So, we had this fantastic idea; becoming self-sufficient, and all the family agreed to the plan and were up for it… But where do you start?
We already had a small group of free-roaming chickens in the garden, (a bantam male [small cockerel], and some girls) for eggs, but to breed and eat them wouldn’t produce enough to satisfy everyone’s hunger needs.
What we also needed was a piece of fenced-off land to not only protect any animals we brought in, but to keep future vegetable plots from being massacred by the local goat herd.
Luckily for us, we had a fair amount of land behind the house where there are 70+ olive trees – so we fenced it, and there came the name: Olive Tree Farm.
Once the arduous task of fencing it was complete, we created a couple of pens: one for the chickens, and one for Bullet (daughter Emma’s pet pot-bellied vietnamese-cross-boar).
And that was where it began….
More varieties of chickens were added, and as time went by we gained a couple of girlfriends for Bullet, a few goats, one (accidental but lovely) sheep, rabbits, ducks, guineafowl and a pair of geese.
The vegetable plots started small, and then when Greg realised how much more we needed to gain a better level of self-sufficiency, they were expanded.
The kids like to help grandad, too….
Nick has also fenced off an area using the ancient wattling technique – using bamboo for the “sales” (a name for the upright posts) and weaving thin wood (long sticks) to create the barrier. Within this area he planted alfalfa, which will be used for animal feed.
For more information on the animals we keep, how we care for them and what to keep an eye out for in terms of health, take a look at our Animals link and follow the drop-down menu.