So much has changed in the last year that looking back to this time last year is like peering at another age altogether. We had no beds to grow food in, a solitary little polytunnel, no pond, no paths, no water anywhere we needed it, there was still a huge pile of rubble outside the kitchen door, we hadn’t even considered starting work on the little cottage, we’d no solar or wind turbine, no composting loo outside. The list is much longer, but you get the picture. If someone were to tell me now that was what we had to accomplish in the coming year, I would run a mile. And yet it was all done.

Mainly of course with the help of many amazing people, most of who we didn’t know beforehand, and who we now know as friends, which begs the exciting question, who will we meet this year?

There is of course much to accomplish, and to make a list would be too frightening to contemplate, but I think we are agreed that this will be the year we refine our horticulture somewhat, now that we know food will grow very abundantly on the land.

We also have some more trees to plant, and it looks as though the Million Trees in One Day project will be back to complete its mission (not all on our land, I should add), and we’ll put lots more hedging in too, as well as allowing our own hedgerows to recover from years of flailing with machines.

2014 will also be the year that They Take The Pole Away. Moving and undergrounding the 11Kv supply line so that we could export surplus power was going to cost many thousands of pounds, so a cheaper alternative was to ask NIE to take their pole away altogether, and we’ll be entirely untethered from the national electricity grid. And we’ll have an uninterrupted view of the mountains not seen since 1960-something.

Want to help build one of these beauties this year? Let us know..

For those interested in Making Things, we are determined to replace the ugly 1950’s extension (now demolished) with something timber framed, straw bale insulated, and naturally plastered. Heating is going to come courtesty of a Rocket Mass Heater, the building of which may prove to be a whole project of its own. The one above is pretty much the size and shape that we’re thinking of, and it might mean we finally have a warm bathroom.

We’ll have our Tipi up this year, so that’s going to be a venue for some interesting courses, run in conjunction with our friend Nick Mack. Planning is well under way for these and we’ll announce details in Fenruary. We might also revisit the Permaculture course later in the year for those who missed out last time around.

Other projects of interest are:

  • Powering the hot water system in the truck using the massive horse manure pile beyond the stables.
  • Completing the pond, and the polytunnel irrigation system.
  • Bringing the well back into use as a source of water for the cottage.

Of course we also hope to be involved in all the usual GIY events too, and will be off to investigate other folk’s projects, which are always a source of inspiration. If you are interested in coming here and participating in any of the things we have going on, do let us know.