When I was looking through old diaries to do THIS POST a week or so ago, I came across a list of ideas I had made in 2010, under the heading of Something To Sell Everyday Of The Year.
At that time we had just decided not to move to Wales but to stay here and build a new kitchen extension. We had plans that C would be able to give up full time work sometime in the next few years if we could increase what we did here.
I thought I would share what I wrote then and what we actually do now.
2010 idea 2014 Actuality
Eggs = All year Our best plan, steadily increasing
number of hens to
produce a good income year.
Kindling = Nov - March We don't have enough wood to
do this now and didn't sell enough
to make it worthwhile in 2011/12
Daffodils = March/April We have one bed of daffs but this
only makes us about £10 a year and
ties up the bed all year so we
plan to give up on them soon
Herbs= April/May When I had a large herb garden
I could pot up seedlings and take
cuttings and grow from seed but
the income was small for the work
and space needed. So this has dropped apart from
pots of parsley.
Cabbage= February/March We never did do this as too much space is needed
Gooseberries= June/July I grew more bushes from cuttings and this provides
a really good income.
Broad Beans= June/July We just grow one bed and sell a few.
New Potatoes= June/July We grow 4 beds - they sell quickly.
Courgettes= June/July/August 12 plants each year give us plenty to sell
Cucumbers= Jun/Jul/Aug/Sept 8 plants give 2 to 4 to sell each day but not often
carrying on into September.
Tomatoes=Jun/Jul/Aug/Sept Best seller. It was worth investing in another
poly-tunnel to grow more.
Runner Beans= Aug/Sept 2 beds but starting to sell in July. These are good
Squash = Sept/Oct I've increased the number of plants each year as
they sell better now than they did. We can grow
out on the field so have room for them. They carry
on into November if we have enough.
Cooking Apples= Oct/Nov Not to be relied on, some years good, some not.
Pumpkins = October/Nov. They sell slowly once Halloween has passed. Useful
for income late in the year.
Chutney = Nov/December I discovered that I didn't like making chutney enough
to make dozens to sell! I tried for one year.
Bay branches/Holly/Teasels =Dec We've never had enough to do this. I tried spraying
teasels with gold spray one year, but they didn't sell.
There was no mention, back in 2010 of peppers,French Climbing beans and raspberries. We only had room for peppers to sell once we got the third poly-tunnel up.
Raspberries became a big seller because we replaced some old blackcurrant bushes with raspberries, they are very popular and a really good income through July.
Our first try at French Climbing beans was only a few years ago, but this year we have a whole bed and they should be a good income before the runner beans.
It's interesting to see how our plans changed over the four years between thinking about making a living off the land and actually doing it.
The campsite too has also played a big part in allowing us to make an income from our smallholding. We had to spend on shower and new toilets but have already got our investment back by having more visitors.
Thanks for comments yesterday