The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The run up to Christmas


Photo: Gateside stand in the snow

Photo: Gateside stand in the snow

“I’m more excited about the gate side stand than I am about Christmas.”
Danny remarked as he carefully avoided an icy patch on the country road. We were driving back from the market laden with fruit as we’ve run out of some lines.

I’m delighted about our stand too. Sales have been pretty good since I put out taster pots. I’m thrilled that people are buying our preserves and coming back for more. We are now making flavoured vinegars to sell when the bottle supplier is up and running again in January. I’m also experimenting with making soup out of the dehydrated vegetables so as to be able to sell really tasty packs on the stand.

We can sell all sorts of different things – I’m busy designing egg cosies at the moment and planning cute presents for Valentines Day. I might even have a go at making cards. We’ve sown herb seeds in pots in the greenhouse and now are hunting for another triple Jeroboam Champagne box to expand our empire.

It’s just the sort of distraction that I needed and I’m loving it.

Meanwhile like everyone else we are busy with the run up to Christmas. Our ham has been soaking for three weeks and is ready to be wrapped in butcher’s muslin and hung in the ingle nook fireplace over a smoking log.

There are the village Christmas cards to be delivered on foot.

And I still haven’t made my cake!

  Leave a reply


  1. Toffeeapple

    I’m thrilled that the stand is going so well for you and hope that it will continue to do so. Jacqui recommended ‘Freegle’, in my area we have Freecycle so check that out too.

    Happy Christmas Fiona and Danny, thank you for a lovely blog.

  2. Merry Christmas to you!

  3. “now are hunting for another triple Jeroboam Champagne box to expand our empire.”

    Try your local Freegle group – there are always lots of weird and wonderful things being offered and requested. On my own local group we recently had a unicycle (punctured), torches for fire-eating and clown trousers offered…. You never know your luck!

  4. Gosh doesn’t it look lovely! I wish I could stop and buy something from you. I hope this new venture is a roaring success, and also that you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Very best wishes.

  5. cal rabbit

    Merry Christmas,
    made some sloe gin this september using your recipe and bottled them up. Really enjoying giving them out as christmas presents especially given the seasonal weather.

    Cal R.

  6. Sounds fantastic, Fiona. Good luck to you, and a very Merry Christmas to you all.

    P.S. I’d be interested to know where you get your jars from as well

  7. Where do you get your jars and bottles from? I’m always on the lookout for a good supplier. I have been using Wares of Knutsford as they sell in small batches which suits me, but if I could get a discount on large stocks I’d be interested too.
    I hope to pass by your gate one day so keep yourself stocked up.
    Have a very merry christmas.

  8. Choclette

    So glad your road side stand is a success.

    Merry Christmas

  9. It is a beautiful stand filled with scrumptious goodies. I do not see how anyone could pass it up without being at least slightly tempted.

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Egg cosies are a brilliant thing but people seem to have forgotten them. When I was small we had two knitted rabbits (made by my grandma) in the slightly less traditional colourways of jade green with an orange face and purple and yellow stripes. It was the 70’s!
    Glad your stall is doing so well and really glad it’s given you a distraction. I hope you and Danny have a lovely chrimble and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Keep blogging – it’s a little bit of lovely sanity and inspiration in my day!
    Ruth xxx

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