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Rhomboid Acres

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 26th April 2010, 1:17 pm

Thought it might be interesting to start a thread documenting the development of our little plot, and I am far too lazy to set up a blog.

The story so far:

Friday: we got a call from a farmer who had seen our small ad on the noticeboard at a local agricultural merchants. We were quite surprised as we have been advertising for land wanted for years and never had any response at all, but perseverance yadda yadda. He said he had a plot of land that was detached form his main farm and just used for hay that might be suitable for us.

Saturday: Went to see it. Walked around. Noted issues with lack of fencing, security, lack of water supply, nearby houses. Went home, agonised over it. Went back, looked at it again. Went home. Looked at costs for fencing etc on internet. Agonised more. Drank too much. Slept on it.

Sunday: Phoned farmer back, made an offer he didn't refuse. Rented field. Drank a bit more. Looked at rare breed piglets on internet. Looked at all the stuff we would need to buy. Drank enough for the prices to remain fuzzy and not puncture balloon of elation.

Today: Spoke to DEFRA, got comprehensive list of paperwork stuff we have to do.
Spoke to Rural Payments Agency, and applied to register ourselves as an Agricultural Holding.

Contacted water board re getting running water to site.

Properly calculated cost of gates and fencing. Sat down heavily. Had a large glass of red wine (which I had open as was cooking with, honest). Looked at figure on paper again. Still makes me vertiginous. Have a feeling this is something I am going to be getting used to over the coming months.

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Post by Adrian on 26th April 2010, 1:48 pm

So pleased that you have decided to share this, was hoping that you would want to, but loathe to ask as I know just how flaming busy you are going to be...

Can't wait for photos...

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Post by polgara on 26th April 2010, 3:51 pm

You & me both Badger, it is so exciting to even be a long distance onlooker.

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Post by Jaded Green on 26th April 2010, 7:07 pm

I am really looking forward to following your journey Billy
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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 26th April 2010, 9:05 pm

I'm soooo excited

Looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing it :cheers:
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Post by danksshady on 26th April 2010, 10:04 pm

oooh lucky you Billy - thanks for sharing with us :cheers:
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Post by Sparhawk on 27th April 2010, 1:46 am

Preparing notebook & letter to santa...

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"the luxuries of civilisation satisfy only those wants which they themselves create..."
The Worst Journey In The World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

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Post by MrsC on 27th April 2010, 7:44 am

Very very excited for you Billy and also looking forward to photos!

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Post by Aberlemno on 27th April 2010, 8:33 am

I am so pleased for you as you deserve this and I know you will succeed. I'm too old to start over, but I can enjoy your trials and tribulations and triumphs vicariously. A word of advice - when buying fencing, anything in fact, shop around laddy, shop around.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 27th April 2010, 2:45 pm

Got our Agricultural Holding number through from the RPA today. that was quick! Guess that means we are officially smallholders now.



some very distant Rhomboids in a field of their own.

had first run-in with neighbours today as well - went down to do some measuring for fences and a woman came storming into the field demanding to know what we were doing there, and when we told her we were renting it she got very cros and said she had tried to rent the field but not been able to, and there was no way we could use it for animals as "everyone" used the field as a short cut and let their kids play there.

Hmmm not a flying start. Maybe some barbed wire, electric fence and 300lb pigs will dissuade people from using it thus.

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Post by polgara on 27th April 2010, 4:00 pm

Sounds like a couple of notice boards are needed.
May be worth visiting the neighbours, with Leo & Bea and telling them, nicely, what you intend to do, & that it will no longer be a shortcut or childrens playground. Perhaps even suggest that you may be selling eggs etc lots of people will go miles for fresh free range eggs. Lets just hope this was a one off.

Pol

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So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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Post by Jaded Green on 27th April 2010, 4:04 pm

Oh dear. Does sound like a visit with adorable children might be a good idea.

Do I gather that this piece of land has just been open for all and sundry to wander around?

Interesting that she completely failed to understand that it is now your land and these are your plans and that she has to fit in with them, not you with her and other people's previous appopriation of the land.

I wonder why she was unable to rent it?
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 27th April 2010, 4:37 pm

Jaded Green wrote:
I wonder why she was unable to rent it?

The farmer from whom I am renting is a proper old Somerset country fellow. When he first phoned up he asked all about what we wanted to do with the land and was really enthusiastic about our plans for rare-breed animals and traditional methods and so on. I suspect it was that which decided him to rent to us (and the prospect of getting some decent rare-breed pork and some of our hams and bacon etc - he hinted strongly about how much he loved proper bacon etc but it is so hard to get hold of nowadays etc - which is quite fair enough, I am more than happy to keep him in the occasional bit of bacon etc - I am sure having him onside will be worth a lot).
I suspect that Mrs Toffee-nose wanted the field as a playground for her children and he was less inclined to her.

