The Nestledown Project: To set up a micro permaculture plot from a caravan called Nestledown, on a tiny piece of rented land..and take with us all our livestock and rescued animals and continue helping wildlife whenever we can.
About the project
My daughter and I have lived in a tiny rented cottage for the last 8 years. It has been an incredibly happy place for us. Over time we created a tiny, but perfectly formed, permaculture smallholding, where we became increasingly self sufficient, grew almost all of our fruit and vegetables, organically of course!, planted lots of trees, both fruit and nuts, kept our little herd of mixed breed dairy goats (All have flower and plant names) and a selection of free ranging poultry. We also spent a lot of time helping injured / orphaned wildlife. Hand rearing orphaned baby birds and looking after our resident hedgehogs.
We had the privilege to share Riverside with many native species.. including a pair of otters, badgers, kingfishers, wild brown trout, and of course 'our' hedgehoggies and their babies!! Riverside was a sanctuary for so very many animals, as well as for us. However the time has now come to leave our little cottage (the tenancy is due to end)....and start a new life elsewhere.
Easier said than done.....
As anyone who rents a home knows, finding a longterm rental home, especially when you have pets or other animals, is nigh on impossible..so the search has been long and very hard... but we were not prepared to go anywhere without our critters!
So here we are, on the cusp of a new journey... no new house or smallholding...sadly... but we are about to start a very simple life away from our beloved Riverside, in a tiny old caravan (lovingly called Nestledown), on a plot of land that belongs to an incredibly kind friend.
This may not seem like a very exciting project to many, but to us it means we get to stay together...humans and animals.. that alone is very exciting and we shall take our beloved memories of Riverside with us too.
Nestledown will be our new life. A journey into the unknown.. A new beginning... An adventure.....Albeit it a very small one...... and we would like to offer anyone reading this (rather waffly) description, the opportunity to be part of it, by following our journey (we will be blogging as we go..so watch this space). You can help by donating, if you so wish, in order to make the transition as easy as is possible for us, with over 30 animals in tow. We know it is going to be a bit of a struggle to get started...and yes... you read that correctly....over 30 animals ! (Hens, quail, goats, ducks, dogs, cats, rabbits and a barn owl called Sky)
We are not asking for much from each of you, as even tiny donations add up...and every penny counts...... Also...if you cannot donate or do not wish to, don't worry, that is fine..truly! xxx.....but please can you possibly help us in another way, by sharing this little crowdfunder project (and explaining what it is all about) so that others may see it too. You never a know a kindhearted millionaire could take pity on us and we could eventually own our own land! haha..We can but dream ;-) x
So what do we need to do?
Well.....here goes.....we aim to set up a micro permaculture holding on the tiny rented plot...(it is small) .. and I will blog about it from our off grid caravan (the little caravan that will be calling home for the forseeable future). We will be nestled down in Nestledown, doing our thing.... Our new sanctuary! x
So that means, we shall need to make new veg beds, from scratch. Build some compost bins.Convert a manky little caravan into a fulltime warm, not too ugly, comfy home for me, H and our dogs and cats..Paint it green to make it less 'in your face' and more 'us'. Buy in some of our seeds from Realseeds (as I won't be at Riverside to harvest all of my own seed, as some of the biennials won't set seed til next season).We need to build a large woodstore to hold all our logs, in order to fire up the outdoor woodstove cooker (that we have yet to buy too)We need to construct an outdoor kitchen, as space will be very limited within the caravan and I do an awful lot of preserving!We need to build a strong rustic wooden structure to help protect the caravan from the worst of the winter elements and the summer sun, to extend our outdoor living space (a bit like a porch/ overhang) and to make it look less ugly, so it can blend it in a bit (we will plant climbers up it too).We need to purchase a Berkey water filter to enable us to safely drink the rainwater that we aim to catch in all our water butts/ tanks..... and we need to build a basic structure to house a 'b.o.g' standard compost loo
Plus if funds ever allow we could also do with more batteries for our solar power set up..... maybe another solar panel or two...and a mini wind turbine..but that is all in the future.... and a bit pricy! ......so not essential at the beginning.
We shall be taking as much usable timber from Riverside with us, as is possible, and lots of seasoned firewood too..wood that I cut in readiness for this winter, (as we will be using just a logburner to heat our teeny home). We shall take our poultry houses with us....along with hayracks and tools...but we will need to erect some strong fencing to keep Mr Fox at bay.
So there you have it. Sorry it was so long....Yes I know it is yet ANOTHER crowdfunder thingy..*yawn..... and yes I am sure many of you are getting really tired of them popping up on your Twitter and Facebook, if so then PLEASE feel free to skip on by and ignore us..... we promise we won't be the least bit offended. x
To anyone who decides we are worth a quid or two ..or more if you are feeling a bit flush haha! ....and to anyone who wants to be part of this adventure THANK YOU!! Thank you from me.. Thank you from Hannah and a MASSIVE thank you from ALL of the animals that will be coming with us on this new journey... from the bottom of our hearts, human and animal......we really appreciate it.
We hope you enjoy coming along on this journey with us. See you there!!! xxx