Our home is our wonderful sanctuary. It gives us so much joy and our move to the smallholding lifestyle has been amazing, but…. yes, there’s a “but”.
The work on the smallholding is dictated by the seasons and sometimes balancing this with earning money as well as supporting friends and family can be overwhelming.
Our smallholding is set up to grow many of our own foods as we endeavour to be self-sufficient.
We also breed Buff Orpington Chickens. July is when our broody hens are raising a LOT of chicks. This year we have 6 broody hens each raising clutches ranging in size from 6 chicks to 14 chicks! Watching the little chicks zooming around the field is so fabulous and I love the time I spend caring for them.
July is always our busiest month. In addition to the chicks that need caring for, most of our fruit is ripening this month. We have white, red and black currants ripening.
There are 300sqft of strawberry plants that need harvesting and processing (normally slicing and dehydrating). Plus the raspberries are coming into season too although these can simply be added whole to the dehydrator (phew).
July is when lots of our vegetables are ready to harvest including broccoli, onions, cucumbers and carrots.
At the same time I’ve picked up some paying work which we need to cover our non-food related household bills. I’m incredibly thankful the work is with a great company with interesting people AND it’s remote so I’m home. My lunch breaks consist of picking fruit or filling the chicken feeders. The perfect paid job.
Our family and friends are so important too and our highest priority right now are our elderly relatives. We keep in touch daily and visit regularly. It’s a big commitment in time but so important to us.
We’ve compromised on maintenance to carve out more time. For example we’ve left more wild space such as letting our woodland area return to nature. We love the effect and obviously is takes a little pressure off.
We completely appreciate we are blessed to live here. We are thankful to be privileged to have this amazing home, this perfect fit for us.
I’ll be counting those blessings while I lift onions in the evening once I close my laptop after a busy day working in my office job.
Yes, July is pressured with food harvesting and processing, hatching chicks and supporting friends and family. It can feel overwhelming at times and sometimes I do feel like I should be doing more.
Then I take a deep breathe, hand-feed the chicks and remind myself how incredibly lucky I am. If this is overwhelming, bring it on….I’m ready.
If you’re interested in the smallholder lifestyle, head over to our YouTube channel tutorials and information videos including “Money and the Smallholder Lifestyle”