The farming and smallholding thread

Two years ago I saw an advert in some newspaper for the sale of a tiny farm near Bao Loc in the central highlands. It was about a Ha of coffee farm with a 3 bedroom house included. Cost was 12000 USD.

I wanted it.

LHD (A business woman to her toe nails) said “nah too small for real coffee bean business”.
But, but we could have chickens, pigs, ducks and and......”

“stick to bombs” she said.

I still want it
 
Generalisation alert:
Some Lithuanians see themselves as never truly subjugated, despite many other countries trying. This mythology and an utter distrust of Russia can lead to an attitude of general lawlessness.
“Never trust a Russian”.
[Lithunaian DRIFT]

From 1990 -to- 1995, I was spending 4-5-6 week periods in Russia (Belorus and Ukraine). On one such extended stay, I decided to visit a pen-pal (and her family), that I had acquired in Kaliningrad.

Most will be familiar with the obligatory over-night sleeper, slow-trains, that characterise the Russian/Soviet rail system.

However, we were all up, and bleary-eyed, to look out the carriage windows, as we transited through Lithuania, and the capital Vilnius.

I have often bored others with the recollection, that whilst passing through Lithuania, I saw a work-gang at the side of the rails, talking and warming themselves, stood around a brazier, before starting their day’s work.

What was remarkable about the incident is - that in all the time I had been visiting, staying and travelling, in and around Russia/Belorus/Ukraine, it was the FIRST time that I had seen blokes - anyone - smiling !!

[/Lithunaian DRIFT]
 
Last edited:
[Lithunaian DRIFT]

From 1990 -to- 1995, I was spending 4-5-6 week periods in Russia (Belorus and Ukraine). On one such extended stay, I decided to visit a pen-pal (and her family), that I had acquired in Kaliningrad.

Most will be familiar with the obligatory over-night sleeper, slow-trains, that characterise the Russian/Soviet rail system.

However, we were all up, and bleary-eyed, to look out the carriage windows, as we transited through Lithuania, and the capital Vilnius.

I have often bored others with the recollection, that whilst passing through Lithuania, I saw a work-gang at the side of the rails, talking and warming themselves around a brazier, before starting their day’s work.

What was remarkable about the incident is - that in all the time I had been visiting, staying and travelling, in and around Russia/Belorus/Ukraine, it was the FIRST time that I had seen blokes - anyone - smiling !!

[/Lithunaian DRIFT]
Before the woar, my family were farmers, as in big farm with horses and all. After the war that part of Poland the family came from became Lithuania and we lost the lot. Otherwise I wouldn’t be wandering around the shitholes of the world doing what I do now. Still, silver clouds and all that, I have been embedded in a few lovelies of many nationalities over the years as an itinerant eod wallah.
 
Just planting some into seed trays today
When you cook it just picked, just drop it in boiling water for 2 minutes, don’t even bother putting it on the heat.

Any longer than that you’ll have soup.
 

Londo

LE
When you cook it just picked, just drop it in boiling water for 2 minutes, don’t even bother putting it on the heat.

Any longer than that you’ll have soup.
Thank you . Can't beat fresh home grown veg. Normally concentrate on peas , runners , toms and carrots but will be trying some new things this year .
 
Thank you . Can't beat fresh home grown veg. Normally concentrate on peas , runners , toms and carrots but will be trying some new things this year .
This went in last year and we had a bit off it late Autumn but since it’s over wintered it’s gone mental, giving it away. Unlike the cabbages it didn’t seem to get decimated by butterflies either.
 

