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Welcome to Smallholding forum, Tell us a bit about yourself/Smallholding

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  • Small beer here compared to others here; but a great amount of experience under my belt. Age and disability limit critter wise and also I am deeply involved in working to feed and support those in terrible need overseas ans here. By market trading to raise money ...

    Until ten years ago, I was on a small island, with a goat, two Jacob's sheep, a multitude of hens, geese, ducks, cats and I bred peafowl. And of course, all my vegetables and flowers etc.

    It was too far north to grow eg beans etc, and too windy for a tunnel.

    Now I have a large garden, between 1/8th and 1/4 acre, cleared two years ago but overgrown this year in places.. Nevertheless, it has fed me all year and also a great joy in selling plants from seed and cut flowers at market.. my main sales are hand knitting, hand made rosaries and gourmet preserves and various other bits eg baking...

    I am down in West Cork now and amazed at what will grow after life in the northern mountain. No tunnel or greenhouse but I manage well.

    Only critters now are two dogs and two cats, all rescued.. they keep the rabbits etc away.

    The garden is long and fairly narrow and the sun goes lengthwise up it so it is very warm in there between the hedges.

    Saving seed cuts costs and helps greatly.
    Am trying fruit, but the outlay on plants is too much now.




  • Howdy,
    Living in Wicklow at the moment, in the middle of nowhere. At the end of this month, however, myself and her in doors are moving to a 12-13 acre small-holding in Co. Sligo.
    Half the land is bog, the other half currently has the neighbour's cows on it.
    At the moment we have 4 chickens (2 Blackrock and 2 Bluebell ), 3 Khaki campbell ducks and 4 cats.
    When we get to Sligo, we want to look at getting pigs, goats and maybe a few Dexter cows or something and probably some geese and more ducks and chucks.
    Hopefully, by about this time next year we will be supplying a majority of our own food or else getting very close to it.
    This is a great section to have on boards....I'm sure it'll prove very valuable.




  • SligoEdo wrote: »
    Howdy,
    Living in Wicklow at the moment, in the middle of nowhere. At the end of this month, however, myself and her in doors are moving to a 12-13 acre small-holding in Co. Sligo.
    Half the land is bog, the other half currently has the neighbour's cows on it.
    At the moment we have 4 chickens (2 Blackrock and 2 Bluebell ), 3 Khaki campbell ducks and 4 cats.
    When we get to Sligo, we want to look at getting pigs, goats and maybe a few Dexter cows or something and probably some geese and more ducks and chucks.
    Hopefully, by about this time next year we will be supplying a majority of our own food or else getting very close to it.
    This is a great section to have on boards....I'm sure it'll prove very valuable.

    Welcome to the forum and of course to Sligo, your plans sound exciting, good luck with it. What part of the county are you moving to?




  • Hi. I feel a bit cheeky welcoming you to Sligo too as I am in Roscommon (north end, so close by!) and I've only been here 5 minutes, myself. None the less, welcome and good luck. I like the bog idea. The chunk of land we bought excluded any bog area, though it's less than half a mile away down the hill. You can rent bog of course - a fellow smallholder-er says for about €300 rent and a bit of physical work, you can avail yourself of about €1000 worth of fuel, so the economics look quite good as long as you don't mind the work.

    So, we may be near-neighbours! Welcome
    Matt




  • Cheers.
    I'll be up near Dromore West, so not to far from Easkey and the like.
    I believe there's some good fishing up there too...so I guess I'll be taking up fishing.


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  • I'd be interested to know how you get on with the goats and pigs thing. They are both suggestions we've had and we went on a goat course but we have parked them for now as we seem to have so much else going on. We have, though, applied for our herd number and just recently had the DVO inspection, so we should get the number this week, if the fast-talking inspector guy is to be believed.




  • Hi
    not much of a holding yet as i am in college. I have a corner of my one acre field set aside for veg (horse occupies the rest) i grow spuds beetroot carrots salad cabbage onions
    i add new plants to the list every year this year i planted some apple trees




  • I am thrilled to find this forum on Boards.ie. and want to introduce myself as I hope to get and give to other smallholders.

