Juicy July!

Half a year later and we’re into the throngs of summer – the wild plums are ripening on our laid hedges and gooseberries, blackcurrants and blueberries dangle from deep green as they approach their ripening apex.

We now have sheep! 6 beautiful Jacobs and Jacobs-Suffolk wethers (castrated rams) from a local organic farmer. This is to help with the excess grazing in the summer months – we’re plopping them in the rotation behind cows and ahead of horses.


Also added to the Tinkers family is a thicknesser planer for adding value to our timber – winched precariously and successfully off a beam in the barn!


Wetheuncivilised film screening

We recently hosted a screening of wetheuncivilised, a thought provoking and inspiring documentary that was partly shot at Tinkers Bubble, bringing a full house to  our local sleepy Chiselborough village hall. Check out a local screening near you!


Website launch

Created craftily by Pedro, we now have our own website. Who would have thought it! Visit www.tinkersbubble.org for news and details on upcoming events as well as more information about our businesses and general info. In particular look out for more info on our annual open day on the 1st October… Well done Ped 🙂

Draught Animal Power Network event

In April we excitedly held our first DAPNet (Draught Animal Power Network) event, demonstrating and offering participation in horse work such as long reining, logging, field work and carting. The event was a success with over 30 (twice our official limit) aspiring, beginning and established agricultural and forestry horse workers. Linked to the Landworkers’ Alliance, DAPNet is an idea seeded from the States where the use of horses and other animal in powering agriculture has had a welcomed renaissance.

In the UK exists far less but still holding the fort the presence of few experienced practitioners, as well as beginners hoping to take up the reins (excuse the pun). We hope the glimmers of inspiration and action murming around our small country will catalyse  and hasten the movement of horse-powered land work to return to the British Isles. We may have to wait, but our feet are firmly and stubbornly in the ground.

‘Horses’ – Wendell Berry

When I was a boy here,
traveling the fields for pleasure,
the farms were worked with teams.
As late as then a teamster
was thought an accomplished man,
his art an essential discipline.
A boy learned it by delight
as he learned to use
his body, following the example
of men. The reins of a team
were put into my hands
when I thought the work was play.
And in the corrective gaze
of men now dead I learned
to flesh my will in power
great enough to kill me
should I let it turn.

I learned the other tongue
by which men spoke to beasts
—all its terms and tones.
And by the time I learned,
new ways had changed the time.
The tractors came. The horses
stood in the fields, keepsakes,
grew old, and died. Or were sold
as dogmeat. Our minds received
the revolution of engines, our will
stretched toward the numb endurance
of metal. And that old speech
by which we magnified
our flesh in other flesh
fell dead in our mouths.
The songs of the world died
in our ears as we went within
the uproar of the long syllable
of the motors. Our intent entered
the world as combustion.
Like our travels, our workdays
burned upon the world,
lifting its inwards up
in fire. Veiled in that power
our minds gave up the endless
cycle of growth and decay
and took the unreturning way,
the breathless distance of iron.

But that work, empowered by burning
the world’s body, showed us
finally the world’s limits
and our own. We had then
the life of a candle, no longer
the ever-returning song
among the grassblades and the leaves.

Did I never forget?
Or did I, after years,
remember? To hear that song
again, though brokenly
in the distances of memory,
is coming home. I came to
a farm, some of it unreachable
by machines, as some of the world
will always be. And so
I came to a team, a pair
of mares—sorrels, with white
tails and manes, beautiful!—
to keep my sloping fields.
Going behind them, the reins
tight over their backs as they stepped
their long strides, revived
again on my tongue the cries
of dead men in the living
fields. Now every move
answers what is still.
This work of love rhymes
living and dead. A dance
is what this plodding is.
A song, whatever is said.



1 thought on “Juicy July!

  1. Hi guys , I’ve been spending time with my very old friends Hen, Leo and Elliot at spindlebrook farm , and it turns out Elliot used to live at tinkers bubble . They were telling me all about how amazing it is , and as I only live in Exeteri wondered if I could drop by soon to sneek a peak ? I have plans myself for a community in the south west so it help me masses . Look forward to hearing from you


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