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Autumn - Love It!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Homesteading v Smallholding

This really is a bit of a blog ramble and I'm not quite sure of it's purpose but whatever. 

I recently came across something here on t'interweb about the difference between the terms smallholding and homesteading and the ideas behind both. I like both these but after reading over a few things I think we are more of a homestead than a smallholding.

Our property doesn't have purpose-built housing for animals on site, although our buildings could very well be converted into animal accommodation - we prefer to make money from them via humans!

We are using the land at the house mainly for sowing and growing because we plan on making use of the three acre field we have up the road from us, in part, for some animals - hopefully pigs first. I really must take a picture of that sometime, but here you can see what the shape of the land looks like; a bit weird I know!

The narrow part is what I always refer to as the walk way, although it is wide enough to get a car down it once there is a decent layer of hardcore or something similar put down; the road shown going straight up from the narrow end is a five minute walk to our house.

However, back to my original thoughts. Homesteading is also about using the things around you to make other items you may need. All the way through our time together Jon has always been very good at reusing and recycling. He always likes to keep things 'in stock' just incase they come in handy. (We had a coffee table that we didn't know what to do with and it is now the base for the school chicken house he is building.) Therefore around the house and garden we have chairs, seating, clothes peg boards, tables, the housing for the chickens and soon to be ducks not to mention my Poly House, amongst many more. 

Anything to save money and not waste what we have come across/acquired along the way! This is a way for us to be self-reliant because we don't have to buy everything we need and also we don't have to pay for tradesmen; this is for simple things like replacing a lock on a door or decorating the rooms to rent, plumbing jobs etc; we are so lucky we rarely have to pay out for that kind of thing.

I am keen to preserve more of what I will, hopefully, grow each year so that I don't have to grow the same things thereby trying different food. Last year was my first attempt at preserving anything and I did manage some great pickled beetroot, apple sauce, a good supply of onions which kept very well in the cellar store room and turnips were a great addition to meals along with courgettes, cucumbers, salad leaves and lots of herbs. I have some root vegetables growing this time along with potatoes so this will allow us to be more self-sufficient when it comes to food shopping.

Oh this really IS a ramble - sorry but my brain is ticking over, sorry!! 

At this point I could say that for the first four months of the year we had 519 eggs from the 11 chickens; this works out at 47 eggs per chicken. We are selling quite a lot, about £26 worth last month. We use some of the money to buy feed but as it seems it is the only way the boys are going to save money for their summer holiday we are buying things like grit for the girls, but at least we are doing something towards spending less of our own money at times. The ducks may come before we go away, depends if the supplier calls Jon again.

In other areas spending is not quite the same but we hoping to have the next Airbnb room done as soon as we can and that takes a bit of investment; but that also has been of great benefit since we began renting it out. Financially of course but also that we are confident people will return when we have more space - we already have our regular business gentleman who has been to us three times already since last month!

So right now I think we're homesteaders; whatever the description we are beyond happy.

I think I'll stop just now or you may get p***** off with my epistle!

Bye for now.



  1. Aww it didn't sound like a ramble and was really interesting. I haven't really thought much about it as I had smallholding as a UK term and homesteader as American term but it's interesting now you raise the question. I've always wanted to be a smallholder so I am sticking but love the thought you have put into it!
    Very lucky either way xx

    1. Thanks chic. Yes, I like thinking things over and seeing other people's ideas and points of view. Flippin' lucky I'd say!xx

  2. We are smallholders, like Tracy I put Homesteaders as an American term, there is a fine line between smallholders and farming another term is hobby farm we get a few calling us that as well, either way I am not fussed I dont need a label :-)

    1. No, we don't really need a label Dawn, apart from flippin' lucky!

  3. In that case, I think we have always been homesteaders. We are very good at turning something abandoned into something useful and my husband is very "good with wood" and I am handy with a needle and thread or - if pushed - the sewing machine. I have always made all our curtains on the machine, and enjoy hand-sewing quilts. We grow a few vegetables - Keith isn't keen on anything other than Peas or Broccoli, and so I manfully plough through my bean crop singlehanded!

    Good luck with the next airbnb room. Sounds like you are onto a winner there.

    1. Thanks for your take on homesteading BB. I think I've always had that ideal in my head than smallholding. I find it hard to explain but I just love being the one to provide a great meal for everybody at the end of a busy and productive day around the house, in and out, using things we have grown, made, recycled, refurbished. As I said, hard to explain.

  4. It sounds wonderful, your little piece of paradise whether it be a homestead or small holding. Sounds like you're not going to be short of customers for your AirBnB, its a great concept.


Thank you so much for finding the time to comment. I really appreciate it and will always try to reply.xx