Love letters from Black Grove Farm xxx

Little yurt in the big woods.

Hello from Rosie at Black Grove Farm. I am writing this from Saoirse’s ikea Kura bunk bed. There is a blanket hanging from the yurt rafters (about an inch above my head) to give the illusion of privacy and I have her permission to use this space as my ‘office’ today.

I love writing and I miss all those letters I used to send and receive to friends while at University and from my Dad, sister and Uncle. I miss all the emails they turned into (yes, I’m in my late thirties!) and most of all I miss telling stories to my friends to make them laugh. So this blog will be like a love letter to all those friends and pen pals I miss, you know who you are (I should hope my family do anyway!)

Why don’t I just write to them, email, facebook, whatsapp, text or even speak to them on the phone or God Forbid actually see them in real life? The reason will become clear but in short…life got very busy and stressful.

But it also got very interesting. Which is why I have the gaul to think that not only friends but the general public may actually read this blog where I try to document what daily life is like, the ups and downs of living off grid in a yurt with two small children , while starting a community farm from scratch.

I’ll try to talk about the different aspects of this ‘journey’ in balance (promise to try not to use this word again. Gak.) I guess they would be…

  • Living very close to nature in our woods 1km from the access road.
  • Living in a small space 6m diameter yurt
  • Living without running water using 120l of water a week which we carry in.
  • Using solar energy for technology or in our case at the moment not using it because its not working.
  • How kids fit into all this.
  • Planning permission…’Is that even allowed!?’ I hear you ask.
  • Starting a farm from scratch on some arable fields with no infrastructure and a very low skills base.
  • Starting a community business, working with other people for a shared goal.

 

Hmm what else?

  • Career transition..we were teachers but want to be able to work close to home, own our own means of production, be part of the local farming community and our kids to be able to come to work with us.
  • Trying to do this but still be functioning members of society. Go to work, take kids to schools and activities and do all those things normal people do.. like go to weddings.

 

I’ll find a way of signposting these different aspects so that people can search for stuff if they are silly enough to decide to do anything remotely similar. For the record…don’t do it the way we did!

We started with a lot of naïve optimism and excitement but a very negative bank balance, no clear plan of action and 1 toddler and 1 baby on the way. This is the hardest jou…ahem I mean..time of my life and I think Jon would concur. I mean it’s been very hard for a sustained period of time and it looks like there will be no respite for years to come.

But, I am still excited to live every day, problem solving my way through every daily task like a ninja. The plus side is that I will hopefully have lots of funny stories to tell you and other people might learn from our experience ( as well as all the other things I am grateful for in my life). If I get too maudling, resentful or pathetic please someone write a comment to get me back on track. In fact, please write comments to let me know what you would like to hear more about. I will add as many pictures as I can but just the thought of it is making me want to get back under the duvet. It will become clear why technology might be our greatest hurdle at the moment.

I used to love these lifestyle blogs when I lived in my shared flat in London doing my permanent job and dreamed this dream. Maybe they inspired me to take some huge steps that got us here. And however hard it has been, I’m glad we did.

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