Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Complete newbie. Can grow a tattie at a push, looking for advice/encouragement  (Read 1074 times)


  • Joined May 2018
Hello, so I don't know exactly what I hope to gain from posting here but I have just come across this website on Pinterest. I'm from northeast Scotland, currently living abroad with husbands work and moving to Lossiemouth in sept. I have an allotment waiting for me as of next year and a small/medium ish garden I am happy to dig up. My ideal goal is to be fairly self sustaining, produce good, organic produce that my family can but that others can enjoy too. I have 2 young children and was previous an office manager in Aberdeen and I get sore excited at the prospect of being out all day grafting and getting dirty than I do about sitting in an office. I'd also like some form of a legacy for my children. Hopefully in the not so far future we will have land of our own but in the meantime it's rented land I'll have to work with.

For someone who has a lot of ambition but no idea what they're doing, can anyone give some advice or some encouragement? A good ' you can do it!' Would be good to hear around about now!

Thank you


  • Joined May 2018
Also would like chickens, pigs , sheeps and goats eventually. Maybe the odd cow in there also.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Hi Annie and welcome to TAS  :wave: . I can relate to the desire to be outside, growing things and getting dirty. I am in Shropshire with a largish garden where I keep two goats and grow fruit and vegetables, all organically. I suspect you would need a lot of land for the odd cow and maybe the sheep but goats can be kept without pasture but they do like access to outdoors and will need extra feeding. Mine have hay and concentrates but I also have to buy in carrots and cabbage unless I have managed to obtain branches from anywhere.

There is a wealth of information on this site and you will find tabs at the top of the page to help you find it. There is also a wealth of information to be got from other TASers. Whatever you want to do, someone will have done it and whatever goes wrong for you will have gone wrong for someone before you so feel free to ask as many questions as you want. I would also recommend (if you haven't already) reading as many posts as you can in the sections of the forum that interest you.

Good luck and keep us up to date with how it all goes.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep

Hi Annie :wave:
I'm in Scotland too and we have a smallholding with sheep, poultry, a fruit, veg and herb garden, and we care for the environment on our wee patch for the benefit of wildlife, as well as ourselves.
I love it when someone comes on TAS right at the beginning of their adventure, full of excitement for what is ahead  :garden:

If you like learning online, then try Charles Dowding's helpful clips:
He has written lots of books to help you learn.  There are endless books to work your way through for growing, but being able to grow tatties is an excellent beginning.  I've not met a child yet who's not excited to dig them up, adults too.  Excellent that your allotment is waiting for you.  We started with a couple of allotments, which I loved.  Other plot holders are always ready with advice and help, group buying schemes and communal manure heaps.  The thing I most miss about my allotment days is the huge piles of autumn leaves delivered, so we were never short of leafmould.  Now we have none :(

For animals, start small and slow so you can learn as you go, rather than getting everything at once and ending up overwhelmed and failing.  Egg laying hens are a perfect place to begin, for both you and your children.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 12:14:16 am by Fleecewife »

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Great advice from Fleecewife and MGWoM :thumbsup:

Many of us were not born into this, so yes you absolutely can do it :).  20 years ago I was working in telecommunications, had pet dogs and cats but no other animals and hadn’t ever eaten anything I’d grown myself. 

One of the best things I did was join WWOOF and go and work on organic holdings with people who knew what they were doing :).  Great fun, and priceless experience :). I still draw on those experiences now, and still maintain some of the contacts I made then.  There are loads of WWOOF hosts in Scotland; some want WWOOFers for at least a week, some only want people with experience, but there will be some happy to take beginners, and possibly some able to offer weekends if you aren’t able to do full weeks.  (There are certainly places in England do ‘WWOOFing Weekends’, I’m not as familiar with the Scottish hosts.)

Have fun!   :D
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


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Hiya, Just a thought - Lossiemouth is pretty close to Findhorn, which is home to the Findhorn Foundation. The Spiritual / New Age etc scene there may or may not be your thing, but even so, I'll bet they know more about growing organic vegetables in the local conditions than anybody else!

I really enjoyed my visit there a while back - you'll get plenty of ideas from just wandering around.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder


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