The Secret World Of The Honey Bee
Who knew that honey bees are the best builders? Nicola Bradbear from Bees for Development reveals how they build their parallel wax combs with extraordinary accuracy
Tip the light fantastic
The latest offering from Ifor Williams Trailers is the Single Axle Tipper, which is simply perfect for small-scale farmers
The legacy of The Good Life
The Good Life captured the public’s imagination when it first aired in 1975. On Country Smallholding’s 45th birthday, Jeremy Hobson looks at this and other programmes with a self-sufficiency slant that have captivated urban and rural dwellers alike over nearly half a century
‘The hens took shelter under the pig trailer in the paddock'
A tree Armageddon frightens poultry diarist Julian Hammer’s flock and leaves him with a mammoth clear-up job
Tools of the trade
In the second part of his mini-series on tools that are useful around the holding, Kevin Alviti takes an in-depth look at the iconic scythe, a thistle paddle and forks that were once virtually indispensable to small-scale farmers
The nightclub bouncer of the sheep world
Adam Henson waxes lyrical about the Texel, which boasts such a stocky body that it resembles a box of muscle on four legs
Buying on a tight budget
As demand for smallholdings increases and prices continue to rise, is there a way to achieve your dream without forking out a fortune? In the first part of a new mini-series, Liz Shankland explores the possibilities
Crazy for crafts
In an ordinary back garden and single paddock near Kidderminster, Kay Dalloway has created both a thriving smallholding and a successful fibre business — all while working full time for the NHS. Helen Babbs drops by to find out about her ventures
A little preparation in the autumn months will help to make the transition into winter smoother and put your garden and tools on a better footing come the spring, says Stephanie Bateman
1975 And All That
Country Smallholding is 45 this month. To celebrate, Jeremy Hobson takes a look at some of the changes — both good and bad — to small-scale farming over that near half-century
Going Nuts For Walnuts
In this extract from his book, The Walnut Tree: Tales of Growing and Uses, Charles Hulbert-Powell explains how he planted walnuts on his farm
A Bad Workman Blames His Tools!
In the first of a new mini-series, Kevin Alviti looks at the tools that have made themselves indispensable on the smallholding through the centuries and into 2020
Grab life by the horns
Horned sheep are easy to handle, hardy and relatively self-sufficient. Carefully managed, they are fantastic for smallholdings, suggests vet Charlotte Mouland
Fit for farrowing?
Care of the sow before and during farrowing is vital for a healthy litter, as is after care of the piglets, as Liz Shankland explains in the first of two articles for newcomers to breeding
The work of arboriculturists is varied and specialised. Debbie Kingsley finds out more from tree surgeon and smallholder Bruce Macfarlane
Setting up shop
Farm shops showed their value during the coronavirus crisis, partly feeding the nation for those early months of lockdown. But what would it take to set one up on your holding? Charlotte Cooper opens the door on the subject
Don't sit on the fence!
When keeping chickens in a garden, it’s important to choose fencing that’s not only fit for purpose, but also pleasing on the eye. Andy Cawthray recommends thinking through all the options before making this big investment
Breaking the ice
Icelandic sheep are a true multi-purpose breed, producing meat, milk and wool, says Tim Tyne, who was recently asked to judge Icelandics for an online show
A quick buck
It is easy and fast to grow and is also a weed suppressant, soil improver and it can be used to make gluten-free flour, so what’s not to like about buckwheat
'Although a male, Pepper was bottle-fed as a kid and is pretty docile'
Stephan Price didn’t keep animals while living near Bristol, but since his move to Vimoutiers, France, in 2017, a chèvre des fossés goat has worked its way into his affections and has proved an effective vegetation-clearing machine
From Fashion To Feathers
Higher Oak Farm’s poultry business has been flying during the Covid-19 crisis. Helen Babbs ‘visits’ the father/daughter partnership via WhatsApp and discovers how the duo who both once worked in sportswear is keeping up with demand
The big move
Events this year have persuaded more people than ever that relocating to the countryside is for them. Liz Shankland looks at the implications for the rural property market — and the expectations of potential buyers
Sale of the century?
The ring is king, as the saying goes, but Covid-19 has forced livestock auctions to go online and this could mark a permanent — and welcome for some — change to the way we buy and sell animals. Charlotte Cooper reports
Home sweet home
As the nights start to draw in, the time is right to consider where and how to house animals on the holding for the cold and wet winter months ahead. Stephanie Bateman looks at the options
Toasting Old Speckled Hens
In his series on birds that breed true, Grant Brereton takes a look at the distinctive ‘paint-splattered’, tricoloured plumage varieties that also boast a royal connection
Why not join the fold?
Poultry-keeping is going full circle as the many benefits of traditional methods, such as ‘folding’ poultry on grassland and in stubble fields after harvest, are once again appreciated, says Jeremy Hobson
‘Without fail Broody Hen purloined her extras until we had a brainwave and gave her back two rubber eggs'
There is a summer of discontent in diarist Julian Hammer’s hen house as Broody Hen causes upset when ‘pinching’ others’ newly-laid eggs while also falling out with the ‘babysitter’
Grab an eight-pack
Grab an eight-pack Small, rectangular hay bales still have their place today, as do the labour saving devices used to bring them in from the field, says Kevin Alviti
Food for thought
Poultry eat a surprising quantity of food, so why not grow some of your own, suggests Andy Cawthray
Natural beekeeping is gradually becoming more accepted and popular within UK beekeeping circles. In the first of a new series, Nicola Bradbear, director of charity Bees For Development, explains what the bee-focussed term really means