The Inkpot

The Inkpot Follow

An 18 acre permaculture demonstration farm in South Lincolnshire

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Well folks, after a very long & what seemed like very stagnant at times, 8 months... The farm next door, was officially sold to our new neighbours. It's been quite a journey of rumours & speculation, but for me - it's been inspiring, heartwarming, fruitful & quite beautiful... After just two Facebook posts... you beautiful, wonderful lot pledged nearly half a million pounds in support of me buying next door!! Without much more pushing we had nearly £1 million in pledges, a board of willing trustees & The Biodynamic Land Trust all in agreement & ready to take us on as their biggest community land trust farm buy out so far. Then the Chick's came along, a local farming family - Rebecca the third generation of tenant farmers in a nearby village & her husband Ian, who had a chance & a dream to set up their own farm. There were horror stories of industrial farm plans, streams of lorries & unhappy pigs... we talked, I listened, the plans were for a very high welfare pig farm (yes indoors) but not like I was fearing, no plans to cultivate or poison, plans to plant trees, enhance habitats & open up to the public. So I told them I would support them & not enter into competitive bidding... then nothing happened... months and months rolled by and things moved so slowly everyone here though it wasn't going ahead... so we lay in wait, ready to pounce with bids & pledges & plans... then things suddenly started moving a few weeks ago... but in the final days again it looked like it might all collapse... my heart skipped a little flutter of 'shall we be farming another 93 acres next month..?' But then it all went through. So our dear friend & neighbour Tony will soon be gone, our new neighbours are grinning with excitement and plans, and I am reminded of the ever present principle 'small & slow'... The most wonderful outcome for us, by sticking our heads above the parapet & saying... we can handle more land... Two separate village families have entrusted us with two separate (but adjoining) fields to manage, graze, enhance, and enjoy over the foreseeable, for the handsome fee of a Christmas turkey. So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart for your support & pledges x x x
The sheep were very relieved to get their winter coats removed after a hot week. The fleeces will be taken up to Halifax Spinning Mill and in a few months the second batch of Inkpot Wool will be ready for the knitters & crocheters... This batch is likely to be a light brown shade, thanks to the multicoloured Jacob sheep. Thank you Daniël for the shearing.
The first of the Inkpot honey was extracted from the frames this weekend. Sam & Jack got this kids involved. Lots of sticky finger licking goodness! Thank you bee brothers! x
We've just had a truly lovely weekend at the Inkpot. The Leicester Permaculture Course came for a weekend of designs & wines it seems (never seen a selection of homemade wines on the tea & coffee station before!) They did an edible tour of the gardens, looked at regenerative agriculture methods used here, learnt to make base maps, came up with awesome retrofit designs for existing buildings, ate delicious food produced by Alex & Anna and generally had a lovely time. It was a pleasure, class of 2017! x x
Today lamb #2 was born... a big strong boy to first time Mum Apples... so C names for boys please - chops / cutlet / curry etc have been rejected by the small decision makers.. so old fashioned names if possible please...
Amazing working Wednesday volunteers this week... spring cleaned, de-cluttered & painted the office...and some even came back today to finish off... Then I noticed on closer inspection... our very important grown up white board list of jobs... Jennifer Mae Liberty.... last week when you visited...?
Glut of rhubarb? Rhubarb gin... One of the more fun ways to get one of your five a day x
Day 2 of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course.... who can be a summer sun sector? Already looking forward to next month for days 3&4 x
Lots of fun and great discussions on day 1 of this year's Permaculture course... looking forward to spending another 11 days, over 7 months with this motley crew!
Last call for this years permaculture course at the Inkpot. Starting this weekend... 6 weekends until November of fun, friendship, learning a whole tool kit of stuff to deal with life today & really becoming part of the solution... We have a merry bunch of folk joining in this year... come along for the first weekend to dip your toe in... happy to do exchanges if money is tight x x
Dan Calaby, Inkpot Intern #4, you completed a whole year & what a year... Thank you SO much for everything & all the rest! Dan Calaby - strawbale builder, lime renderer, turkey herder, sheep wrangler, ball of doom inventor, cider tester, shelf creator, mood enhancer, awesome listener, truth teller, farm sitter, tat sorter, wood chopper, sink installer, shower fixer, switch maker, veg pickler, hug giver, truck starter, mat mover, cow loader, mucker outer, compost turner, water carrier, and so much more! We have lost an intern but gained another family member at team Inkpot. We love you dearly... By the power of Greyskull, go with love onto your next wonderful adventure x x
Another fun Working Wednesday at The Inkpot... before you worry, the sheep in the photo is actually very relaxed & comfortable on her human mattress, who fell over while trying to get her to lie down... Today was the glamorous job of cutting poo dreads from sheep bums... poo & wee & a few maggotses.. yum yum