We have an incredibly beautiful, off-grid 25 acre site completely surrounded by ancient woodland in North Derbyshire and yet only 4 miles from a major city (Sheffield); a situation we believe to be totally unique in the UK.
We have a love of wildlife, nature and the outdoors and our focus is on low impact, sustainable organic agriculture. We are beginning to create links and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and others and foster an ethos of cooperation.
Previously we have entertained volunteers from all over the world who have helped us with growing, building and maintenance tasks whilst getting a chance to learn new skills and practise their English. We want to expand/diversify and welcome help and ideas from those who feel that they may be able to contribute to what we are trying to achieve.
Our land/growing space is available to rent and would make a fantastic secluded countyside setting for those wishing to host an event within easy reach of towns, cities and the motorway and rail networks.
Our site has been explored by metal detectorists and recently provided the location for an independent feature film.
Last winter in our large commercial polytunnel we had about 2000 winter salad plants which included:
In the outside plot we had clover, vetch, rye grass and mustard as green manures which protected and nourished the soil over winter. New perennial additions to the outdoor beds have been raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus but none have been a major success due to initial cold and rain closely followed by drought conditions! Our peas, beans, courgettes, cucumbers, squashes, artichokes and beetroot have also struggled to survive.
The autumn planted garlic and onions have been our most successful crop outdoors and have quickly dried in the summer heatwave.
The summer season for 2018 has seen a wider range of produce introduced into the polytunnel. The first priority was flowers as we were tasked with growing them for our son's wedding in June. They have now gone and in addition to tomatoes we have cucumbers, cucamelons, melons, herbs, peas, dwarf beans, sweetcorn, broccoli, radishes and salad leaves.
We are in the process of completing a second polytunnel (30m x 9m) which we plan to rent out.
We have a 270 square metre polytunnel, a large steel framed barn, compost toilets, shed, mobile caravan and are putting up another large commercial polytunnel.
We have solar panels to charge batteries on phones and handtools.
There are 10 beehives on site.
We have some geese, free range chickens which provide us with eggs and from time to time we provide temporary accommodation for horses, sheep, goats and other animals in need.
We have pet Dalmatians Poppy and Jasper and a cat called Puss.
We are "off grid" so all our drinking water has to be brought onto the site in containers.
As part of our growing regime we use green manure and we take leaf mould from the local woods to make potting mix for the seeds and the coarse material goes into the compost toilets.
We harvest rainwater from a land-drain and the polytunnel roof and this supplies water for irrigation.