    A 65-year-old female 'Dub', I retired last year after 20 years working as a psychotherapist in the NHS in England (one of the thousands of economic migrants in the 1970's).

    My maternal grandmother had a garden in Inchicore and I planted and harvested vegetables with her from about age 4.............and loved it! My father planted up our half-acre garden in Dublin - roses, trees and protective privet hedge in the front, north-east facing aspect, and fruit and vegetables which we cropped (and fed a family of 5 on!) throughout the year...........and I learned from this. During my last 5 years of working life I had an allotment where in lived in England. Unfortunately my mother was at that stage in nursing care in Ireland and I spent a 'long weekend' every month so was not 'hands-on' enough to keep it weed-free and productive..........but I loved it and learned from it!

    Eventually free of having to be a 'day-labourer', with a pension and good physical health - thank god! - and time, I went and met a big handsome American hulk and fell in love with him and he with me. In June 2012 I came to the live on the prairie with him (he is a Professor of Economics) and we are surrounded by the US Grainbasket - beans on one side, corn on the other, hogs and feeder-cattle enterprise on a scale you would not believe (our next-door neighbour, an architect, owns an 800-acre farm which is managed by ONE EMPLOYEE with the kind of robotic planters, harvesters etc. which would strike terror! The American mid-west has also experienced the worst draught since 1930.

    ...........and for this Irish lass who has been in love with the mountains and coastline of Connemara since childhood, no mountains and no sea!

    So I am in the market for a smallholding in Mayo, Sligo or Clare, between 5 to 15 acres. My Significant Other reaches Senior Faculty Status in 18 months and will be free to join me for extended periods on the smallholding. I know there will be a lot to do but I can't wait. I love trees and yearn to plant an oak plantation. I won't be here to see it mature but it makes me very happy to contemplate the prospect.

    I have lots of questions and am so pleased to find a group of people who need to scratch a similar itch to mine, so to speak.




  • Hi, I'm a 20yr/old student studying Agricultural Engineering in Tralee IT.
    I'm working on a vegetable farm in County Meath. I help a friend out with a small plot he has with what I've gained from work.




  • We have a house cow, bees, chickens, veg garden and pigs in our smallholding.
    As we have small children we feel like its a very good lifestyle and education for them.
    We recently started a blog about it...
    www.oursmallfamilyholding.blogspot.ie


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  • I'm looking forward to dipping in here for advice over the next few months.

    Have big ideas.




  • SligoEdo wrote: »
    Howdy,
    Living in Wicklow at the moment, in the middle of nowhere. At the end of this month, however, myself and her in doors are moving to a 12-13 acre small-holding in Co. Sligo.
    Half the land is bog, the other half currently has the neighbour's cows on it.
    At the moment we have 4 chickens (2 Blackrock and 2 Bluebell ), 3 Khaki campbell ducks and 4 cats.
    When we get to Sligo, we want to look at getting pigs, goats and maybe a few Dexter cows or something and probably some geese and more ducks and chucks.
    Hopefully, by about this time next year we will be supplying a majority of our own food or else getting very close to it.
    This is a great section to have on boards....I'm sure it'll prove very valuable.

    I wondered how you are getting on, a year after your post? I've just found a small-holding in Mayo so am particularly interested to have any detail about the difficulties, weather, time-scale you've set yourselves, and renovating a property to run the whole schebang from, which is my first task.




