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Author Topic: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality  (Read 225 times)

jaynelou

  • Joined Aug 2019
  • Ffarmers, nr Lampeter West Wales
Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« on: October 17, 2019, 06:44:41 pm »
Hiya Everyone,

In June 2019 at the tender age of 49 and 25 years of dreaming I finally made the leap from a (council estate) townie in Newport, South Wales to a Small 2.5 acre smallholding in the appropriately named Ffarmers, an village just outside of Lampeter in West Wales.

We, that's me and longtime suffering husband Andrew, have a concrete prefabricated bungalow.  Its nothing swanky and nor will it be as we are doing this on a shoe string budget. The land is dissected by 3 small streams which had no access across which would account for why it had become overrun with brambles and nettles.

We spent the first few weeks living in a van as the bungalow was, to put it politely, stinking  :yuck:
Having source a secondhand bathroom and kitchen and a tonne of bleach we made it a liveable space to move into and it is now a work in progress which will no doubt be completed in the cold dark winter months.  So with the help of friends and family we armed ourselves with brush cutters and strimmers and started to open up the land.  We acquired a large amount of scaffold planks and made foot bridges over the streams to be able to access the different areas.

We now, 4 months on have one clear field of around 3/4 of an acre with the start of some outside raised beds and a small polytunnel.  We have planted fruit trees and bushes and have various veg and salad growing (even if the are only 2 inches high).  We have designated a small corner for a chicken run and have 8 chickens providing eggs on a daily basis.  We have our CPH number and are thinking of getting a couple of weaners to help clear the top field.  We have a difference of opinion whether these will be pets/breeding stock or for meat.  Obviously I have research it from various angles but there is nothing better than hearing from people who have already walked this path for your recommendations.

I am drawn to British Lop as I've read that they are a quite docile pig and an easier start for a new pig keeper but they are not at adept at foraging and clearing land as another breed such as Tamworth.

Choices, choices....  what should I choose???

TIA Jayne x
Voss Electric Fence

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2019, 08:08:18 am »
 :wave: hello Jayne - welcome to TAS
Good luck with living your dream! It sounds like it has got off to a good start  :)
(Sorry I can't help with pig choices.)

RCTman

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Rhondda fach
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2019, 12:40:13 pm »
Hi and welcome :wave:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2019, 01:13:25 pm »
British Lop will dig quite well enough for your purposes ;).  They’re a good shapey pig, don’t tend to fat as much as some others (so long as you feed as for rare breeds, not a commercial) and yes, do tend to be quite docile.  Tamworths are lovely, but do grow really quite large and can be a bit more flighty.  If you think you might end up with these pigs as pets, something in the middle-sized range would be more sensible ;)

Buy from someone breeding outdoors, so you know you’re getting a strain that’s used to foraging.  Ideally from someone who handles their weaners, so you get some who have already learned some basic manners.  And the usual advice for first timers is to get castrated boys, so you can’t get tempted into breeding, and if you do end up keeping them, they will be less of a problem than entire males. ;)

Enjoy!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

jaynelou

  • Joined Aug 2019
  • Ffarmers, nr Lampeter West Wales
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2019, 03:55:45 pm »
Thanks Sally, some good food for thought there.   I have heard that Tamworths are a little more determined in their nature.  I think more research is in order.  :pig:

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2019, 05:43:34 pm »
Welcome Jayne, sounds like you have a lot ahead of you  :)
Can't help 're pigs, but good luck, and look forward to your updates  :)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 11:28:09 am by Penninehillbilly »

Kiran

  • Joined Apr 2019
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2019, 06:57:14 am »
Hi and good luck. We're starting out on a similar project at about the same time. From the sounds of 8t you are making good progress.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2019, 01:19:55 pm »
 :wave:  I'm just down the road in Talley.    go to WI  in Pumsaint …. maybe see you there?
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Townie to small smallholder making dreams a reality
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2019, 02:27:22 pm »
Good for you. I am sure you will get a huge amount of satisfaction from doing it all yourselves. When we moved into our place we made a pact to not let the always increasing job list take the pleasure out of it all.  Even now 20 years on sometimes remind ourselves just to be realistic about what is achievable and take a walk just for the fun of it.

 

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