NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought  (Read 5566 times)

Sharnoak

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Blampied, Victoria, Australia
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 09:16:30 pm »
That is a whole heap of good advice. As a fledgling smallholder myself, I have learnt that everything takes longer than you think, especially fencing when you are trying to do it yourself and dig 3ft holes in rock hard ground  :-[
Voss Electric Fence

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 09:20:06 pm »
Lots of good advise there. I would start reading a lot as well, John Seymours Complete Guide to Self Sufficiency is a must read and so is The Veg Expert by Dr Hessayon.  Take the first steps by studying what you have and learning what to put where ( veg patch, hens etc). Then whatever you do do it right and well the first time such as chicken runs, rabbit proofing the veg plot is a must , water supplies, electric to sheds , fencing etc. Sort the basics out first and you wont be wasting lots of money and time playing catch up. We have the same amount of land( with no woodland as I am in Shetland) and it took us 6yrs to become  95% self sufficient including fuel. The very best of luck to you and Hi :wave:

Polished Arrow

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Forest of Dean
  • www.cinderhilllfarm.com
    • www.cinderhillfarm.com
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 11:34:29 pm »
Some great advice. 

We are just 8 months in to our first year now, and although we did take training, and tried to prepare ourselves  pretty seriously for the animal husbandary, most of the first six months were spent just on farm infrastructure which we hadn't covered at all!  So I can empathise with the frozen pipes and water troughs and ground that's actually rock and the challenges of putting in posts and plants and setting up veg beds on rock faces!

Today we have been planting out our 'orchard' of 10 fruit trees.  That's 50 posts when all is done, including stock proofing the surrounds and making them rabbit and deer proof too.  We just hope the wild boar that have been truffling up the woodland 30 metres away from our gate stay at that distance, now....  Eek!  But our own lady pigs are probably what's bringing them so close.  That's another thing we didn't study for!

Hope it all goes well for you, and look forward to hearing more.
www.cinderhillfarm.com

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
Anais Nin

lionalsdad

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 06:55:23 am »
Wow i can't believe the response I'm overwhelmed thanks everyone. :wave:

A few points as far as i see it.

The boundary in the woodland to the next property isn't that good however the field on our side of the property into the woodland is a very good fence.
A lot of people have confirmed what i thought was a sensible start, start with probably a couple of animals (probably sheep) and a hen house with a run and see how we go from there.
I love the idea of building a new property unfortunately the one we have bought is Grade 2* listed however we've applied for listed building consent for solar PV, solar h/w and also applied for planning for a wind turbine which i personally think will be rejected.
The property already had a vegetable plot with a few soft fruit cages we intend to try and continue this and maybe expand  with a few more fruit cages.

Thanks again  :-)

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 06:17:11 pm »
Just had to check where the Quantocks are... That sounds so exotic, I thought it was somewhere overseas!!! :D

Ah well, geography.

Anyway, welcome, I can't really add anything to all that good advice! Personally, I think I'd start with a few chickens. They'd give you some return the soonest, without needing too much in the way of input.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 07:15:02 pm »
Hi!  And welcome.  I would join the Somerset Smallholders Association - lots of friendly advice and it might put you in touch with folk who can give you some practical help if you need it (or who know a man who can!).  We all need help even if we try to be self-sufficient.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2012, 11:08:28 pm »
Hi!  And welcome.  I would join the Somerset Smallholders Association - lots of friendly advice and it might put you in touch with folk who can give you some practical help if you need it (or who know a man who can!).  We all need help even if we try to be self-sufficient.

And it's good to swap stories, seeds, plants, etc.

LulaB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2012, 11:56:42 am »
Hi from the Blackdowns and welcome!

You've had some very sage advice from everyone on here.  For what it's worth, here's mine.

Fencing - If your boundaries aren't that great (or even if they are), invest in some electric fencing stakes, wire and as many 12v batteries as you can afford - One on the fence, one on charge and one in readiness just in case.  If you have vulnerable stock like poultry or lambs, electric is the only thing that will keep out the foxes.  You can get some quite good Solar trickle chargers, but have backup batteries.

Water - Most important thing for your stock.  It has to be clean.  Sheep prefer still water (a trough as opposed to a stream), pigs like a bit of a flow and somewhere to wallow and cattle don't like to walk more than 20m to get to it.

Livestock - We have sheep, pigs, cattle, ducks and chickens.  I would start with pigs and chickens.  They are low maintenance and a joy.  Sheep and cows are harder work.  Some people say that sheep's life ambition is finding new ways to die...!  Pigs are great to start with.  Get a couple of weaners to have over the summer (if you get some end of May/beginning of June, they'll be ready for slaughter in about November) and use as cultivators/fertilising machines.  We are using ours to clear some neglected orchards and you get a double benefit of amazing meat when you come to slaughter them.  You can double up with your chicken house in amongst your pigs and cut down on poultry feed and fencing.  They will live quite happily together and the pigs act as another fox deterrent.  You may have to hunt in the pig arc for eggs, but hey ho!  Pigs are the ultimate smallholder animal.  You can use everything from the carcass and, if you get fatteners, you aren't committing to year round care to start with.  They ease you in gently!

If you are interested, come and see our setup.  We aren't far from you and would be more than happy to show you around.

Mel

  • Guest
Re: Hi from a complete newbie advice sought
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2012, 12:49:00 pm »
Hi and welcome from Northants,Oh if only we had a few more acres,there is just so much we would like to do!Welcome to the forum ad we wish you good luck   

 

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