  • Greetings from Offaly, I'm not sure I'd call what I have a smallholding, I have a house on approx 3/4 acres. We've been growing a lot of veg over the last few years, Spuds, carrots, parsnips, a lot of peas, beans, french beans, asparagus,jerusalem artichoke, onions, garlic, spinach, lettuce, cabbages(althought not very succesfully), slugs are a big problem. Built a greenhouse 2 years ago, so doing a lot of early veg in there and the usual tomatoes, peppers, aubergine and courgettes with varying success. This year I have 2 plots of various squashes and a pumpkin that I'm growing in a barrell. I have 2 fig plants in the greenhouse and a vine as well. Also Rhubarb and loads of strawberries, red currants and black currants. I had wonderful Rasberries last year but the plants died, bought some new ones in Aldi but they don't seem to be doing too well, I was a bit late planting them. Also have a couple of apple trees and pear trees.

    I'm going to be rearing a few pigs with 2 neighbours this year, thats something totally new for me, hopefully it goes well.




  • We have 5 Aylesbury ducks and one Khaki cross mallard drake.
    We keep them in a disused hay shed

    I plan to get 5 Khaki's, 5 mallards and some runner ducks to increase egg production

    Would there be any way to entice aylesburys to lay eggs as they are not the best egg layers?




  • Hi Folks, my wife and I have just moved into a new house near Union Wood in Sligo. Despite having both grown up on farms, we don't know much about raising livestock but hope to learn. We are fortunate enough to have 3 acres and had planned a small orchard to start, but having read some of the threads, I might have to re-think or initial strategy....the place is teaming with wild deer! After the orchard we intend on getting some pigs and some chucks. As for the rest, who knows? Now, I'm off to read some more posts on the forum, cheers!




  • Welcome Mr & Mrs Moffat! What's the "lie" of your land? My own plans to put in coppicing and start an orchard this autumn (south-facing sloping land between one and two thousand feet, West Mayo) have had to be put on hold due to a broken femur. It will be interesting to discuss strategy and varieties next year and swap tips.




  • Hi Chisler, south sloping, thick woods to the east. I have shelter from our house which would lie south of the intended area and a large shed to the north. We are not much over sealevel, I would estimtae 200-500ft! I have read the fruit tree hand book by Ben Pike ( seems like a good book for the novice ) and to be honest, the chapter about aspects and shelter was quite lost on me. Especially when he admitted himself, that the most successful areas were in the past, found by chance! He has outline diagrams about traditional wind breaks etc. My biggest worry is the deer. They are everywhere except inside the house! My soil sampling kit has arrived ( I'm in work today, and don't think I will be out much in that evening!) so I'm going to start there. I'm going to stick with something tradtional and hardy from a mid size stock. I have never grown as much as a daisy before this. My grandfather had a large orchard right beside the sea, it was felled when i was in my early teens for pasture. The neighbours orchard ( which I am told are from the same stock ) is still going strong, albeit unkempt and forgotten about. The land has since changed hands, so we no longer get any apples off it! After that, the chickens, and then maybe the pigs!...I nearly forgot to add 'get well soon'!...




  • Those of you that grow your own vegetables,how do you store carrots for the winter,does cover them in sand work.Thanks




  • hazel or nut bushes as i call them are great for hurdles and sticks




  • Hello...Happy new year to ye! I'm an absentee (sigh) and am landless; but I'm setting the wheels in motion to move back to the North West (my native Donegal - or possibly Sligo/Leitrim) - build a house and establish a permaculture smallholding.
    ..Would love to pick people's brains and generally read your posts and ask questions if that's ok?!

    S.


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  • well, i am a young lad and i am interested in buying a few calves and rearing them but is there an age restriction on getting a herd number




  • well, i am a young lad and i am interested in buying a few calves and rearing them but is there an age restriction on getting a herd number

    im in the same position but im after sheep




  • Chisler2 wrote: »
    I am thrilled to find this forum on Boards.ie. and want to introduce myself as I hope to get and give to other smallholders.

    A 65-year-old female 'Dub', I retired last year after 20 years working as a psychotherapist in the NHS in England (one of the thousands of economic migrants in the 1970's).

