The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Update on the first Cottage Smallholder party – Saturday, July 23rd 2011

Tiny cockerel and hens in our pen

Tiny cockerel and hens in our pen

It’s just three weeks to go until our first Cottage Smallholder annual get together. We’re very excited by the prospect of meeting you and putting faces to the names.

Years ago we used to throw a lot of parties. Big affairs that started with lunch and went through the night til dawn. We had a larger lawn and much more energy back then. Someone always fell in the pond. Sometimes there was live music but generally old favourites warbled from the open Velux window in The Rat Room.

Fearing that not many people would actually show up to our first party, we bought ten human sized inflatable Martians from a pound shop and nearly killed ourselves inflating them the night before – the pump was lost somewhere in the barn. We needed have worried. Everyone came and the Martians were the surprise hit – so many people wanted to adopt one.

These parties began at lunch time. Older friends of my mother’s generation and families with small children sat under green and white striped gazebos, whilst the dogs hurled abuse from a bedroom window upstairs. At around 5 pm the wilder guests arrived. There were slow cooked casseroles, crusty bread and a well stocked bar for them. Colourful characters like Gilbert and The Llama danced the rumba.

This summer the Cottage Smallholder party will begin at 1pm on Saturday July 23rd and will go on until late. There’s no need to stay the entire course but we hope many will. People will be popping in throughout the day.

Our cottage is very small but there will be opportunities for artists and craftsmen to show off their work. There will be a swap or buy stand for plants, preserves and crafts. The big highlight of the day is Simon’s (SumpRat on the forum) demonstration of home smoking food. Danny will be instructing groups on the operation of the swing seat to anyone who would like to sit beside the pond and just chill.

Conversation and relaxing fun will be supplemented by an all day cold buffet, DIY barbecue and drinks (sober and soft as well as wine and beer).

It’s many years since we’ve thrown a party and we’ve calmed down a bit since the old days. We’re eager to meet our virtual friends in the real world. People are travelling from all over the UK to join us. We still have some space for more if you would like to come. Please leave a comment or email – fionaATcottagesmallholderDOTcom – as we need to know the numbers for the catering and the bar.

Looking forward to meeting you in July!

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  1. Grams2Lissy

    Hi hope you have a fabulous time. I always love reading your posts (when I get the chance lol) but sadly, I’ve not been visiting your blog as often as I should :o( Well, perhaps I’ll be more frequent now the foraging season is starting to take off…..

    One day, if you make it a regular thing, perhaps I’ll make it – especially if I’m more proficient in my aim to forage, preserve & grow all my own food (or as much of it as I can)

  2. You said you would send a list of places to stay – is that still possible?


  3. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    This isn’t the first time — and it won’t be the last — that I’ve wished I lived within face-to-face distance. Anyone who throws a party with inflatable Martians is someone I want to know — even without all the gardening and food talk.

    Have a blast. Have a drink for me.

  4. Pamela

    Too far to travel from West Cumbria unfortunately and as my sister doesn’t live in Kent any more the only time I head that way now I’m flying over on my way to Geneva. Have a great time.


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