A slight animal diversion this week – I couldn’t resist sharing these pictures of Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets which belong to James’s friend Roger. A full-time smallholder near us in Essex, he raises pigs and sheep on small parcels of land he rents around the villages Great and Little Leighs, supplying the piglets (how tempting) and lambs to other good lifers (and also sells meat for the freezer), plus has chickens and sells the eggs from his house. We’ve talked about adding to our dozen chickens with a few pigs for a little while now and I think this coming spring may be the time we take the piggy plunge. Another source of inspiration is the smallholding I’ve been visiting for a very exciting series in Country Living next year and I’m off there for a day with our photographer Cristian tomorrow to shoot and interview. As well as some magnificent Saddleback sows, a young litter of around six weeks, bees, several flocks of chickens, ducks and geese – and vegetable plots, of course – the owners have a British Toggenburg goat and her kid. We’re going to be there for the milking in the morning, which I’m really excited about (read all about it in the inspiring series in Country Living‘s April-December 2013 issues).
Anyone else tempted to go the whole hog and start a fully fledged smallholding?