Tracy and James created this smallholding from scratch. Having searched for the right place to buy for a few years this 20 acre field came up for sale. Initially they wrote it off, too much work – no buildings, no fencing, no tracks, just grass and not particularly good grass at that! It was a complete blank canvas but with one very special redeeming feature – its glorious views! When it failed to sell at auction – they put in a tentative offer and found themselves in 1998 not just expecting their first baby but also new smallholders.
A lot has happened since then. Different animals have come and gone, tracks have been built, barns erected, knowledge accumulated, thousands of trees planted (something of a passion of theirs), 3 children born, and a total of 6 years sleeping in a caravan making it work before finally moving into the eco home they self-built (the environment is another of their passions). You could say they have put blood sweat and tears into their little patch of West Dorset.
This blog follows the forest garden through the seasons, shares recipes loved by Tracy and James, and discusses their work towards holding a National Collection in Echinacea Purpurea and some of the treatments and care products they will share as they develop them using plants. They also share tales of their animals and invite you to stay in the forest garden – glamping is available throughout the year.
The smallholding is an Eden to them and it is the place all the children have grown up with throughout their lives. Tracy and James love to share it with others so do join them as they share about their adventures to make this unique life work in beautiful rural West Dorset.