at point of lay - but not quite there yet. I am so looking forward to lots of eggs again, like when we first had hens. They are lovely, friendly little hens who are fast learning that my approach means food of some sort, even if only a dandelion leaf.

Anyway, back soon.