Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wintery social day


Sunday 19th March. What a fabulous day we've had! 

Last year a group of smallholders, most of whom live in Wales, met up at a smallholding in Carmarthen for a barbecue (read about it here) and afterwards we all agreed that it would be good to have a regular meet up and I readily offered to host the next get together. We had thought that we'd have a social event before Christmas, but Lockdown meant that having lots of folks coming to the smallholding wasn't a good idea.

Now that the restrictions have been amended and as long as we are careful with our biosecurity, it feels safer to have friends to visit. So, at fairly short notice, we threw our doors open to a group of smallholders, alotmenteers and all round good eggs. Actually today, throwing our doors open was the last thing we wanted to do, the weather was appalling! We did however want to see our friends.

They arrived sensibly armed with wet weather clothes, wellies and enthusiasm. After a hot drink to warm up, we headed outside for a look around. Now it doesn't take very long to walk around our smallholding especially as at this time of year wandering around the chicken field isn't an option. The lockdown restrictions mean that only essential staff/owners are allowed into the birds spaces and given the feistiness of the roosters, stressing the boys by having lots of visitors is probably unwise.

So, we wandered, as best one can in 40 mph winds, around the annual vegetable garden and food forest area and then the area behind the piggeries. We looked at the three week old chicks and everyone made appropriate ooh and ahh noises. Our little plot of land doesn't take very long to walk around and afterwards we talked about how being a small plot means that we have to make the best use of the available space for what we are trying to achieve here.

I was struck (as I was at the barbecue too) at the resilience, humour, skills and knowledge of this group of friends, I feel blessed to know them. 

After a couple of hours of merriment and refreshments, those smallholders who lived furthest away headed home to be back in time to attend to their animals and by late afternoon all of our guests had left for their own smallholdings.

Our little home returned once more to the quietness that we are accustomed to, with only the sound of the incubator's fan whirring away in the background. I like the peacefulness here when it's quiet, but oh boy, did I enjoy having a houseful of folks and I'm very much looking forward to our next gathering of smallholders.

Anyway, I hope that my friends had as nice a time as I did and before we finish the washing up, I think it's time for a cuppa!
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