So what to do with our land??? We have all sorts of ideas for chickens, goats, growing veg, and Ashley wants his dream workshop. With limited funds and time, we needed to prioritise if we were going to achieve our goals….. So we bought a 10ft pool….

I mean, it was only £30!!! The land is very secluded and, being at the bottom of a valley, is fairly well sheltered from the wind. A warm summers day, sat in the pool, really does feel like a holiday! Which is great because we won’t be having one of those for a while!

A shed/workshop was next on the list. Secure, dry storage would help us to achieve other projects – but I didn’t realise that it would cost more than our wedding! To be fair, it is a big shed….

Ash has installed a small woodburner, however the flue isn’t really big enough and the draw isn’t good enough so it’s hard to get a decent fire going. The winter has allowed some damp to get in and mould to grow, so we have a small diesel heater installed which Ash has used a Raspeberry Pi to send remote signals so that he can control it from his phone, even when we are at home, 8 miles away! Next winter, we aim to have a larger woodburner in so that we don’t have to keep using diesel to heat it, although we’ve found that the little heater is so economical we may have to reconsider!

(The photo’s all show Ash digging and doing, but we both worked very hard on it in the baking sun! Our reward each time was to go and jump in the pool to cool off afterwards!)

Claire’s polytunnel…?

I was VERY keen to get the polytunnel, that Mum had so kindly bought for us, in place before winter. After finishing the main parts of the shed, we made a start on clearing the space (I’ve forgotten how many wheelbarrows full of soil I shifted), then marking out where the tunnel would go. A spell of good weather was forecast and we had a plan of action, so of course I rolled my ankle very badly and broke my foot… But thanks to some amazing friends, neighbours, Dads and an incredible effort from Ashley, we (they) got the polytunnel finished over the next couple of weeks.

Isn’t she a beauty?! 14’ x 30’ – loads of space for growing veggies! I can’t wait to get some year round growing started, however I do have to wait a little longer as Ashley had an urgent need for for it….

The tractor needed a home for the winter! Having bought it in the summer, we knew that it had been stored outside for many years and was in need of some TLC. Ashley plans to build a lean-to shelter on one side of the shed as cover for the tractor next winter. We’ve replaced some hoses on it, removed the old, rotten seat and had it serviced. We now need a new seat and some welding to repair/replace what should be a foot rest (but is just a rusty hole) and we are good to go!

It’s starting to look and feel more like ‘ours’ now

Next on the list is some improvements to the drainage at the entrance to the land and a trackway/hardstanding to be able to drive our car and the tractor on during the winter months.