Prior to our big move, we had turned vegan. The main reason was our health. Our current life had become a constant round of suffering. From severe heartburn, to IBS, to joint pain and headaches. Stress, to allergies, to excema and back pain. We were only in our twenties but we felt about eighty. Something had to change, and that was our diet. We eliminated meat and dairy, processed food and any chemicals. The change in our bodies was so dramatic that we literally didn't know what to do with ourselves. We later educated ourselves on animal welfare and understood the added bonus of being a vegan. Animals and the environment don't have to suffer either.
When we moved to our farm, we knew that we had our work cut out. Many of the buildings were in a poor state of repair, and to make matters harder, we wanted everything to be animal free. We wanted a 100% vegan organic farm - with no animal byproducts or chemicals.
We also had to do a lot of research into alternative growing methods. A LOT. Ten years later, we are still learning. I'm certainly no expert in this field.
The first thing we did was to start up a 'green' composter, which suplies us with 'vegan' compost to fertilise our land. Alone, we couldn't make nearly enough compost for our needs, so we started up a little system. We provided our neighbours with a bin for any vegetable waste and collected it daily to add to our own composter. In return for their effort (which really is only remembering to save the waste), we provide seasonal fruit, homemade jams, and our excess vegetables.
In that first year whilst we were busy digging vegetable plots, planting trees and clearing the land, we were also renovating our fantastic farm house which dates back to the Tudors.
Here is the oldest part of our farm house. We installed new windows and repaired a lot of the brickwork.
By the time our first child was born we were settled into our new life. The old life was just a hazy memory - something we would rather forget
Now we are eating about 80% of our own produce (depending on the season),and we feel great!
We saved a dog that Ava named 'Veggy'. He was beaten by his previous owners and now lives a life of luxury on our farm.
We rescued some battery chickens too. They were on the way to the slaughter house and had known nothing but cruelty and life in a tiny cage. I will never forget the day these chickens stepped outside for the first time. They were literally born again.
These days we are enjoying the delights of autumn sunshine, our new baby and homemade sugar free jam. Wonderful!