Land clearing

Just before Christmas we were kindly given ¬£750 from Simply Health in Andover. We are using the money for our latest project which is to clear the waste land behind our log cabin. We plan to create a lovely usable spot with fruit trees and wild flowers. We’ve had fun working together on the project. In the picture, Jodie, Dan and Andrew laughing at Helen who has just fallen over whilst pulling ‘old mans beard’ (the weed that is!).

Fallen over after the vine she was pulling snapped! Oops
Fallen over after the vine she was pulling snapped! Oops
Laughing at the manager Helen who has fallen over!
Laughing at the manager Helen who has fallen over!

Ewe catching!

Nothing like a bit of rugby tackling to get you moving in the morning! It’s always entertaining to watch when we have to catch our sheep. On this occasion she was hopping around with real discomfort. When we finally managed to catch her she had a wedge of hay between her hoof, problem easily resolved.


Jodie’s chick project…..

One of the members who attends Origin wanted to have a go at hatching her own eggs. Jodie washed the incubator, set it to the right temp and has carefully nurtured the eggs for 21 days, regularly checking the incubator has enough water and is warm enough. Last weekend 4 beautiful chicks hatched. Jodie will now look after them until they are introduced to our 80 hens. Very eggciting!!!





New Year

Happy New Year everyone. This is our second full year and we are looking forward to lots of progress at the smallholding.
Jarred and I are due to have our baby boy in May so he will be a new addition to the Origin team here at the smallholding!
We will be taking on our first staff member in a couple of months as I will need some help when the baby arrives. We are in the process of recruiting now, watch this space.
Hope you like the picture of our little dog Ebony with our not so little pig…. So much for them being micro pigs!


Latest edition to Origin

Last week two out of three of our eggs hatched out, we hadn’t realised they were due so it was a lovely surprise. We weren’t really expecting them to be fertilised. This week we will put 20 eggs in. Not all will be fertilised as we only have one cockerel and 70 ladies. In order to get all fertilised eggs you should have one cockerel to 15 hens but we are quite happy with just one. Who knows if some of our chicks turn out to be boys we might end up few more!




End of the day

Every day we let all the animals out to roam around together. Whilst the pigs love the company of the sheep, following them where ever they go, the goats enjoy finding new patches of hedgerow to nibble and the chickens make dust baths in the parking area! Even the rabbits run wild!
At the end of the day the members shake a bucket of food and the animals all follow. Then they go back to their cosy homes for the night, worn out from the excitement of the day!

William’s birthday BBQ

Last Friday we had a lovely BBQ lunch to celebrate Will’s birthday. We had so much fun. In spite of the BBQ looking a bit on the smokey side, the members cooked the meat beautifully and there were no hollow sausages! Will’s father came along for lunch too. He is very proud of William as he has just moved away from home into his first house. He coped with the move so well and is loving living independently with his new house mates!

Camping at the smallholding

Some of the members and staff pitched tents and camped at Origin on Friday night. Members, staff and volunteers enjoyed a delicious BBQ, everyone helped by making different dishes using the produce grown and harvested at Origin. After toasting marshmallows on the fire and saying good night to all the animals we *hit the hay*! We were woken at 5.20am by the rooster. Lovely to see the hens out roaming in the summer sun so early. We will definitely camp at the farm again but next time we’ll bring ear plugs!