Londo

LE
This went in last year and we had a bit off it late Autumn but since it’s over wintered it’s gone mental, giving it away. Unlike the cabbages it didn’t seem to get decimated by butterflies either.
I will try and do the same so long as I can keep the chickens away from it :-D
 

Oops

Old-Salt
Thanks for that. It is so steep that I think pigs wouldn't cope, I hired one of those remote controlled flail mowers (that are used on motorway embankments etc.) and it was defeated. If it wasn't for Natural England bleating about it I would leave it be. Or rewild it if you like.
Pigs'll cope.
Plus the added bonus of being able to dispose of the 'Fresh out of Uni, with a degree in Environme......' NE inspector , that doesn't even have a clipboard anymore, cos they know it all.
The last lady that came to inspect our 'arable reversion to encourage wading birds field' was ecstatic to see "That wonderful flock of lapwings flying across the splashes"....
They were feckin jackdaws....
The same feckin jackdaws (and magpies)that had taken the TWO nests that had actually got to eggs in, over the previous nine years.....
One actually hatched three in yr10, I saw a maggie take one chick, I think two made it.
14 acres - 10 years- 2 chicks.....
We drew the equivalent of £4 day for the priviledge!..we did have to restrict our grazing cattle during the nesting season...
The same feckin cattle that used to tread the feckin pasture up in early spring, so they created the feckin ideal conditions (swampy, tussocky raised areas where they could create scrapes) that has enabled lapwings to breed in their hundreds when I was a kid, for nowt!
However, we all used to shoot corvid nests out, Larsen trap without having em smashed up and the only place I ever saw a buzzard was Scotland.
You could walk round your own property with a shotgun/ rifle under your arm knocking predators off, without the fear of
(A) Accidentally shooting some feckin dog walker who "can go where I want"
(B) Suffering volleys of abuse from Little ol' ladies through to Hippy Animal Righters (who smashed every piece of glass , including indicators) out of Grandad's brand new Fiesta, the 500 cartridge on the back seat were left untouched... innocent times!
So that You feel like the criminal for pursuing Legal activities on Your Own Land.


Anyway back to the pigs, and NE.
If they don't eat 'em they'll bury 'em!
Win-win
 
This went in last year and we had a bit off it late Autumn but since it’s over wintered it’s gone mental, giving it away. Unlike the cabbages it didn’t seem to get decimated by butterflies either.
I'd be tempted to bring it on and put it in late after the bloody flea beetles, the little bastards ruin all the spring plantings, and they'll come on in early spring.

Again, leeks seem to do ok over winter, and chard is the Chuck Norris of the spinach world, but doesn't attract the main pests.

Buy the veg when they're cheap in summer/ autumn, then grow your own for the lean months........

If you've got a greenhouse, plant a few cheap tubs of Lidl parsley in troughs in the autumn, again they're very hardy, and a few troughs will see you through the winter
 
I'd be tempted to bring it on and put it in late after the bloody flea beetles, the little bastards ruin all the spring plantings, and they'll come on in early spring.

Again, leeks seem to do ok over winter, and chard is the Chuck Norris of the spinach world, but doesn't attract the main pests.

Buy the veg when they're cheap in summer/ autumn, then grow your own for the lean months........

If you've got a greenhouse, plant a few cheap tubs of Lidl parsley in troughs in the autumn, again they're very hardy, and a few troughs will see you through the winter
I left a row of leeks in. They’re now about 4” diameter! No idea if they’ll be useable.
 

Oops

Old-Salt
I left a row of leeks in. They’re now about 4” diameter! No idea if they’ll be useable.
Gawd help us....

You try and be nice, even though you know The Cheshire Set always look down thier noses at us Lancashire Lunkheads...
An' all they do is start braggin about the size of their bloody horticultural endeavours.
( You're not half Taff are you?)

Leek and ham pie
Leek, potato and stilton soup.........
They'll be reet!
 
