Goats and horses (part 2)

I’m glad I split this post up as it gave me a chance to download pictures from Gosias phone and it has to be said she takes a far better picture than me, and of more relevant things 🙂 Hopefully some of them will fit with the narrative that I have already written.

All of this new planned work is possible as I managed to secure a grant to develop the farm. So the lavender, along with an increase in goat numbers, forms the basis of the business plan that we put forward. We will use the grant to purchase new equipment for the tractor for cultivation and care of the new crops, a milking machine to stop my hands from cramping up during milking, and a good few hundred plants to supplement the ones we have already planted. Welcome to Winkos Lavender Farm! 

We have already converted more of our house cellar into a shop and second kitchen for processing cheese, so with all the extra products that will be coming out of the farm and products from other local artisans, we should truly become a cottage industry, with horse riding?

It has given Malina something to do as she fills bags with dried lavender for the shop, and she is saving the money for that pony 🙂

One thing that we did notice during the last year and a half of Covid is that people really wanted to get out of the cities and whilst we remained cautious about guests at first, as the vaccines rolled out we experienced a steady increase in customers visiting the house, a trend we hope continues. The visitors, not the Covid.

This more than made up for the lack of markets throughout the year and has now reached the point that, with the exception of a few long term commitments, we no longer need to pack up the van, set out and set up our market stall. Of course we are ready to go back to this if required, but if the customers keep on visiting then it fits our life better.

Mentioning Covid reminded me that I took Malina on a road trip to Austria to see family back in October, it was a nice easy drive of about 9 hours down to the south by Gratz. We were spoilt rotten whilst we were there and taken to various restaurants on our short stay. As someone who was happy to get the jab I had my Covid pass on me and the process of showing it to gain entry was smooth as silk. I only mention this as I’m surprised to hear about the resistance that there is in the UK and some other countries. If you don’t want to get jabbed that’s fine by me, I’m more of a risk to you than you are to me, but having a pass to enter places where crowds gather seems like a good idea to me and we didn’t experience any of the downsides that I have read about in the UK press.

By the way Pete…The composting toilets are still going strong, the operation, not the smell, and you would be surprised at the interest they generate by casual visitors. The guided tour of the process can take a good ten minutes and it’s only a matter of time before I do a YouTube video for the one or two people who are truly interested 🙂 Of course this is just one of the things that we do to try and minimise the impact we have on the planet. Solar panels for heating water, solar PV for generating some of our own electricity, growing as much of our own food as possible…I won’t go on, but if I was going to start blogging on a regular basis again I think I would have to start offering tips on how we can all make a difference. The problem is it would be one of many, so would it really be worth it if it didn’t have an audience?

Almost 700 hundred words again, my fault for getting onto Covid, so time to break it down to a third part, I hope you don’t mind? More tomorrow….

Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

22 thoughts on “Goats and horses (part 2)”

  1. I wandered if you would mention the toilet.

    Nice to hear from. You.

    Byw. This January I brought the topic of composting toilet and terra preta to Gambia.

    There They have 25 cm long snails capable of consuming concrete. And even hot compost heap does not discurages those beasts from mating in its volume.

  2. Great reads again Eddy. Love that you have expanded and are doing so well. My wife’s business, Dyfi Wholefoods in Machynlleth, has had to adapt enormously to cope with continuation due to restrictions over the past two years too. But has succeeded admirably. So it’s brilliant you adapted too. I’m currently having my own WordPress site worked on properly by my son’s partner to include future video uploads, one to one well being conversations with our community and Complementary Therapy considerations of how they’ve helped people holistically. Oh! and a cleaner site presentation for visitor experience. Your YouTube mention? Seems you are in that area too. I’ll keep an eye open for uploads. Studying aromatherapy this year. Want to become a therapeutic professional practitioner. So….Lavender? Amazing project. Sorry to have prattled on.
    All the best. I retired from Staff Nurse status in July, so can begin to enjoy posts like yours again. More time and more chilled. Cheers and good fortune to you all.

