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Welcome – Croeso – to our Site:

the tale of LittleFfarm Dairy

& how we became the privileged guardians of this beautiful slice of Paradise.

Have you ever felt that you’ve just had enough, stuck in life’s rut, pacing on an endless treadmill of  “if only’s” & frustrated dreams?  Ever yearned to break free & do something completely different?  Well try it.  It’s worth the battle….

We are Jo & Tony Knight, & we embarked on this remarkable journey into a very different way of life, back in October 2005.  By charting our progress & explaining a bit about what we do here along with advice, tips & experience we’ve picked up along the way, we hope to inspire & encourage others to take the plunge & have a go at becoming a little more ‘self sufficient’ – whether that means becoming a ‘full blown’ smallholder with a few acres of land: keeping animals, & cultivating fruit & vegetables (& perhaps even starting a new business venture); or simply putting a dwarf fruit tree in a pot on the patio, or a growing few veggies in your window box.  It really is up to you: but we have found our lives have changed beyond measure – & so much for the better – since we decided to ‘downshift’.  Our health has improved; our quality of life has increased; our stress levels have decreased & we have had immeasurable reward through the ups & the downs of this challenging but satisfying new lifestyle.  So if you’re tempted to ‘have a go’ – or if you just like a good story, read on…. 

But first, down to ‘site navigation’ basics: the LittleFfarm Dairy webspace contains the following information:

  • Pages: aligned both across the Photo Header & on the Sidebar (where you’ll find extra pages), these give background information on the elements that make up the Ffarm as it is today.  For example, ‘Trees’ covers our eleven-acre wood plus our orchard, the garden, & other specific examples of ununsual tree specimens, on our land; whilst ‘Veg etc’ explores not only the background to the vegetable garden, but also the flower garden & the wildlife pond, too.  But the most noteable page, is perhaps the….

  • Blog: this not only covers day-to-day happenings on the Ffarm (it’s updated on a daily basis so you won’t miss out) but also highlights any interesting news stories or links which catch our eye or cause us to ‘put pen to paper’ (in a Bloggy sense that is).

  • Calendar:  located on the Sidebar, this highlights in red, dates which have a diary entry (or rant!) ascribed to them.

  • Recent Posts:  again on the Sidebar, this lists the latest ‘Blog’ Page entries, in ascending date order.

  • Archives:  Monthly Diary archive (in case you missed anything!).

  • Top Posts:  Articles or pages we’ve written which readers have referred to the most, in order of popularity.

  • Top Clicks:  Links (see below) people have referred to via this site, in order of popularity.

  •  Recent Comments:  Latest feedback regarding the site, from our readers.  Feel free to comment as we welcome feedback – the more the merrier!

  • Categories:  Under each entry on the ‘Blog’ Page, you’ll see the relevant categories that particular post falls under.

  • Tag Cloud:  Again on the Sidebar, you’ll see a group of words of differing sizes.  If you fancy a bit of a ‘Blog’ Lucky Dip, just hit one of the words & pick an entry to read.  The bigger the typeface – the more posts have been written on the subject. 

  • Links:  Click on a Link to bring you to a Website or Blog on the relevant subject.  There’s a fair number but we hope this reasonably comprehensive list will enable you to find any additional information you may be searching for.  If you know of another useful link please let us know so we can include it for the benefit of others.  Starting with ‘Anything Goes’, which covers a miscellany of topics, we’ve also included a ‘Blogroll’ (interesting/salient/well-written or photographed Blogs – plus links to good Blog areas such as WordPress, who kindly provided our site); Business; Cheese; Culture (things which have influenced us; plus art, literature, language, music, history & religion); Environment (go greenstuff!); Food (including recipes, food initiatives etc); Fruit & Veg (growing & gardening information); Livestock (all things furred); Local Area (things to do/see around Wild West Wales); Poultry (all things feathered); Publications (useful online agricultural/self-sufficiency/green bookshops);  & Smallholding.

  • Blog Stats:  See how many people have seen us, so far…..(& pass the word on, if you like us – please be patient as it’s early days & we’ve only just started to develop the site!).

We’re also hoping to add a Gallery of Photos of the Ffarm so far; although to whet your appetite we’ve put a ‘Header’ photo to each Page, & there are additional photos on some of the ‘Blog’ posts, as well.

We love to receive feedback & correspondence from other like-minded downshifters & smallholders – as well as from those of you who just like the site or are interested in what we’re trying to achieve here.  Feel free to leave a comment; or if you have a question or would like some advice you can email us at ffarmfach@tiscali.co.uk  with any points, observations & suggestions – we welcome them.  Kindly note, our words are based on our personal experiences but we, like everyone else in this life, are still learning – so treat us gently!

Meanwhile: for more about who we are, & our motivation & means to get where we are now, please refer to the ‘Us’ page & the historical ‘Blog’ archives.  Croeso!

 

24 Responses to Home

  1. mikey says:

    cool photo – it looks a stunning place and well, guess that makes all the commute for Tony worthwhile. Coming back to that daily or weekly must be wonderful!

  2. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks – & the photo doesn’t do it justice.

