The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Off colour

Photo: Cloudy Sky

Photo: Cloudy Sky

“Why don’t you spend the day in bed if you’re feeling off colour? The Min Pins would love it. I’ll bring you a hottie and breakfast in bed in half an hour.”

These past few days I’ve been feeling really odd. Light headed and detached. Not wanting to go to work and longing to stay under the capacious duvet.
“I was planning to get out into the garden.”
“But it’s pouring with rain!”
So I finished the fascinating book I’ve been reading this week. What The Animals Tell Me by Sonya Fitzpatrick. She’s a real life Doctor Doolittle, born in England and living in America.

When I read the last page and closed the book, sunshine suddenly burst through the window. So I dressed quickly as sped down to the garden.

I’ve been digging the bindweed from the fruit cage borders beside the chicken run. Just 45 minutes when I return early enough from work. Now that the clocks have changed to British Summer TimeI can spend an extra hour in the garden. I finished digging over the fruit cages, planted two rows of shallots in the kitchen garden and as I started to tackle the main herbaceous border, I was entertained by the sonorous carousel of the annual frog bacchanal. I finally came into the warm kitchen when it was too dark to see a weed. Feeling clear headed and far more positive.

Gardening is a truly therapeutic activity. Particularly when you are growing your own food and flowers. I read a book three years ago written by a man who was suffering from depression and started to tend an allotment with his friend. The book is good. You see the man’s life gradually opening like a flower. Yet this  is a gritty belt and braces book,  describing the challenge of taking on an allotment with little gardening experience. Allotted Time by Robin Shelton  literally inspires  me every time that I want to retire to under a warm duvet and withdraw from the world.

If you would like to win my copy of this book, leave a comment on this post.  You could be the owner of a hardback book that I found inspirational and that has really helped me tackle my blacker moments.


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31 Comments

  1. Hi – long time lurker. I cant remember how I discovered you but you have provided me with inspiration in the kitchen and garden for a while now – so many thanks. I have started a blog and have added you as one of my favorites (because you are). Hope you are feeling better.

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