Tag: farming

forever learning

one of the main reasons i wanted to volunteer in europe was to learn. in the six months since i left england i feel that i have learnt more practical knowledge than i would have done in six years at home. its interesting to see how people live their lives and my ideas on farming and smallholdings are changing and evolving all the time from seeing how other peoples work. on one farm in particular i learnt how i would definitely not do things. their self sufficiency revolved around being able to eat lots of meat twice a day and it was scary to see the amount of fuel that this kind of lifestyle uses up. however, we did learn how to make rope in the most traditional and non-fuel consuming way. here is a bad diagram of their handmade machine:

here is a better video of a more professional machine:



i bet a lot of farmers would love to do this to a lot of big corporations.

poor man’s cow

i have fallen completely and utterly in love with goats. i dream about having my own one day and already i miss their sweet smell and affectionate ways. our host in slovakia refered to them as the poor man’s cow – i prefer to think of them as the intelligent girl’s friend.


photo taken by louis

of mice and men

“ok someday – we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and – ”

an’ live off the fatta the lan’,” lennie shouted. “an’ have rabbits. go on george! tell about what we’re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in he winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. tell about that george.”

“well,” said george, we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hut and chickens. and when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof – ”

john steinbeck

finding my thoughts in fiction.

notable hannahs

this evening i’ve been looking at notable hannahs (not including hannah montana) and stumbled across hannah hauxwell, who was a farmer from the yorkshire dales and a subject in the documentaries too long a winter and a winter too many which were shown on itv in the 1970s and the late 1980s. i watched both back to back – it is easy to see why a nation fell in love with this hardworking woman from the dales who had a hard and lonely life. she was so endearing and contented and had such a love of  her landscape and family home that it was impossible not to be moved be her lovely, lilting yorkshire dialect.

the greenhorns

i first read about the greenhorns here and since then i keep coming back to their website, it’s really making me excited about going away next year and actually doing this – being outdoors and farming and helping and not working in a cafe.


this is the first video in their video series and it’s great. there is so much shit in the world it’s nice to just see people taking action in a local way that may not be saving the entire universe but is a definite step in the right direction.

OUR LAND EPISODE 1: The Solution to Pollution is Life from The Greenhorns on Vimeo.