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Author Topic: river cottage... is the life really possible  (Read 4384 times)

hjbatchelor

  • Joined Mar 2009
river cottage... is the life really possible
« on: March 05, 2009, 06:42:02 pm »
Hi All,

I am new to the forum and hope to use it more and more in the future and help to bring a bit of liveleness to it!

I am 18 years old and your pretty average city worker. I work in a large town for Lloyds TSB. Its good money and all that, but a far cry from where my heart is. I always dream of retreating to the countryside one day to blend in with the birds and the bee's and create my own little existence in some part of our fabulous country.

I would love to own about 10/15 acres and live off the fat of the land so to speak. But as i dream and invision my future in this idealistic world i am dragged back to reality and think.... IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE.

I mean come on, of course im a fan of Hugh and his series but at the end of the day he does live off River Cottage. A simple google search brings up a profile of him, estimated to worth in the region of £5 million +. With that kind of money you are hardly a smallholder and if you are, then its a hobby not a way of life. This kind of makes me think his series is a farce but what he preaches is true and im sure are his own beliefs.

But what of it, for someone like me. Someone who earns £15k a year. How on earth can i even think of getting the land/accomadation let alone running the place. Can someone really have the lifestyle of Hugh without having a primetime C4 programme, selling millions of books/dvd's and being chums with the likes of Gordon Ramsey?

I really dont know the answer the this - even thought i would love it to be a resounding YES. What are your thoughts on my comments and is it really possible for a dreamer like me to survive on running a smallholding. How do you make money?

I look forward to your replies.

Regards,

Harry Batchelor.

BadgerFace

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Sussex
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 07:58:28 pm »
Hi Harry

I too live in Sussex. I came here as a teenager (from Somerset) with the dream to live off the land !! 26 years later I'm still doing the day job to fund my smallholding. The two are intertwined, for me one can't survive without the other. The livestock/veg patch keeps me sane (just) to keep going with the day job !! and the day job pays for the livestock !!

I've met many people involved with living the 'good life', some genuine, some not. It's all part of life's learning curve, not something any book or internet site can teach you. My advice is get yourself out there, help out as many people as you can. Put an ad on your local feed/agricultural merchants board - offering your (free) help with lambing, veg plots, hay making....... anything that gets you out there networking. Plus it's a lot cheaper than any fancy weekend "River Cottage" course.  :o

P.S. Hats off to Hugh for seeing a opportunity and running with it, I wish I had had his foresight.

Good luck  ;D
Breeder of Pedigree Torddu Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep & Anglo Nubian Goats

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 09:53:39 pm »
You are 19 years old on another thread................................. ;)
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

sellickbhoy

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 10:14:33 pm »
yeah, but he first posted this back on the river cottage forum a while back - his birthday has obviously come since discovering this forum  :)

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 10:48:33 pm »
You are not alone. Start growing stuff where you are, in windowboxes or on a balcony. Share an allotment, make likeminded friends. Do it in the time you have, hands on. If you really want it the opportunities will come. It doesn't  matter how much you earn to do something and learn. I had this dream since I was a teenager and I'm the closest to it now after years in different cities (I always had my own produce, even if it was only in a wee box!). It is bl..... hard work (30 years later) but worth every minute of it. There are not many of us who can live on it 100 % but every single thing you do makes a difference to your own life. Good old Hugh makes his dosh from his TV shows, not from selling surplus produce at the gate. Take these shows as as inspiration to get going.
:&>

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 08:37:05 pm »
It is possible to be a career smallholder - but it is hard work and you will never be rich.

We have been lucky enough to have never done anything else. When we came here we only had 3K in the bank and everything else has been bulit up by hard toil and careful planning. We are now farming about 120 acres. There is alot you can do if you use your imagination and try to think outside the box.

My OH wrote an article about just this subject in June 2007 issue of Country Smallholding -based largely on our own experiences of getting started without much money behind us. If you can get hold of a back copy it might give you some ideas.

I agree with the comments re HFW - have never seen his programmes or read any of his books. But even to me it is obvious that he does not live off his holding. Having said that though, just because he doesn't, doesn't mean he couldn't!
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

hjbatchelor

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 11:10:37 pm »
Hi all and thanks for your replies,

Sorry about the mistake it was my birthday on the 27th so one was was when i was 18 and the other when i was 19.  ;D

All points raised were very valid and have given me thought to move ahead... :)

Thanks again,

Harry.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 05:10:26 pm »
Good luck, young man!  You have your whole life ahead of you and you are forward planning very well. Don't think I'd change what my life has been except losing two super husbands, but I must admit I'd maybe make better use of the croft John and I had, if I could go back.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

carl

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 06:32:43 pm »
have you thought about using some of your holidays offering to baby sit a smallholding? or just a week on a farm gaining experience. My desire to do a bit of smallholding came from growing up in a farming community, and that being the only way to earn pocket money. my heroes were my neighbours, who worked all hours to be successful. we also always had a veggie garden which my dad toiled over growing fabulous produce. I moved on into the town, but the love of the outdoors never left me. i remember reading my dads john seymour books in seventies, and being as keen as you appear to be. hugh fearnley whotsit is just the modern showbiz version of seymour. I am glad he has come along and encouraged people to live and eat a better way. it seems to be natural on the continent to have a small plot and raise a bit of foodstuff on it, while still working the 9 - 5 . You don't have to copy seymour or hugh, but if you adapt a bit of it to suit you thats great.

hjbatchelor

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 06:08:37 pm »
Yeah, thats true Carl.

I dont know where i would look though to help out on a smallholding... plus i dont know if i'd have the time. I do work a 9-5 and am just hoping to save up enough to one day have some of the good life. I just doubt if id be able to do that alone. It seems like i need to have a proper job and do the smallholding on the side.

Ive emailed councils about planning permission to live on land but its a no go. Apparently its nye on impossible to get planning permission for mobile homes on private woodland/land which i intended to do...

Time will tell...

Take it easy,

Harry.

Fluffywelshsheep

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Near Stirling, Central Scotland
Re: river cottage... is the life really possible
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 06:35:38 pm »
if you get your future plan intow now with plenty of options you can never say never :) :&> :&>

 

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