    Worth coming home to, as you say – but even better when you’re living & breathing it all the time!

    I’m sure he’d say it’d be better if it wasn’t for me here though *grins impishly*

    By the way, the Avatar isn’t actually me – as I’m sure you’ve already realised! Nice goat though….

  3. Louise says:

    Hello
    Whilst frantically searching the web for someone who may be able to help me, i came accross your site. I have a female pet duck bereft yesterday when her friend died, and want a freerange home for her with company to see out the rest of her days. I am emigrating or i would go and get her a friend.

  4. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Hi Louise –

    Sorry to hear about your duck’s friend, it’s always sad to lose them. I’m sure we’d be able to help. Our three are Indian Runners – is she the same breed? Not that it really matters, I’ve kept Calls, Runners, & Aylesburys together before now!

    Please note though, that whilst the hens & geese free range all year round, during this Winter (my first with these ducks) I’ve ended up having to confine our little trio in a house with an outdoor run attached to keep them safe, as there are a few hungry foxes about; & the ducks don’t put themselves to bed as the hens do – I’m worried I’ll lose them if I cannot get them back indoors as they tend to roost in the most inaccessible parts of the shrubbery!

    Next Spring they’ll be back out in the garden full-time (bar at night of course); they’re great in the veg patch for slug control & there’s a nice big pond for a dip if they fancy.

    Drop us an email to let us know where you are; if you’re happy with the accommodation (i.e. not free-range in Winter) & we’re close enough to be of service, we’d love to give her a home. Email us at ffarmfach@tiscali.co.uk so we can chat about things if you like – & good luck with your move to pastures & indeed nations, new – it must be very exciting.

  5. Rose says:

    Hello!
    I do enjoy your blogs and am interested in what you write.
    What is going on with the cheese these days?
    best wishes
    Rose

  6. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Hi Rose:

    & welcome to the Ffarm, I’m so very glad you’re enjoying the Blog – croesu yn fawr!

    I’ve just received my March (!!) copy of ‘Smallholder’ Magazine & was delighted to find my latest article has been published therein – so if you’re in the UK & can get hold of a copy, I hope you like reading it as much as I loved writing it! (If you’re not, please be patient & wait until March, after which I’m sure you’ll be able to read it online; albeit without seeing the pics of our lambs, goats – & the lovely Tony of course!

    The crafting of our prototype cheeses is progressing steadily, satisfyingly, diversifically & tastily; albeit on a much smaller scale than I’d like owing to the understandably ponderous progress of our Dairy Complex; but we should be putting all that lovely milk to good use at last in commercial production, by the Spring.

    Meanwhile – with the launch not far away – I’m working on a very special St David’s Day Cheese: after all, it is in celebration of our Wedding Anniversary…..!

    However, as regards much of my cheesemaking, Tony’s requested I keep much of my current work under wraps for now, to make it all the more of a special surprise when people try it when we launch the business.

    Suffice to say the soft cheese will be at the heart of everything & we’re sure you’ll love it; but please, bear with us; & whilst we know many of you are keen for us to lift the vat lid for a peek on how we do, what we do, it regrettably has to remain ‘Commercial In Confidence’, for now.

    So, please keep reading the Blog to keep up to date with our daily progress where all will assuredly be eventually revealed (if you’re interested!) along of course with all the antics of goats, sheep, poines etc – & thank you for dropping by, as your feedback is very much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Jo, Tony & LittleFfarm Dairy menagerie.

  7. Rose says:

    sounds good. What about the ice cream?

  8. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    It’s not exactly the weather for that at the moment, alas….!

    Being formally qualified in cheesemaking, that’s where I shall concentrate my efforts for now; I also want to look seriously at yogurt as well, as I’ve done some experimental work in that area.

    However I need to learn to walk before I can run, so to speak! As I have spent a great deal of time & money on accumulating all the equipment I require for cheesemaking, the budget for anything else is only finite so other projects will have to wait until I’m confident with the core business.

    But I do love messing around with different ice cream flavours using my table-top Gelato machine & am keen to learn more eventually; though I suspect that’s a distance in the future I’m afraid…..

    What is your interest in dairying/smallholding, by the way? Are you living the dream or dreaming the life, & whereabouts are you in this global village we call the world?

    Sorry if it seems nosey to ask but people frequently quiz me on the Blog about what/why we’re doing all this! I do try my best to give a detailed, daily account of the hows, whys & wherefores of our exertions as so many people have encouraged us.

    In spite of having very little spare time I always make every effort to reply to queries; but I often find it oddly voyeuristic as people so rarely respond to my own chatty questions about themselves or their interests even when I’ve taken much time & trouble to give them a detailed response to their own inquiry.

    After all; as we have so much to learn from one another, surely we should share information & not keep it to ‘one-way traffic’ all the time?

    So, looking forward to your reply….!!

    Best wishes,

    Jo.

  9. Hi,

    I’ve just come across your site and I’m feeling a bit awestruck! I have a rural website myself, as a diversification project to sit along our own farm and I’ve just started my own blog – very much in it’s infancy compared to yours! If you want a look, go to http://www.ruralworld.org and look for the weblog on the left hand navigation bar. Anyway, I intend now to have a bit more of a look at your fantastic site and just wanted to say keep up the good work!

