Introducing Netherton Farm

Welcome to my first blog entry. Over this series I hope to outline what we are planning to do and what we actually do. Equally important will be what we try to do that becomes a learning experience.

So firstly a bit about us and the site. My permaculture journey began whilst I was an undergraduate in the early nineties. I saw a piece on a news program of a woman on the Western Isles doing permaculture and thought it looked interesting. I started to research into it, with very little information as the internet wasn’t what it is today. I eventually got hold of some books and after nearly 25 years finally got my Permaculture Design Course on a fantastic course run by Aranya in Norfolk last year. I have been on this journey with my wonderful, supportive (and understanding) wife Karla for most of this and we often discuss what we both want from the site.

 

View across the orchard with some hen houses.

That brings us up to the present. We are now the proud owners of a LAND learner site with aspirations of becoming a LAND centre and even running our own courses. As well as this, I hope to develop the range of vegetables, fruits and nuts, nursery stock as well as animal based produce for sale in the local area.

 

Looking North into what will become the kitchen garden. This area looks due south and gets sun most of the year. The walls protect against the north winds and will give somewhere to grow fruit trees and bushes. The covered area in the left of the picture will house some chickens to provide us with eggs and lots of compost.

The site itself presents some interesting challenges. Obviously the latitude means that species selection is very important. We already have a mix of fruit trees and bushes, and are looking to increase this to include nuts, nitrogen fixers and fodder trees for the livestock.

 

The Soay sheep grazing in a field in the south west corner of the property. This will be planted up with tree lanes and grazing in between.

We have plans to redevelop the old cattle byre into a learning centre using strawbale construction to hold courses and also accommodation for visitors, volunteers and people attending courses. In due course we will be opening to the public with open days and tours to showcase not just what we are doing, but also promoting permaculture in the area.

I hope this blog gives a glimpse into us and our plans. Hopefully as things move along I can tell you all about it and show the site as it progresses. Thanks for everyone who takes a look, please feel free to leave a comment.