    1. Great to see you here, I had a quick look and I have lots to catch upon on your site, it looks like you have a lot ion yourself and things are going well. If your wife’s business is anything like ours then you will now both be experts at packing boxes? 🙂 I had a wholefood business back in the late ’80’s selling Bombay mix and the like to students in Leeds, it’s the closest I ever got to been a student 🙂
      I was still buying things from Suma (a workers cooperative wholesaler in Leeds) until Brexit messed things up 😦
      When it comes to essential and carrier oils we have a great supplier that we use based in the UK (with a Polish office) O&3 (oand3.com) well worth checking out if you don’t know of then already.
      Now to catch up on a few of your posts 🙂 Take care and good luck 🙂

      1. Angie, my wife, buys from SUMA big style. Her early business partner left to open up a Vegan shop in the Piece Halls, Halifax. Now closed, but we visited often. Ran the shop for her a few times too when she had need for a holiday break. Yup. My wife was serving from the door. Had to increase staff levels too. Lots of orders via email, internet, etc. But the local community are amazing. Really supported the business. I’ll look into the essential oils supplier. I buy everything from my wife’s supplier Amphora at the moment. Signed up for the Advanced Practitioner in Aromatherapy course because the base course is all about my Staff Nurse learning. Took a 3 year Master’s course in Chronic Illness Management and focused all the modules on Complementary ideologies. I will keep an eye open for your upcoming posts. Good to hear from you.

  3. (1) Be sure that Malina gets a HORSE that’s a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).
    (2) A local cleric likes to talk about his Guardian Angel and Gosia’s Hand Gel.
    (3) An Austrian friend of mine didn’t quite hear what you said upon leaving the country. Was it “Rats! Foiled again!” or was it “Gratz! Spoiled again!”
    (4) As for composting toilet posts, just be sure to put in some toilet humor. That should flush out a few lazy readers.
    (5) Winkos Lavender Farm has a nice ring to it. But since you’re environmentally green, how about Winkos Soylent Greens? Food for thought…

    1. I like the idea of getting the local priest to do some promotional work for us 🙂 But maybe I’ll get him to watch Soylent Green first to preach about global warming…..Very fitting that it is set in 2022! I am looking forward to watching it now 🙂

  4. It’s actually a good idea … you might even consider a book about how others can go about doing some or all that you’ve managed. And, yeah, a video or two to sell the book.

    1. That sounds far too ambitious for me, I might do a post or two though and see how they are received. I just want to take some of the anxiety out of the whole subject of climate change and offer a few little ideas that we can all doo without too much thought and minimal effort.

    1. Thank you Ron, great to see you. You will be pleased to know that we have six hives now, although we are just providing the space, sadly I found I didn’t have the temperament for bees, but they are loving living here 🙂

  5. I am so glad I was present for the near beginning of your blog. Even if you don’t blog regularly … you just continue where you left off and it all seems to flow naturally. I can’t remember how I found you.
    I don’t like hearing/reading about covid either. But it is with all of us and we need to continually be reminded of its presence.

  6. Blog more often, give the tips. Make a difference. If only to one person.
    Malina is growing into such a lovely young girl, and the shop in the house is a great idea. If she keeps filling those bags, she will get her pony, even if it’s only a Shetland!
    Have you ever heard of ‘Norfolk Lavender’? They made a tourist attraction and profitable business from that plant.
    https://norfolk-lavender.co.uk/ We have visited a few times since we lived here. Check out that site link.
    And on an historical note, Hoe Common (in Beetley) was once one of the largest lavender fields in Norfolk. It was dug up when the area was used for troop training, in WW1, and never replanted. Now it is overgrown with bracken.
    Plus Lavender Hill in London, now an urban nightmare, was also a haven of lavender fields that used to attract visitors from the city for the fresh air and smell of the plant, when Wandsworth/Battersea was still countryside in early Victorian times.
    (I am still not getting a composting toilet though!)
    Best wishes, and love to all. Pete. x

    1. That looks like a great spot, Gosia will love looking at this and getting a few more ideas, thank you A nice bit of history as well, Gosia was nodding her head as I reading your comment she has read up so much about lavender is her research.
      I can hear the hoofs in the distance 🙂

  7. Wow you guys have been busy! So chuffed for you that you got a grant and are embiggening your industry, it sounds like it’s going really well. Let me know when you’re floating it on the stock market I’ll be in for some shares 😊. Look forward to tomorrow’s post.

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