Tales from the Farm – The Barn Before the Storm

Regular readers will know that to date, we have had our fair share of challenges with renovating the farm. We recently discovered that our water is not from a bore hole as previously told but from an artesian well; and has such a high iron content that it’s ruining sanitary ware and staining anything white...
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Tales from the Farm – Of Significant Scientific Interest

Our nearest largest town, Peterborough, is attempting to become the UK’s environmental capital. I’m still not quite sure what that means because we don’t have a food recycling bin collected (which is fine by me as I’ve become obsessed; and a little protective;  with making our own compost) and they don’t have a tram or...
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Tales from the Farm – Spud-We-Like

Having already filled two of the raised vegetable beds with lush, organic compost and loamy soil from the garden, today I planted the very first vegetables in them. I opted for King Edward potatoes, which I filled one of the beds with (one of the few vegetables that wasn’t organically sourced) and Longor shallots and...
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Tales from the Farm – not all sunshine and lollipops

You might be forgiven for thinking that it’s all sunshine and lollipops here on the farm;  buying a farm, moving to the countryside and setting up a research project does sound pretty idyllic and it often appears on people’s lists of things they dream of doing in life: giving up on the rat race and...
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Tales from the Farm – My Secret Compost Obsession

I’ve been spending a lot more time than usual hanging around the compost heap and just this past weekend, caught myself becoming perhaps a little too obsessive about things laying around the house and the garden; picking up strands of dog hair, tiny pieces of cardboard and separating the vegetable peelings and tea leaves. I’m...
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Tales from the Farm – the BP toilet

Medical diagnoses of depression, anxiety and stress-related pathology such as high blood pressure have never been higher. Read that again. Doctors are prescribing more into-depressants than they ever have done before in the history of mankind and hundreds of thousands of people take medication to control their blood pressure, anxiety and symptoms of their stress....
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Tales from the Farm – the patience of a saint

The beginnings of the hard landscaping of the vegetable garden and sensory garden where the research barn will be built. Monty says in his book The Complete Gardener, my guide and bible of garden renovation, that gardening takes time. He encourages patience and embracing the notion of gardening for the long run,  enjoying the perpetual...
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Tales From the Farm – building the windy city

The farm is, like many old rural buildings, powered by oil and I’m honestly not a fan of oil. It’s messy, expensive and environmentally debilitating. The thought that heating our house and water is playing a part in the destruction of our beautiful planet and helping to fund wars and terrorists, doesn’t sit well with...
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Tales from the Farm – roses and the magically appearing telegraph pole

I may,  or may not, have recently abused the phrase: ‘that’s what friends are for’ when my best friend came to stay for a relaxing and social weekend to catch up at the farm with her husband and I may,  or may not,  have roped him into cutting down a giant, dying bush. The bush...
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Tales From the Farm – You Need To Get a Man

Since I last wrote, there have been a lot of men coming and going in and out of my life. I blame my Mother. She kept telling me to ‘get a man in for that’. She was of course right because almost everything we’ve touched so far has either fallen apart or revealed that it...
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