Pigs'll cope.
Plus the added bonus of being able to dispose of the 'Fresh out of Uni, with a degree in Environme......' NE inspector , that doesn't even have a clipboard anymore, cos they know it all.
The last lady that came to inspect our 'arable reversion to encourage wading birds field' was ecstatic to see "That wonderful flock of lapwings flying across the splashes"....
They were feckin jackdaws....
The same feckin jackdaws (and magpies)that had taken the TWO nests that had actually got to eggs in, over the previous nine years.....
One actually hatched three in yr10, I saw a maggie take one chick, I think two made it.
14 acres - 10 years- 2 chicks.....
We drew the equivalent of £4 day for the priviledge!..we did have to restrict our grazing cattle during the nesting season...
The same feckin cattle that used to tread the feckin pasture up in early spring, so they created the feckin ideal conditions (swampy, tussocky raised areas where they could create scrapes) that has enabled lapwings to breed in their hundreds when I was a kid, for nowt!
However, we all used to shoot corvid nests out, Larsen trap without having em smashed up and the only place I ever saw a buzzard was Scotland.
You could walk round your own property with a shotgun/ rifle under your arm knocking predators off, without the fear of
(A) Accidentally shooting some feckin dog walker who "can go where I want"
(B) Suffering volleys of abuse from Little ol' ladies through to Hippy Animal Righters (who smashed every piece of glass , including indicators) out of Grandad's brand new Fiesta, the 500 cartridge on the back seat were left untouched... innocent times!
So that You feel like the criminal for pursuing Legal activities on Your Own Land.


Anyway back to the pigs, and NE.
If they don't eat 'em they'll bury 'em!
Win-win
I can relate to all of your post. We had Environmental Health visit a couple of years ago, "What" the good lady asked "is that stack of rectangular things on the edge of that field?". On being told it was straw she enquired as to what this so-called "Straw" was. Then she asked to see where we washed the corn.
On dog walkers, it seems as though a lot of idiots are heading to the sticks to ride out the virus. I had to tell one bunch to get back on the footpath and put the effing dog on a lead, they didn't have lead. The next lot were heading purposefully up a track to the yard marked "Private". "There is no footpath there" says I helpfully. "They will never know" comes the riposte from the Gore-Tex clad adventurer. I may have been less than polite in my reply.
I realise that moaning about walkers being in the wrong place may seem unreasonable to those not in the trade, so, hopefully not being patronising here is why:
+ Security. Theft from farms is a major problem, I see someone where they shouldn't be, it looks suspicous.
+ Safety. If you are standing where you shouldn't be, I won't be looking out for you when, for example doing a headland turn with a 12 metre set of rolls that weigh 10t. If they hit you, you will be dead. And i may well not notice.
+ Biosecurity. Especially relevant in terms of TB, but also any high health animal production system. Have tracked accross a neighbours land to get here? What is their bTB status?
+ Livestock worrying. There are so many cases of sheep being killed by loose dogs nowadays, and it is senseless and needless. See also people being killed by cattle chasing their dog. IF YOU DOG IS ON A LEAD AND CATTLE MOVE TO CHASE IT LET GO OF THE LEAD. Similarily, if on your walk you encounter a sign warning you of a bull, or cows with calves, consider re-routing.
If people are in the wrong place I will ask if they are lost and try to help. If you are out for a jolly and want to go off piste, just ASK, more than likely I will say yes. If you see a bloke on a tractor, quad whatever, try and engage with them, be curious and enthusiastic. I love answering questions from the public, after all, they are my customers.
Apologies for Farmer Palmer from the parish of Viz rant.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
We get randoms traipsing round the place all the time. Walkers on the farm aren’t usually a problem, but because our house is very old and interesting, we often get people wandering around the garden which is definitely not open to the public.

I confronted someone recently and asked them what they were doing.

“Oh just having a look around.”

“Oh right, can I come and have a look around your garden then?”

He just stared back blankly, the fucking mouth breather.

I’ve also had a full blown row with someone who was 100% adamant that it was National Trust and he was allowed to be there.

In my fucking garden, while I’m having a BBQ.

A few years back our last farm manager was out doing his rounds when some pac a mac brigade accosted him and started kicking off because he had livestock in a field that a public footpath went through.

This farm manager was not really a bloke to be fucked with and he basically told them to fuck off.

Off they traipse on their merry way into another field that doesn’t happen to have a footpath in it.

