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A New Era

We’re Moving – it’s Definite!

Contracts were exchanged on Friday which is to be followed by us moving on the 15th October as per plan although we had a few scary moments on the way. For now all I have left to do on the plot is to try and get the allotments in some semblance of order for the new tenants and harvest the few remaining crops in the ground.

I hope the new allotment tenants will be as happy as I have been and learn to enjoy an aching back!

Our Smallholding

We’ve now achieved our life long dream, a 4 acre holding in Wales. It’s a few miles south of Caernarfon, near Penygroes in a hamlet called Clogwyn Melyn. We can even see the sea from the house and are assured you can see Snowdon from the top field on a fine day.

Currently a local farmer runs his sheep on the land but eventually we’d like to run our own sheep and keep some pigs as well. First thing is to get moved in and the house in some order. Not least is to get a wood burning stove installed before winter really hits and some urgent roof repairs sorted.

Web Site Plans

Now all this does give me a problem with the web site. The plan (haha) is to create a vegetable plot, restore and add to the orchard area, erect a greenhouse and a polytunnel.

So I’ll continue my diaries, although they’re almost starting from scratch. However, I’ll also be expanding the site to incorporate smallholding. I hope this won’t put our existing visitors off, they can ignore the smallholding stuff if they’re not interested and stick with the growing.

Although we will no longer have a traditional, rented allotment, we’ll still be growing our own vegetables and fruit. Just expanding our repertoire and becoming even more self-sufficient.

We’ll be off-line for a week or so after the move whilst a phone line is installed and hopefully broadband. BT say they can’t sort broadband until the line is in to test. It’s a bit galling really, they’ve just put Infinity into our current exchange and if we were staying we’d have a 20MB super-fast connection. Penygroes isn’t on the list for an upgrade though.

So here’s a few pictures of Fron Dirion, our new life in North Wales.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
16 comments on “A New Era
  1. BOB CLEMENTS says:

    Well done in achieving your lifetime dream, it looka idealic and I’m sure that before too long you will have the place all ready for next seasons’ growing period.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your books,recipes and the diary entries.

    I look forward to continuing reading your diary with the added extras.

    The very best of luck for the future.

    Bob C

  2. John says:

    Thanks Bob – appreciate your comments.

  3. Steve in Salford says:

    The views do indeed look very fine indeed, there are a lot of links that can be made between allotment holders, growing in general and those that have small holdings. When are you going to start on the goat’s cheese and other delectables that are now open to you. Smoking your own bacon and hams, not forgetting sausages and other meat products.

    City life has a lot going for it but living in the country being self sufficient as far as is possible is an ideal many would like to achieve as well.

    Linking in with farmers markets you could supplement your income ready for the day when you both retire. I for one am looking forward to the extended allotment diaries. No surprise with BT and the rurality of the site and the broadband, that is one advantage of an urban life, are there others? Sacrifices have to be made but I suspect your quality of life will be better than the average urban dweller.

    Good luck with the move, you’re nearly there all but the singing and dancing involved with the actual moving day.

  4. Starling says:

    It looks like heaven. I am so pleased for you and Val. Hope everything goes smoothly for you

  5. Neil says:

    Good luck with your new life in wales it looks fantastic. i often pop on your site for tips and ideas so am glad your not running off and closing down

  6. Fran says:

    John, it looks fantastic. Good luck with the move and I look forward to following your new adventures.

  7. Michael Snelgrove says:

    Wishing you all luck.

  8. Michael Snelgrove says:

    P.S. Re: pigs – what’s a ‘modern arc’?

  9. John says:

    A plastic one, Michael 🙂

    Thanks for the kind comments everyone – quite what we’re going to do with it all we don’t know yet.. a real challenge we’re so looking forward to meeting.

  10. Fantastic,
    I hope that the books sales helped in some not so small way, as it would make all of us followers in a small way feel we have helped you achive your dream !

  11. John says:

    The real allotments kept me sane during a very difficult time in our lives as well as helping keep us fed. The web site came from the allotments and the books from the web site.

    So I owe a huge debt to all those who visit the site and buy our books. And we know it.

  12. Colin says:

    Noting the stone walls and the stone pigsty (both probably built from stones dug up from nearby) I wondered how the faithful Merry Tiller would manage.
    And so I tried to pin-point Clogwyn Melyn. Amazingly Google came up with this link
    http://www.mypropertyforsale.co.uk/property100790.html
    that features your new patch.
    It took a little searching to find it on Streetview but for the curious here it is
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=53.061032,-4.261382&num=1&t=h&sll=53.060302,-4.263845&sspn=0.006295,0.006295&ie=UTF8&ll=53.061531,-4.261926&spn=0.002324,0.004619&z=18&layer=c&cbll=53.061531,-4.261926&panoid=tJ-msKvScPQSaTQzj7cw-A&cbp=12,175.52,,0,5
    (I do not know how this will come out in the message!

  13. Colin says:

    The link worked!

  14. John says:

    Thank goodness the Google man went past a while back – we’ve only just got curtains up in the bedrooms to save the sheep’s eyesight!

    I think the Merry Tiller will have to be used with care when I get the vegetable beds going.

  15. Fiona Melford says:

    Hello Just came across your website its great..and look forward to your future blogs on smallholdings. I am in the process of buying a 2 acre field behind us to turn into a smallholding – after 17 years of nagging the farmer!

  16. Jeannie Rodman says:

    I just came across this as well, looking for a site that sells Marsh Daisy chickens. I am from Delaware, on the east coast of the US. Funny thing is, some friends and I had part of what I consider my best holiday ever just near where you settled. Before renting a holiday cottage called the Henty, which was just across from Mt Snowden — a 16th century long house lovingly rebuilt by the owners, and the very last wee house ona wee long lane– we had stayed at a B&B in Arisaig in the West Highlands, where the beach scenes from Local Hero were filmed. Our very well-bred hostess asked where we were going when we left Scotland, and her face, when we said “Oh, to a lovely cottage in North Wales”, just fell to her feet. “North Wales!”, she said. As in “Don’t you Americans like the sunshine at all?” Our time there was magical. Every day a new adventure and discovery — down a weee pathway throuhg the woods I looked across a valley and there was teh ruin of an ancient broch. A bit further took to the the ruins of a cola miners’ village– the slate/stone houses, one room and a fireplace, each atached to the other, with thier roofs fallen in… Well, let’s just say we don’t have that kind of history here. I loved every minute of our spring near Caernarfon. It was a delight I’ll never forget. Now I look forward to enjoying your experience there! There was a house for sale that sounded like it was situated as yours is. I shall imagine it as yours, now!

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