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Post by Sparhawk on 27th April 2010, 8:53 pm

What about a sign...

WARNING ADDERS!!!

I would think that would cure most problems... Twisted Evil

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"the luxuries of civilisation satisfy only those wants which they themselves create..."
The Worst Journey In The World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

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Post by MrsC on 28th April 2010, 9:24 pm

Hmmm - sounds like the neighbours may be a tad "challenging" Hopefully a visit from three little Rhomboids (and dad) may help matters!

(BTW - complete aside, Sainsburys vouchers should be arriving with you very soon Billy)

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 28th April 2010, 9:27 pm

Super, thanks Mrs C.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 18th May 2010, 7:57 pm

Well, been a couple of weeks of not much activity while sorting out small print etc. Mrs Neighbour has phoned my landlord every day offering to double whatever we had offered and all manner of things. Haha. No way lady!

Anyway so today, we shook hands and exchanged cash and I am just off to move my first livestock onto the land: 15,000 bees captured in a mega swarm...

fingers crossed I don't have a car crash on the way. the idea of 15,000 angry bees loose in a car is not good.

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Post by Dandelion on 18th May 2010, 8:42 pm

But if you survived it could make a fantastic film script.....

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 18th May 2010, 9:12 pm

Whew, well I'm back and in one piece and not stung to bits. It was a tad nerve-racking I have to admit. This was a LOT of bees. A Tub-trug full of bees when the swarm was captured. Got them into a brood box during the day and put a base under and cover board on top but beehives don't actually click together - the parts just rest on top of each other. Had wrapped some wire round to keep them together and bungee-octopussed it to the floor in the boot, but was still nervous at every pothole and bump. 15,000 angry bees loose in a confined space and there would be no surviving.
I wore my full bee-keeping fig all the way as a precaution, which caused some alarm among other motorists and pedestrians every time I stopped at lights etc. From a distance, bee-keeping outfits look rather like NBC suits, which coupled with my very cautious driving must have looked quite strange.

Axis of evil neighbours were out in force at the holding and chuntering agogo (well I presume, being 300 yards distant I have to guess the chunter). I may have played up the 'handling contaminated nuclear waste slow motion movements' a little just for them, and gave them a slo-mo spaceman wave on my final trip back to the car. Hahaha. Little do they know. My landlord and his wife have nothing but disdain for them and were egging me on to annoy them as much as possible. Offered the loan of a muckspreader... I may wait until August bank holiday and full BBQ weather for that though.

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Post by Jaded Green on 18th May 2010, 9:32 pm

I did wonder as I read your post whether you would be wearing full protective kit!

Good luck with it all.

Is your land open - is there any danger of the neighbours interfering with things?
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Post by polgara on 18th May 2010, 9:59 pm

But who would be stupid enough to interfer with a swarm of bees.. only an idiot.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 18th May 2010, 10:04 pm

The land is semi-open on two sides at the moment - big gaps in hedges where people take their dogs for walks etc and there is a public footpath along one side.
One of the objections from the locals is that they like to walk their dogs there, have picnics, let their kids play there etc, and they did not move to the countryside to see agriculture form their back gardens...

HAHAHA.

well guess what. Imma abandon all my compassionate farming principles and throw up a 600 bird intensive battery unit just fer the hell of it...

actually no. But I am going to fence off the side of the public footpath - still allowing the public to foot on their path but not allowing deviation from it. I am not legally allowed to use barbed wire on this one, but it will be plenty tall.
The other open sides I am fencing within the curtilage of my property - ie I am fencing on the inside of the hedges, and hard against the driveway where there is private access across the land. And I shall be taking no prisoners with the weapons grade razor wire rolls and electrification.

I am hoping that the locals will come to enjoy our rare breed pigs and gambolling lambs and quacking ducks and all that. Hell, i'd love to have that as the view from my back garden. But if they don't... I have access to machinery that hurls ordure 50 metres into the sky and, ultimately, control their vehicular access to their properties. They do not have legal right of way. Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Pol, not even an idiot interferes with bees twice. I have insurance. They are trespassers.

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Post by polgara on 18th May 2010, 10:09 pm

Thats what I mean Billy.

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 18th May 2010, 10:16 pm

Hurrah, Billy
Snotty neighbours indeed. How very dare they. Wait til some common Northern lass comes down there swinging a black pudding Twisted Evil
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Post by polgara on 18th May 2010, 10:27 pm

The more I think about it the more I wished I was one of those neighbours. I would be asking to help in exchange for a few bits.

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