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.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Orchard update

With all the help from the weekend helpers we now have a space that is suitable to start planting trees. All bramble root balls have been dug up and the low tree branches lopped.

We hope to try and squeeze in 7-9 trees. We are intending to do a mixture of fruit trees such as victoria plum, pear, cherry, fig etc...

The first tree we planted at the beginning of the year, our little apple tree, is doing well, but looks a bit lonely so hopefully we can afford to get him a friend soon.

Welsh ponies

After seeing Steve struggle with trying to strim pathways around our land which is increasingly becoming a jungle Richard our neighbour offered to put us in touch with a friend who looked after horses.

We now have two lodgers, Welsh ponies, Alfi & Riley. They are a year old and were rescued from ill treatment. They are still very nervous but hopefully we will soon be firm friends.

Hopefully with an everlasting all you can eat buffet we will shortly have nicely mowed grounds and they will be full and nourished ;0)

Alfie - AKA Pat Sharp


Weekend helpers!

My cousin David and his friend Sarah came to stay the weekend just gone. He brought his much needed tree surgeon skills and tools. Everyone worked really hard and we accomplished lots of fallen branch and tree clearing and there was even time for David to make us a fantastic new bench for viewing the valley.

A huge thanks to David and Sarah for their hard work.

David's bench

Fanfare of foxgloves

Following the fantastic bluebell and red campion display we now have an abundance of foxgloves out the back of our house this year.

I think this is due to the fact we had all those trees cut down behind our house last year and now the sun has enabled other life to grow, it is truly stunning!

Buzzard chic update

The feathers are starting to change and a more adult bird is emerging.