Sarah Woodnutt

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since Jul 13, 2018
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Recent posts by Sarah Woodnutt

Bacon
or toasted cheese and ham
or banana and jam
4 months ago
At the moment:

Enjoying being out on my land, soaking up sun and relaxing with my animals.  Getting my hands in the soil in my veg-garden-to-be.  Being in the sea on sunny days teaching kids to swim (my second job) watching the birds on tohe bird feeders, finder conkers on othe way back from the ponies' field (I don't think I'll ever outgrow the joy in finding a shiny new conker), the ponies and the goats being pleased to see me in the mornings.  

I could go on forever - there are so many little things that bring me joy
4 months ago
Thank you for the replies.

Here is a plan of the site - it isn't to scale but gives an idea of the layout.

The ponies are family pets and are here to stay.

The goats are under re-evaluation at the moment.  As I said to a friend yesterday, the idea of having the goats was self-sufficiency - at the moment they are taking me further and further away from that goal as I have to buy in all their food an dbedding and then at the moment I am keeping them purely for the meat from the kids.  With everything else going on I just don't have time to milk/make soap/ make cheese etc which was the original idea.

Area 9 was my original veg garden 20 years ago.  It was originally fenced to keep the pigs out, and I subsequently used it to keep pigs IN LOL.  Pigs are long gone and this is the area I am looking at as a forest garden/orchard.  8 and 10 are paddocks which are used for the goats to wander about in and also for the occasional day of very bad weather for the ponies but this is very occasional.  7 is where I am planning to have the new veg garden - there are 2 muck heaps at the eastern part of that which I forgot to put on the plan.  And   a nice rich area that was a muck heap in the past.  

The patch to the West of the barn, where the Comfrey is, is where I am thinking about planting the other half of the fruit trees/bushes/forest garden.  It is quite a steep sandy slope, but is very sheltered and I am thinking that there are some trees/bushes that the ducks could live under and be quite a harmonious partnership.

Can't think of anything else to add at the moment.

OH - I forgot to mention in my OP - I am on an island in the South of the UK.

4 months ago
I have a small plot of land - about half an acre with a small barn on it (2 stables and a workshop/storage space) a small shed which needs re-building, and the base of a 10x15 greenhouse which also needs re-building.  I also rent about 2 acres of grazing just down the road.  

I have 2 ponies, who come in at night and go out to the 2 acre field in the day to graze. 10 (at the moment) goats who mostly live in with a couple of hours roaming in the paddock each day while I do chores, Geese, ducks and chickens.

Yes, I am overstocked for the amount of land I have but am struggling to see how to cut that down at the moment.

The land at the barn is divided into a couple of sections and I would like to plant small food forests in 2 of them.

There is a space approx 30' x 80' which was originally fenced against pigs so should be fairly secure against the goats.  This space has nothing in it at the moment, has a few elders in the hedge line, and I am hopign to plant up the hedge properly this winter.  This space is a slight slope but is at the bottom of a slope and so tends to get washed over a bit, is a bit compacted and clay underneath. but reasonably sheltered from East, North and West.  I dug a small swale in this one earlier this year and am looking at what I need to do to the soil.

And there is another similar sized patch behind the barn part of which will be shared with the ducks at certain times of year.  this patch is VERY sandy, has an elder, 2 small hazels 1 crab apple which has jsut taken off and a buddleia, and comfrey.  It is very sheltered being an East facing bank, but with the barn on the East slope and South facing having the shed on the North.

I want to start to plant one or both of them up as food forests this autumn/winter.  

I have an abundance of muck that I can use - both very well aged with woodshavings and fresher with straw.

I am really struggling to get to grips with what are the best things I can put in first by way of plantings, and how much I should do to the soil before I start and how much I should let nature take care of.  

Can anyone offer me any suggestions or advice please?



4 months ago