What a difference a week makes…

We have been quiet on our blog recently as things have been crazy busy at the Holding.

We have so much to update you all with!

Firstly we are now the proud owners of 11 chickens and 4 ducks!  We have doubled our existing flock of 7 Light Sussex chickens with 4 Isa Brown Chicks.  We now also have 2 Khaki Campbell Ducklings and 2 Aylesbury x Pekin Ducklings.  All of our new birds are only 4 weeks old and are currently housed within our barn.

The ducklings are hilarious to watch and we are spending as much time as possible with them to get them used to us.  We have been offered the loan of an egg incubator and we hope to hatch our own Indian Runner ducklings soon.  We have spent the last few days studying up on the different breeds we have and how to care for them…ducks are fascinating birds.

We bought our chicks and ducklings from Craigievern Poultry (based in Drymen, Scotland) who were at the Scottish Smallholders Festival in Lanark on Saturday 23rd September 2017.

We had a great time at the Scottish Smallholders festival and gained many useful contacts.  We are now members of the Scottish Smallholders Association and gained great advice from SAC Consulting regarding funding & training opportunities available to us.

Last week we also took over @SmallholdersUK on Twitter.  This was a great experience.  We were initially apprehensive at the beginning as we feared that followers would not be interested in our story or our tweets for advice.  We were so wrong!  The smallholding twitter community is amazing and we received so many tweets filled with great hints and tips……we even found out our “cherry tree” was actually an ornamental Crab Apple Tree! Who knew that there was such a thing as #Chickenhour too!!

Our twitter takeover has encouraged us to now be more proactive with our own social media and blog.  We now realise the importance of documenting our story and sharing our experiences with others in the same position.  We are keen to share the knowledge we gain. Find us on twitter @scottishholding. 

What a difference a week make…We have so many ideas as to how we can develop and expand our Smallholding.

Exciting times ahead!

Graeme & Aimee

New additions

It’s been a busy week at the Holding. We have 7 new additions and we are now the proud owners of Light Sussex Chickens. They are only 8 weeks old.

They are currently residing in a make shift run/rabbit hutch in our barn. We have spent most nights this week clearing space at the rear of the Holding for the chickens to move outside.

This area has previously been untouched for 20+ years. We’ve had our work cutout clearing this area by hand (adding two injuries to add the ailments list). 

We have both been suffering from a summer cold which has hindered us somewhat. Despite it being summer here in Ayrshire we have experienced all four seasons this week, sometimes all in one day.   The most extreme nights have been bleak, blowing a storm outside! 

We hope to have the run finished this week and move the chickens outside pictures and update to follow. 

We plan to have approximately 10-12 chickens to provide us with enough eggs to supply our kitchen. 

Today we decided to take a day off, as the sun was shining. We had read an interesting article about Dumfries House in the Scottish Farmer this week and decided to take a drive down to see what all the fuss was about. 

We were highly impressed with the house and grounds, too much for one day. Lucky for us there happened to be a farmers market on. We will defintaely be back and are keen to visit the rare breads farm at Dumfries House. In the future we would love to attend one of tutorials showing us around the farm and on organic planting and growing. 

Today has been a real inspiration. 

Graeme & Aimée 

A brief introduction…

We have began our journey to escape the rat race!

We live in our inherited smallholding with our 2 dogs and 4 cats (aka the Holding Huskies & Chateaux Cats) in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The house and grounds require extensive refurbishment and renovations. We have began the internal works, with opening up the old fireplaces in 2 rooms (previously bricked up) and tackling the damp issues in the bedrooms.

Overall the house will eventually undergo a change of layout to be more practical and functional.

When not working “the 9 to 5″ we spend our limited free time securing the garden area and creating a workable space for growing and rearing livestock. Some of the land is currently unuseable as it will require cultivation and landscaping.

The agricultural buildings including the barn also require restoration and reinstatement.

We aim to create a self-sufficient smallholding within the next couple of years, with plans for an apiary & a chicken coop in the very near future.

Follow us on our journey to a sustainable lifestyle and ” the good life”!

Graeme & Aimee