“You’ll not get very far if you go that way.”

He got the finger off one of them and they continued the 4 or 500 metres or so to the bottom of the field.

The bottom of the field where they would’ve found a fence, no stile or gates and a small river for good measure.

The farmer watched grinning as they turned around, walked back the 4 or 500 metres right past him, and then into the correct field where there was a footpath.
 
We get randoms traipsing round the place all the time. Walkers on the farm aren’t usually a problem, but because our house is very old and interesting, we often get people wandering around the garden which is definitely not open to the public.

I confronted someone recently and asked them what they were doing.

“Oh just having a look around.”

“Oh right, can I come and have a look around your garden then?”

He just stared back blankly, the ******* mouth breather.

I’ve also had a full blown row with someone who was 100% adamant that it was National Trust and he was allowed to be there.

In my ******* garden, while I’m having a BBQ.

A few years back our last farm manager was out doing his rounds when some pac a mac brigade accosted him and started kicking off because he had livestock in a field that a public footpath went through.

This farm manager was not really a bloke to be fucked with and he basically told them to **** off.

Off they traipse on their merry way into another field that doesn’t happen to have a footpath in it.

“You’ll not get very far if you go that way.”

He got the finger off one of them and they continued the 4 or 500 metres or so to the bottom of the field.

The bottom of the field where they would’ve found a fence, no stile or gates and a small river for good measure.

The farmer watched grinning as they turned around, walked back the 4 or 500 metres right past him, and then into the correct field where there was a footpath.
One that sticks in the mind is the woman who was adamant that the tramlines were put in for her benefit, so she could walk her dog through the wheat.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In terms of random schemes and bollox from the EA and other do gooding brigades, we are part of a scheme where they have re-routed all the rivers to follow their original courses.

To give you some background; about 200 years ago the rivers round here were straightened by farmers in order to maximise their field space.

Over the years this created faster flowing rivers, which eroded the banks, making them wider, which in turn made them shallower, which made a shit habitat for fish, birds etc. etc.

Someone decided that it would be loads better if they recut the original course of the river and planted loads of trees on the banks. A nice idea in theory but hugely expensive, a ton of work and totally unproven that it would even work. Not really enough benefit to warrant the huge cost of doing it anyway.

So they got a plane and did an aerial survey, we had a Cessna buzzing our house at about 100m for 2-3 days taking phots.

Then the diggers came and for a few months they dug the shit out of our fields.

And then they planted a ton of saplings all along the banks.

It cost a good few million quid and that was just to do the bit on our farm.

5 - 6 years and 3 major floods later all the saplings have washed away, the river is starting to push back to it’s straightened course and it doesn’t appear to have changed any of the wildlife. There were more fish before they started.

Awesome.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Oh and 2 years ago we became part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, despite us being a 40 minute drive from Yorkshire and them doing absolutely zero consultation with us.

We literally got a letter through the door and a copy of Yorkshire Dales magazine saying “congratulations on now being a resident of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

So half the farm is now in the park and the other half isn’t. We occasionally get the rangers come round to tell us our fences or walls need to be a certain standard. We actually had to widen a stile gap in a dry stone wall that had been there for hundreds of years because it wasn’t wide enough for fat people.

Not being funny but you don’t see that many obese people going for hikes around Cumbria.

Occasionally they try and claim other fields as their own which are outside the park, but I’ve told them in no uncertain terms to get fucked.

From time to time I set my tame gypsy on them who can talk for England. If you engage him in conversation on a good day you’ll be there for hours.

Come to think of it, they haven’t been round in a while.
 
Oh and 2 years ago we became part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, despite us being a 40 minute drive from Yorkshire and them doing absolutely zero consultation with us.

We literally got a letter through the door and a copy of Yorkshire Dales magazine saying “congratulations on now being a resident of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

So half the farm is now in the park and the other half isn’t. We occasionally get the rangers come round to tell us our fences or walls need to be a certain standard. We actually had to widen a stile gap in a dry stone wall that had been there for hundreds of years because it wasn’t wide enough for fat people.

