Thursday, 29 September 2011

More weeding and apple picking

HI All,
Very hot again today, 27 degrees and boiled again.  Today I have been mainly continuing weeding various beds and picking apples.  We have numerous apple trees on our holding, consisting of over 80 different varieties. My other half has, what one might call an obsession with apple trees, he grafts them, grows them, trials them and makes excellent cider.  Seriously though the apples are a major part of our organic garden and this year for the first time we are actually managing to sell them commercially - yay.
Laura has asked what we are planning on concentrating on to make the holding a viable proposition.  Well largely fruit, both top fruit (i.e. apples; pears; plums) and soft fruit (raspberries; blackcurrants; redcurrants; gooseberries and strawberries) - the strawberries are mainly grown in the polytunnel and we are picking them by the end of April, so nice and early and in demand.  Also we grow a variety of veg.  No animals, at least not for commercial purposes - we have two ageing ponies whom we keep grazing for and at the moment a flock of 17 mixed breed ducks, oh and we have bantam eggs in the incubator as I write.
The thing I had forgotten about working the land was that your day is not over (as a woman) when you finaly go indoors, you then have to turn around and prepare dinner; wash up, oh and remake that bed you stripped this morning in order to wash the bed linen and get it dried in the sun.  Hey ho, looks like I had better get on with it.  So until tomorrow.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Introducing Me - Pauline

Hi One and All to this brand new blog.  We all know the programme 'The Good Life'  well this blog is designed to give a view of what The 'Real' Good Life is all about from a female point of view.  First and foremost, for today I would like just to introduce myself to you all.  My name is Pauline and I live on a smallholding in West Wales.  My other half and I have now lived here for 24years and we have been through various methods of managing our  smallholding.  We have both, over periods of time, either managed the smallholding individually or worked in the 'outside' world.
Over the last two years my other half has been the one who has been running the smallholding single handedly, whilst I have worked at the local university.  The holding is now converted to an organic fruit and  veg enterprise.
Recently my work with the university has come to an end and academia is no longer an option, this one may think could be a problem, however, when I thought about it seriously I knew it was time to 'come home'.  My subject at uni has been anthropology and I have researched and lectured on issues surrounding community and identity in particular. During this time, although I was a part of the academic community I had become more and more detached from the community that I lived in.  I stressed, during my teaching, the importance of belonging to community and yet there I was not practicing what I was preaching.  Time to change all that I feel so here I am, I have 'come home'.  My aim is to work alongside my other half to make our holding a productive and viable concern and to reconnect with the community I live in.  Along the way I shall update you on how that is going, being totally honest (warts and all).
So what have I been doing today?  Today I walked, yes walked, into the village to visit the post office and then called on an elderly couple who have lived all their lives in the village and were exceedlingly helpful to me when I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the village a number of years ago. Unfortunately they were busy so I shall call back another day (I have a project in mind and wanted to talk to them about it, but more of that another day). It was a hot walk, the temperature here today is 28 degrees and I am out of condition it seems.  On my return home I let the dog out and went to turn the watering system on in the polytunnel before surveying what needed to be done in the garden.  I have spent the rest of the time weeding and hoeing leeks and I am now boiled, so time to stop and construct this blog and prepare tonights dinner before walking the dog and checking on our two ponies.  Does not sound much for a days work does it, but I have to take this one slowly, I am not as young as I was, so a little each day to get back into the swing is my answer.
Well I seem to have waffled on and on and on, so I will stop now and await your comments, I look forward to you joining me on this new journey - a journey of truth, fun, laughter and no doubt some tears along the way. :)

Bye for now.