    Best wishes

    Rachel.

  10. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks, Rachel –

    I must say though, I thought your Blog looked very professional – & what a great website too. Will be looking to use it ourselves in the near future…!

  11. Rose says:

    Hello Jo!
    No blogs for 14 days!
    Are you OK?
    Have you had an accident with one of those goats?
    It is amazing how powerful they can be.
    Rose.

  12. katie says:

    Hope you’re ok and that it’s nothing worse than that you’re snowed under with milking, feeding kids etc etc.

    Katie

  13. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Ladies –

    many thanks, I’m really touched by your concern!

    Thankfully Rose I haven’t been ‘whacked’ by one of my lovely, friendly goats – unless you count my darling Assie; whose tragic & untimely death last week really ‘knocked me for six’ & for whom I’m still grieving, very deeply (another reason all my “get-up-&-go”, has “got-up-&-gone”).

    Assie is the first goat we’ve ever lost; & considering she appeared so fit & healthy after producing two lovely kids, it’s a double (utterly horrible) whammy.

    And to be honest, this also has been a seriously taxing few weeks – tight business deadlines to meet; articles to write; largely solo milking, kidding, lambing; not to mention individual bottle-feeding of over 30 kids, on average four times per day – in fact, I haven’t had a seriously unbroken night’s sleep for well over three months…..& we’re only on Month Five of 2008 with Yet More To Come.

    I promise to do a ‘catchup’ ASAP – although I’m really sorry: for the time being, owing to this massive work overload (average working day being approx 19+ hours), I may have to reduce my ‘Blogging’ time to only a weekly post (how I’m even getting time to snatch a cuppa let alone grab a meal, is beyond my exhausted comprehension!) – although of course I will ensure I do a quick keyboard tippy-tappy if there are any exciting/unusual developments here on the Ffarm in the meantime.

    I sincerely apologise to those who look forward to their daily dose of “Life on the Funny Ffarm” – but if I carry on trying to be everything to everyone, I’ll frankly fizzle out like a damp firework on a foggy Bonfire Night – I’d rather keep my batteries quietly charging & come back with a glorious burst, than disappoint you all with flagging enthusiasm & subsequently uninteresting, zestless prose.

    “Normal” service will be resumed, ASAP….meanwhile, my sincere apologies, for the time being. Please, bear with me!

    Yours aye –

    Jo + FfF menagerie.

  14. katie says:

    Don’t apologise. We understand for goodness sake!
    Take care of yourself.

    Katie

  15. Rose says:

    Keep in there Jo!
    So sorry about the goat. It is like losing one of the family.
    I think that if you keep pushing days as long as you have been doing, you could come down poorly or have an accident.
    Could you not find someone to help you?
    Rose

  16. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Oh, Rose – I wish!!

    Thank you Katie, I’ll try.

  17. alifelesssimple says:

    Hi Jo,
    Sorry to hear about the goat, but I’m glad to read that you’re mostly ok.
    Poppy

  18. Love the back-splash, did you do it yourself???

  19. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    No, the previous owners did it. And it’s had to be changed slightly with some of the tiles around the top of the Rayburn chimney removed & replaced with a beautiful peice of slate, because another thing that seems to have been done was the access hatch to the chimney was for some reason completely blocked up….which caused a build-up of soot which eventually exploded into the house earlier this year & covered the enire house in a thick layer of foul-smelling soot. So now most of the rooms lokk like they’ve been occupied by a heavy smoker….& we’ll have to redecorate the entire house as/when we can afford to do so. Ah well, that’s life I suppose!

    We were lucky that the previous owners did some great things to the cottage, restoring many original features & sympathetically replacing long-lost others. Unfortunately they also opened up some of the windows which whilst making the most of the magnificent vista of the wooded valley, has also unfortunately created ‘cold spots’ around the front wall which has encouraged the Dreaded Damp. So more reasons to repaint (& replaster…!) I’m afraid.

    Regardless, we love it.

  20. Hmmmmm, did I mention I like painting…if only I had time to visit eh. Why aren’t we neighbours exactly? I’d happily work for ice cream…mind you, I might eat you out of profits!

  21. Mitch says:

    Hi Little Farm

    Thankyou so much for your sympthy
    I Greatly apprecite it These fires are absouloutley horrible here at the moment its morning and the sky is just grey and it smells like smoke so much.

    So again Thanks
    Love this Blog
    Mitch

  22. Jackie says:

    thanks for the comment on my blog, yes would love to talk dairy sometime! Do you have an email address?

    jackie

  23. Hello

    We are hoping you can sell us a fleece or wool
    On your website you are presently offering:-
    2.60 kg: pure white fine No 1 = £1.82
    Is this still for sale?

    We are looking for about 6 kilos altogether and preferably white -ish in colour.

    Best
    Chris and Caro

    • LittleFfarm Dairy says:

      “Sorry, Chirs & Caro – we have sold out of fleeces. I hope you find what you are looking for; hopefully another smallholding blogger should be able to help you?

      Cheers aye,

      Jo & Tony.”

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