Wednesday 9 September 2015
Smallholder ? Self Suffiency ? Thoughts ?
So you have thoughts on being a Smallholder, or do you have aspirations on being Self Sufficient?
I did and they started about 40 years ago, anyone can do it, it just depends how much of it want to do.
If you have the money you can buy a smallholding but that alone does not make you a smallholder,
In British English usage, a smallholding is a piece of land and its adjacent living quarters for the smallholder and stabling for farm animals. It is usually smaller than a farm but larger than an allotment, usually under 50 acres (20 ha). It is often established for breeding farm animals organically on free-range pastures. Alternatively, the smallholder may concentrate on growing vegetables by traditional methods or, in a more modern way, using plastic covers, Polytunneling or cloches for quick growth.
Generally, a smallholding offers its owner a means of achieving self-sufficiency for their family's needs. They may be able to supplement their income by selling surplus produce at a farmers market or at a permanent shop on the smallholding.
Yep that about sums it up.
Its all about using the land, looking after the land, not buying up land for somewhere to walk the dog occasional, run music festivals, build houses or holiday homes, owning land is a privilege you are responsible for the upkeep of the land to be passed on to future generations.
Any fool can buy land but it takes something else to live off the land and care for it.
Right that's that out of the way.
How you get there is a personal thing, you may work hard scrimp and save, you may invest money in property, you might even win the lottery what ever it takes if you really really want it I do believe it will happen, it took us many many years and now we are here, but I didn't waste that time waiting, I have spent years preparing, you can do the same, read books, get out in the countryside start with things on a small scale, practise practise practise.
Those wellies in the photo are an important item, they keep my feet dry and comfortable, I wear them every day yes even in summer, when the grass is wet with dew first thing in the morning you only venture out a few times in your trainers before common sense prevails and you wear your wellies, get yourself a pair a sensible pair one size bigger than you normally wear, venture out every day, oh its raining
so what you still have to go out regardless what the weather is like you have to go out in those wellies they become a second skin so much so that shoes and trainers become uncomfortable to wear, size too big, wellies don't keep your feet warm, but some nice thick socks will help, but when its really really cold
you will get cold feet, so if you want a smallholding with roses around the door and chickens at your feet make a start get some wellies and get outside everyday, even if its just in the garden, regardless of the weather, regardless of whats on TV if you cant do it, or find after a couple of weeks you really hate what the weather throws at you perhaps having a smallholding isn't the right direction for you, but that's not to say you cant take steps towards a more self sufficient lifestyle
There are lots of good blogs out there and I would recommend you follow them.
An English Homestead, Kev manages it with young children
Frugal In Suffolk, Sue has been there done it and is now looking to move on
Rural Retreat Restoration, Kirsty and her family are just starting out
A New Life In Wales, Pam a wealth of information on doing it small scale
Snippets From Labartere, Vera is doing it France
Eco Footprint, Dani in S Africa
there all in my sidebar along with lots of other good blogs, helpful informative people who are all on there own journeys to a better life. Who tell it as it is for real.
you can be too if you really want to, the ball is in your court.
Next Wednesday I will post about small steps I took and you could too.