Also Annie, did the smallholder thing with chickens, horses, sheep, goats blah blah for 20 years got divorced and found my own smaller smaller small holding now just breeding dogs, labs and jacks, please dont ask how many i have never done a head count and siamese and bengal kittens. Have many, many farms with footpaths around me untouched so it virtually feels like my own. I found this site today after googling "damsons" after picking more than i could freeze, cook or turn into jelly! I dont really want to small hold again (grappling with a ewe at my age (40+) is not something i relish and im enjoying actually going shopping and odd weekend away which with a small holding and 20 horses was unheard of. But i do enjoy reading about such things. I am currently looking to install two woodburners, would quite like one to be country style and other plasma. I would love to hear others views and experiences of woodstoves, multi fuel and wood pellets? thanks.
hi my name is Jane
I am from Cork, in Ireland, where i live with my 3 kids and husband.
I too found this blog when looking for a recipe..! like many others i have remained a faithful follower of the blog. I now am the proud owner of a garden which has supplied veggies all summer, and I forage every chance I get, in between making wine (1st yr...bit more to wait!)
I am really excited that a forum now exists and look forward to contributing!
To Danny and Fiona .. well done you!
Belinda, also known in & about the WWW as Frizz1974.
I live in the central western section of New South Wales, Australia. I am only 3 years into the great veggie patch adventure & about 18 monthes into chicken keeping. We have English Staffordshire Terriers. They are a nuisance on the garden front at times. We have just recently had puppies so my yard looks like a tornado hit it. This weeks massivce red dust storm hasnt helped much.
I have been coming to the CSH site for a couple of years now(I think) and I love it so much I usually save it up to read on Sunday with my super early & quiet (kids & hubby still in bed) cup of tea. I found this through a friend on the Jamie Oliver website, she recommended Fiona as a source of knowledge for preserving fruit etc.
Hi I'm Sue from Kendal, UK. Wife to Scottie (David) & Mum to a 29 yr old step daughter who just got married, my 21 yr old daughter & our 11 yr old son who is a lean, mean eating machine! Keeping him full is impossible but it ensures every meal we produce is homemade & plenty of it! We dreamt of life in rural France but the needs of my 88 yr old Mum (who still makes jams & chutneys) have put that plan onto retirement possibility instead! I came across Fiona's blog searching for belly pork recipes & have been here ever since, the latest success was curing bacon. Yum.
Kate. First visit some years ago to share my tomatoe blight pain, been here ever since. Retired due to wobbly pins. Still gardening, albeit on a smaller scale than I would wish, cooking, eating, painting. Family and demanding ginger cat of large proportions.
Hi my name is Mike and for my sins i live in London where i work as a chef in the event catering world.I have also just started up my own private catering business.
I live with my Brazilian girlfriend and we our about to have our first child this december.
I have a small garden where i grow as much vegetables has i can and iam waiting for an allotment. I also spend time foraging and make all my own jams,marmalades and chutneys.i dream of living closer to the countryside some day but with a partner who grew up in Sao Paulo,population 35million its going to be tough to convert her,only a horse will do it
Hi I am Jane and the Mother to two much loved children. A daughter 29 years old and a son 20 years old. Married for 34 years to my gorgeous husband. We have two cats called Bold and Bootsie. We also have a border collie called Basil who keeps me fit!
I found the The Cottage Smallholder blog when I first began blogging a year ago and have been addicted ever since!!
I have a very small garden which I adore, and find that to be my place of peace and contentment......
I have many interests aside looking after my family and much loved pets and these are cooking, gardening, reading, anything holistic, music, computing and much more......
I still have much to learn and will find this forum incredibly interesting and of course it will be lovely to get to know other forum members
Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa
My name is Fiona (aka fn) and I’m the author of the blog attached to the forum. I live with Danny and three Min Pins.
The first thing I think about in the morning is food. I’m passionate about it - from growing vegetables, to cooking, preserving and guzzling the results.
I love gardening and tending my flock of chickens. I’m interested in living a simpler lifestyle and having fun achieving this.
Writing the blog has taught me so much over the past three years. Now the forum is the start of a whole new adventure.
Hello, my name is Pam, in just over a year I will be eligible for my free bus pass (I intend to get some use out of it assuming the government doesn’t axe the concession!). I live in a small Nottinghamshire village close to Sherwood Forest and attempt to grow vegetables in our small garden. Since my job went the way of all flesh a few months ago I’ve enjoyed following Fiona’s blog and I am looking forward to hearing more Tales of a Busy Dehydrator!
Hello all. Im Queenbee and I live in a little village in teesdale , co durham. I grow herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes in my miniscule backyard, but am getting the neighbours together to harrass the council, and get them to provide us with some land to garden and grow food on. Im very keen on hedgerow and wild food foraging, and love a good preserve!!!
Looking forward to learning and sharing with you all.
Amanda and I live with my husband in mid-Devon on a farm owned by us but now farmed by a neighbour ... the best of both worlds! Our two adult children have fled the nest but one lives only a few miles away and the other returns with satisfying regularity. I have a full-time job which, especially in the autumn, definitely gets in the way of "real" life - weekends just aren't long enough when the hedgerows are groaning with freebies!
My husband is one of the few ex-farmers I know who hasn't any interest whatsoever in vegetable gardening but I plan to wear him down over the next decade or two. We are, however, going to make a fruit garden this winter with as many berry bushes/canes/etc. as we can cram into the chosen space. We should save a fortune on husband's addiction to raspberries! Last month, with great ceremony, we picked the one damson that appeared on the tree we planted last winter - I rather hope for more next year.
I love the Cottage Smallholder site (found a couple of years ago when hunting for fruit gin/vodka recipes) and have lost count of the number of times I have recommended it to friends. Do I get a commission?!
I'm Dave and have worked all over the UK but have now settled in Easter Ross - about 35 miles north of Inverness, with my wife (my Belfast Girl) and our two lovely daughters aged 8 and 20 months. For the last three seasons I have been growing and selling organic veg and running a small box delivery scheme but have had to give it up. I am now gardening 4 days a week - Mondays at a local estate, Tuesdays at a local farm where I also do forestry, fencing, ditching etc, Wednesdays at a local etstae where I have bben employed to reclaim a 2.5 acre walled garden from 23 years of neglect, and Thursdays keeping the fruit and veg garden for a local hotel and running a smaller box scheme using my own produce on a Friday.
I love making chutneys, jams. jellies etc again ising my own or foraged produce and came across this site when I was looking for a quince jelly recipe.
hello Rat. Hugh F.W has a nice quince cheese recipe, wich is nice for a change.
Dissolve 1 kilo of sugar in 750mls of water in heavy pan over low heat.
Bring to the boil and boil hard for about 5 mins to make a light syrup
peel and core 3-4 large quinces, about 1 kilo in all.
Grate mince or chop flesh finely, add to syrup bring back to the boil stirring well.
Simmer over low heat, stirring regularly to prevent it burning the bottom of the pan
when it is ready should be thick and grainy in consistancy. and the bottom of the pan is seen when you drag a spoon through it. may take up to an hour
Spread the cheese into lightly greased shallow dishes or trays and place in lowest poss oven for about 3-4 hours to harden further. remove from oven leave to cool completely.
serve with good bread, good cheese and a glass of vino.
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