    My maternal grandmother had a garden in Inchicore and I planted and harvested vegetables with her from about age 4.............and loved it! My father planted up our half-acre garden in Dublin - roses, trees and protective privet hedge in the front, north-east facing aspect, and fruit and vegetables which we cropped (and fed a family of 5 on!) throughout the year...........and I learned from this. During my last 5 years of working life I had an allotment where in lived in England. Unfortunately my mother was at that stage in nursing care in Ireland and I spent a 'long weekend' every month so was not 'hands-on' enough to keep it weed-free and productive..........but I loved it and learned from it!

    Eventually free of having to be a 'day-labourer', with a pension and good physical health - thank god! - and time, I went and met a big handsome American hulk and fell in love with him and he with me. In June 2012 I came to the live on the prairie with him (he is a Professor of Economics) and we are surrounded by the US Grainbasket - beans on one side, corn on the other, hogs and feeder-cattle enterprise on a scale you would not believe (our next-door neighbour, an architect, owns an 800-acre farm which is managed by ONE EMPLOYEE with the kind of robotic planters, harvesters etc. which would strike terror! The American mid-west has also experienced the worst draught since 1930.

    ...........and for this Irish lass who has been in love with the mountains and coastline of Connemara since childhood, no mountains and no sea!

    So I am in the market for a smallholding in Mayo, Sligo or Clare, between 5 to 15 acres. My Significant Other reaches Senior Faculty Status in 18 months and will be free to join me for extended periods on the smallholding. I know there will be a lot to do but I can't wait. I love trees and yearn to plant an oak plantation. I won't be here to see it mature but it makes me very happy to contemplate the prospect.

    I have lots of questions and am so pleased to find a group of people who need to scratch a similar itch to mine, so to speak.

    An update of my introductory post of February 2013.

    Schedule has fallen apart somewhat through a combination of rehabilitating a broken femur (I fell off a train whilst journeying to a lime-plastering course and dry-stone walling workshop) and the discovery of a Ring Fort (Cashel) on the 13-acre farm I bought last June.

    So all the work of renovating the dwelling is still ahead. A forester from The Native Woodlands Establishment Scheme (NWES) is coming to the farm in a few weeks time to advise on what species of tree can be planted, where and how. The enforced delays have given me time to research beekeeping, so the planting will include as much of a mixed orchard as I can afford.




  • hey youre lucky you have a ringfort




  • Hiya all! Is this site/post active anymore? Seems to have a couple of banned nd not much posting.......




  • Hi all,

    I have a bungalow on an acre meaning I have around 2/3rds of an acre of ground to maintain.
    So far just have a hen run with 10 layers in it and the two dogs in their own area, a small herb garden and just ploughed up an area for a veg garden this year - nothing fancy, spuds, carrots, parsnips, onions, lettuce, cabbage, leeks and a bit of rhubarb planned.
    Also inherited a few apple trees and have added two more, plus two each pear and plum trees and some cherry trees, and soft fruit bushes.
    Would love a couple of lambs or a pig but can't persuade the missus!




  • Hi Hesh
    Why doesn't she want lambs or pigs, smell, eating "pets" ??

    A




  • Askim wrote: »
    Hi Hesh
    Why doesn't she want lambs or pigs, smell, eating "pets" ??

    A

    No, more the extra work involved. Would need a pig sty/shed for lambs too which I don't have just yet.




  • I am finallising the purchase of a property with 11 acres which I intend to run as a small organic farm. However I have no farming experience. I intend to have a very small number or goats and sheep, a cow, pigs and chickens and ducks. I hoping to get a Kerry cow, Galway sheep and a family of Old Irish Goats all of which are endangered irish breeds.

    I think complete self sufficiency will be a bit of a stretch but that it was I am aiming for. The house needs a lot of work but there is a barn and stables.

    Been a dream for a long time and been working pretty hard over last few years to save and make it happen. Hoping to leave the rat race in 5 years to concentrate on it full time.

    Some really great stories on this thread. Would love to hear how you all are getting on now a couple of years down the line and of course any advise you could pass on would be greatly appreciated.


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  • Welcome Honkey! What part of the country is the land, and what's the "lie" of it?


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