September and October

Sorry I haven’t been on it in the last couple of months. Let me update you now on what we have been up to.



In preparation for the open day we did a lot of tidying. This included: taking everything out of the tool shed… and putting it back in again… Tom and Mick found many tools we didn’t know we had and many things we don’t want. It all went back in very neatly with proper places for things. What a revelation.


Rosie, Fin and one of our volunteers making elderberry wine.


My daughter Anyi on a shetland pony. Our enterprising young neighbors were offering pony rides on the open day.


Our stall selling home made produce, delicious discovery apples, apple juice, cider vinegar and Sophia’s beautiful homemade baskets. We managed to get rid of some of our leek surplus too! It was lovely to chat to so many people from the local area who had come to see what we get up to on our secluded hill. It is particularly nice to have regulars who come every year and show their support by eating cake and er drinking tea. We held a few small workshops, I held a scything demonstration which quite a few people were interested in. I hope some of them were convinced that they don’t need a strimmer, a scythe will keep them slimmer!


Mike doing what he does best…IMG_1083

And at the end of the day we had an impromptu ceilidh helped by enthusiastic embercombers. Then we all went to the pub… Thank you to everyone who came, your interest and support means a lot to us. We look forward to seeing you next year.



Jim and Charlie in the Long Bramleys

October is apple time. We have been blessed with mild weather which has made the picking a lot easier. Climb a tree, shake the branches, climb down, pick the apples, shoo the horses away.. Repeat…

Its good fun and the children come down and sit in the trees or eat Bramleys. We pay ourselves for apple juice work so it is a great way to earn money in a short space of time. We have pressed enough for two years so if next year is not a good year we will have enough juice to see us through. The trees tend to yield well every other year as they are around 50 years old now.

We sent our last remaining dexter cow Rhubarb off to slaughter three weeks ago and the meat came back this week. After much deliberation we decided to buy a freezer which is powered by a solar panel. We are also salting some of the meat and making jerky. In the past we have had to sell the meat straight away as we couldn’t preserve it all but this way we can enjoy meat raised on our land by us. We know it is organic, we know she was well treated. We will miss her… chasing her around the woods and down the lane, her moody temperament…

Lady is still giving us milk and her calf is getting very big now. In chicken news; we have eaten all the old ones and they weren’t even that tasty, and we now have brand new ones. Lets hope they like it here and lay lots of eggs.

The harvest has been great this year, bumper apple crop as you may have noticed where you live. Lots of squash, carrots, beetroot and potatoes to store. Parsnips can stay in the ground and be harvested when needed as can kale.It is time to cover the beds with some manure and let them snooze the winter through. I sowed some overwintering peas to be ready in the spring. Sophia and Ed have sown winter salads and peas in the polytunnel, Rosie is doing broad beans. There are still lots of leeks. It is a tasty abundant time of year. We have made lots of jam and chutneys, rendered the fat from the cow. Now it is time to give the forest some attention.

At the moment though with this grey weather we are not getting enough sun to charge the solar panels much. We are having to be very sensible with electricity. I am cheating, using my laptop whilst i am away. Interesting though how (without films etc) you end up going to bed pretty early in the dark months, storing your energy in a semi hibernation.

Also we welcome our newest residents; Mick, Jen, Mia and Teo to our community. We love them a lot.

4 thoughts on “September and October

  1. I’ve noticed that, about darkness. We got married in October 10 years ago and go away for a holiday at that time every year (just back from camping!) I’m disabled, with a pain and fatigue complex as part of my condition, and I’ve always struggled with sleeping patterns. At the moment I seem to wake every 4 hours, sleep every 4…which happens to fit my painkiller regime… And I’ve always been a night owl- so, day in bed, up for dinner & then have a few hours functionality.

    But holidays where I’m close to nature seem to get me back on track. It doesn’t matter whether I have my phone, it’s not an “exposure to bad light” thing…

    So, honeymoon was in Iceland. It got dark (and cold!) around 6pm. We ate dinner early, turned in, watched a film… But were asleep around 9pm, unless I was sitting up for the aurorae. (Aurorae, shooting stars, and most other astronomical sights are usually best at local midnight.)

    This week we were camping. Sunset at 6, dark by 630. Beauuuuutiful stars on the nights which were clear. The weather lifted on our anniversary as if it knew. Anyway, again, we were eating at 8, then straight to bed. I even managed to spend the whole of my anniversary day awake, which is unheard of for me.

    When we connect with nature and get closer to it – sleeping under canvas is a good way – then our bodies naturally know what to do. Even a troublesome body like mine.

    Sadly, after getting home last night, my body seems to have gone back to its old routine. I love living in the city – the pace, the always on, everything within reach – I guess those are the things you hate! But, I guess I need to spend more time staying closer to nature. It seems to be good for me.

    Id love to come and visit, but with my dodgy joints and mobility issues I’d be more of a liability than a help. My skills are cooking, dog training, and sleeping… But I wish you well. Enjoy your lives bonded to nature. Does your sleep pattern change much with the seasons – do you find yourselves sleeping only briefly in mid summer when the days are so long?


  2. Am so envious . After taking a few years out to travel around the world i am at 53 finding it very difficult to find a job . Has a house i own but little income and no life . Has often dreamt of selling up and placing a Yurt somewhere and going off grid .


  3. Yes, I have dodgy joints & insomnia too. Where I live unbelievably stressful. Your body produces Cortisone in danger & if it goes on too long it can’t stop preventing sleep. Yes nature is the thing that chills me most too. Its human nature that’s the problem, no? We need to find ways to live together co-operatively sharing & in harmony with our original workshop earth or life itself seems doomed. Your Open Day looked a huge success. I was going to ask about chickens. Dad used to keep some. His favourite Henrietta followed him round. He said when their head was cut off some would keep running. True? Maybe. He was always rescuing animals. A farmer’s best gun dog escaped & had litter mongrel pups they drowned but Dad (prob due WW2 trauma) couldn’t abide this so we got another dog but he kept killing the chickens. Farmer remedy – tie dead one to his collar & leave him out overnight. True? Family story contradicted by one about a Jack Russell kept killing them Anyway, Winston our dog, never chased them afterwards & if he heard a loud bang, ran quivering under any available chair/table/bed. A nightmare on Guy Fawkes Night. All the Best again from Lydia


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s