Saturday, 5 October 2013

Treehouse clearing

My cousin David has been helping us clear the final two treehouse plots that still needed to be surveyed but they were so over grown they weren't accessible.

...and one more duck

Now we have a nice family of chickens we wanted to round up our ducks to four so they could pair off if needed. We always thought Peia was a bit of a third wheel and we are hoping that our new duck will be a friend for her.

Meet Luna, a Welsh Harlequin

Babs, Cassio, Peia & Luna

Finally we get chickens!

A massive thanks for their joint effort, Steve's Dad Spencer, my cousin David, brother in law Macca and Steve in turning an overgrown set of pigsties into a chicken haven.

We now have 6 chickens who are happily settled in.

4 chickens came from Stuart & Angela of Brynheulog who specialise in rare breeds (we also got Babs and Peia the duck from them).

They have all settled in nicely, but unfortunately I don't think we will have eggs until spring next year now that winter is drawing near.

The ducks check out the new chicken enclosure and try and take it for them selves!

Meet the chickens!
Solar a Golden Laced Orpington
Red a Cuckoo Maran & Dwarf a bluebell
Orbit a Plymouth Black Rock
Super a Frizzel Pekin Bantam
Nova a Frizzel Pekin Bantam

Cheeky ponies

The ponies have been keeping us on our toes, they are always looking for their next escape route! They are much more intelligent and cheeky than we anticipated.

We have had to take action erecting more fences and gates but we ended up being completely fenced in, so Steve built us a stile so we can get out and about.

Veg patch hoard

We have had a good crop considering this is our first year growing, but boy we have also learnt a few lessons along the way!

The largest being that we have seem to have an unusual amount of cabbage white butterflies which we didn't expect and so didn't prepare for the onslaught, needless to say all our brassicas have been demolished, only sticks are left where once bushy kale grew ;0(

So next year it is nets all the way!

Here are a few pics of our successes :0)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Our business plan

I am not sure if you all know of our plans but to fill in the gaps we have decided to construct 5 x eco treehouses on our surrounding land for short term holiday let, jumping on the 'Glamping' band wagon.

We have always wanted to own our own business and we feel this combines our love of getting back to nature and Steve's years of hotel experience into one.

We feel privileged to live here and would like to share our part of West Wales with people by providing them with an oasis to come and stay in as a base camp for a holiday offering a unique experience.

The treehouses will be self-supporting wooden structures close to trees but will not use the trees in a structural way. We will build them in stages 1 to begin with followed by the other 4 as and when budget allows.

Our initial thoughts are that each treehouse will be ecologically designed to blend into the surrounding area using natural, ethical and locally sourced materials and labour. They will all consist of a main living room to include a bed, wood burning stove and lounge area all lit by solar powered lamps. They will have their own kitchen facilities just outside the main living area under a canvas canopy with a basic Calor gas hob and sink. Their bathrooms will consist of a compost toilet and solar powered shower to provide minimal impact to the environment and landscape. And of course there will be fire pits and hammocks a plenty!

It is a really exciting time, as we are starting to get everything ready to submit our planning application in. Finally we have got the ball rolling and our plans are starting to take shape ;0)

We have got a great team on board to help us with our planning application. Wayne Evans from is surveying the land for us, here he is at work today:

Byron Jenkins, our architect will be designing the treehouses and helping to get the paperwork together for us.

We also need to get a biodiversity survey booked and we have a planning consultant who is going to help with the design & access statement, as you can imagine we have to submit a war and peace to planning, but we are confident following a positive pre planning application that we will succeed.

This is the true start to our journey and we will keep you updated as things progress.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Strange beetroots

The veg patch is finally doing well but the horrible weather we had in May/June has had an effect and our courgettes have been a bit deformed, but finally seem to be growing normally with this injection of sun. We have been enjoying homegrown peas, mangetout and broad beans.

Following our green house disaster our carrots turned out to be love in a mist flowers, pretty but not edible! and the unidentifiable plant has made a come back but we still don't know what it is, I need to do more research.

Today we decided we would try a beetroot risotto for dinner and dug up a couple of our find that they were not round as expected but more like carrots.

The kale, broccoli and red cabbages are doing well but they have been ambushed by cabbage white butterflies today so I need to go out and wash off all other eggs before the whole crop is destroyed.

The ponies break free

We got woken up to a loud crash Sunday am. Thinking it was Comet in the kitchen wrestling another poor bunny (a favourite of hers at the moment) we went back to sleep but when it happened again we thought we had better investigate.

It turned out it wasn't Comet after all but that the ponies had got into our garden and had knocked over some scrap metal we had lying around!

Cheeky little so and so's they have 10 acres to roam but no they want to be in our garden!

Anyway we had to entice them out with feed and then spent the next 3 hours proofing the garden & orchard with extra fences and gates, only to find them at our newly erected gate trying to get in again about 5 mins after getting them out! I think we have succeeded as so far they haven't managed to get back in ;0)

Buzzard has flown the nest!

I went to take a photo of the buzzard chic all grown up in is nest as I had seen him there the other day looking like a statue and he wasn't there!

He has learnt to fly and was flitting from tree to tree with Mum & Dad. I got a good shot but I am not sure who is who, I think this may be Dad.