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Many of us dream of owning our very own smallholding, it can be a more sustainable way of living, keeping animals and growing fruit and vegetables for fresh, seasonal recipes. So why not make the most of your smallholding with some of these smallholding project and income ideas!
Create an organic vegetable patch to grow an array of kitchen staples plus unusual varieties such as vitelotte purple potatoes, rainbow carrots, candy beetroot, watermelon radishes and cucamelons. Introducing flowers to a vegetable garden not only adds beauty but can help deter pests and attract beneficial insect pollinators such as honeybees. Nigella damascene (‘love-in-a-mist’) and nasturtiums are good flower options.
Plant a herb garden of well-known favourites, plus interesting varieties which aren’t typically found in supermarkets, such as tree onions, garlic chives, Aztec sweet herb, French sorrel, Ginger mint, bronze fennel, Vietnamese coriander and lemon verbena.
If you have an orchard, press the Autumn harvests into apple juice or make delicious cider and vinegar. You can even use the charcoal from the orchard prunings to cook outside. Apples and other interesting fruits – such as medlars and mulberries with high pectin levels – make excellent jellies and preserves. Unlike many fruit trees, you can expect to have a medlar crop in just a few years and start earning from your crop.
Add livestock to your land, a gaggle of geese or a flock of chickens for delicious meat and multi-coloured eggs. Start a local market garden or a fruit and vegetable box scheme to sell your small holding produce and food products. You could even keep bees to sell local honey and beeswax.
If you’re feeling creative, why not grow flowers to sell charming hand-tied bouquets alongside your other smallholding produce? You could experiment with different floral crafts – creating fresh and dried flower wreaths for sale, or drying flowers for natural, biodegradable petal confetti – perfect for weddings and other special occasions. Some flowers are edible and therefore perfect for decorating homemade cakes and desserts.
Build a log store if you rely on wood burners for heating, to ensure you have well-seasoned firewood all-year round. Create a compost bin so that all green waste and animal bedding is transformed into nutrient-rich soil for the vegetable patch – you will also be helping the local hedgehogs that love compost heaps and log piles!
Consider an experience – people love the idea of farming and smallholding. Weekend retreats, day workshops, ‘pick your own’, a pop-up tearoom, even a holiday let or glamping site if you have the space! Grow a pumpkin patch and create the ultimate autumn farm experience for Halloween.
Start a blog, create recipes, and share ideas – people love to read about life on a smallholding!
If you live in a scenic location, you could rent out your paddock or barn for special occasions, and if you have the space, rent out a plot to other farming enthusiasts on a longer-term basis.
Before embarking on any smallholding project, consider how much land and space you need. Invest in quality tools and machinery to help you along the way, this will improve efficiency and productivity. Farm Tech Supplies stock a wide range of quality equipment for any smallholding, including mowers, log splitters, wood chippers, stone buriers and rotovators.
Smallholding can be super busy! So keep your smallholding project ideas manageable by developing your smallholding slowly and take the time to enjoy it, ideally with a cup of tea in hand.