Not being funny but you don’t see that many obese people going for hikes around Cumbria.

Occasionally they try and claim other fields as their own which are outside the park, but I’ve told them in no uncertain terms to get fucked.

From time to time I set my tame gypsy on them who can talk for England. If you engage him in conversation on a good day you’ll be there for hours.

Come to think of it, they haven’t been round in a while.
Can they really “acquire” land as easy as that? How does that work?
 
Pigs'll cope.
Plus the added bonus of being able to dispose of the 'Fresh out of Uni, with a degree in Environme......' NE inspector , that doesn't even have a clipboard anymore, cos they know it all.
The last lady that came to inspect our 'arable reversion to encourage wading birds field' was ecstatic to see "That wonderful flock of lapwings flying across the splashes"....
They were feckin jackdaws....
The same feckin jackdaws (and magpies)that had taken the TWO nests that had actually got to eggs in, over the previous nine years.....
One actually hatched three in yr10, I saw a maggie take one chick, I think two made it.
14 acres - 10 years- 2 chicks.....
We drew the equivalent of £4 day for the priviledge!..we did have to restrict our grazing cattle during the nesting season...
The same feckin cattle that used to tread the feckin pasture up in early spring, so they created the feckin ideal conditions (swampy, tussocky raised areas where they could create scrapes) that has enabled lapwings to breed in their hundreds when I was a kid, for nowt!
However, we all used to shoot corvid nests out, Larsen trap without having em smashed up and the only place I ever saw a buzzard was Scotland.
You could walk round your own property with a shotgun/ rifle under your arm knocking predators off, without the fear of
(A) Accidentally shooting some feckin dog walker who "can go where I want"
(B) Suffering volleys of abuse from Little ol' ladies through to Hippy Animal Righters (who smashed every piece of glass , including indicators) out of Grandad's brand new Fiesta, the 500 cartridge on the back seat were left untouched... innocent times!
So that You feel like the criminal for pursuing Legal activities on Your Own Land.


Anyway back to the pigs, and NE.
If they don't eat 'em they'll bury 'em!
Win-win
Much the same round here re... Lapwings and Snipe .

As a lad we spent the summer with pee wits flapping overhead and the sound of Snipe drumming in the marshy brook land where we fished for trout and swum in muddy pools .... usually skinny dipping with the omnipresent air rifles lent on a tree .

I don't have a university degree but even I can see the enviromental lot have got it wrong and know feck all .
Near us we have a woman who has bought 10 acres of woodland and has set about making it nature friendly wood . I have never seen so much plastic in a wood ....she told me she has a masters in conservation yet fails to understand the basics .......funny thing is her 10 acres is but a small corner of a wood that backs onto ours and the diversity in the rest of the wood is far higher than in her bit of the wood despite 5 years or so of her degree led "habitat improvements" She works for Thales so that may explain some of her strange behaviour .

Re Lithuanians...... We had a Lithuanian AG technician working for us for several years .....he was shit hot and would tackle jobs in a field that other guys baulked at doing in a workshop .
He had been on the Case IH contract in Russia when they supplied loads of Magnums out there ....told tales of having to light a fire and heat up the drums of oil before you could begin to pour it into the trans .
A good guy with a superb work ethic ......had to go back home when his father was injured in a Heli crash .
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Can they really “acquire” land as easy as that? How does that work?
Apparently so.

They don’t own it, but because it’s now in the National Park, there are tons of rules to abide by that we didn’t have to bother with before.

Just an extra hoop to jump through for everything. Ten times harder to get planning permission for new farm buildings or sheds now. As mentioned above, stiles and gates have to be a certain standard that’s safe for walkers, when before no one really gave a shit.

Apparently our house will be worth more as a result (according to them), which doesn’t benefit us in the slightest because it’s been in the family for 400 years and we’ll never sell it.
 

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