Growing Our Own Food
When we first arrived at Corn Helyg, we were keen to start growing fruit and vegetables as soon as possible – but, we had sheep on the field until late December 2010, so we had to be patient and wait.
In 2011, with the sheep moved to other pastures, we’ve put in ten no-dig vegetable beds using organic and permaculture principles. We are growing more of our own food whilst employing where possible no-dig methods. The reason for no-dig methods is due to the impact that digging can have on the soil structure. We are also in the process of building vertical mounds called ‘Hugelkultur‘.
The poly tunnel has now been raised. This will be used to extend the growing season, for propagation and growing a fruit vine.
Raising Our Animals
When we arrived at Corn Helyg we had one ex-battery hen, called Freya, who is still with us, maintaining her ‘mummy-hen’ status. I now have a small flock of 18 hens – a mixture of Road Rocks, Light Sussex, and Pied Suffolk. I also breed Silkies, because I love them so much, and we’ve just added four Indian Runner Ducks.
Apart from Freya, we bought all chickens and ducks from our friends Carys and Andy from Clegir Farm in Llynfaes, near Llangefni.
Freya and Butch above sharing an intimate moment!
We see chickens as multi-functional – part of the principles upheld in permaculture design ethics. They provide manure for the compost heap, which helps to activate the matter and their droppings fertilise the soil. They give us delicious eggs, which benefit the environment in maintaining food production at a local level. They are part of our natural cycle as they eat food scraps, thus reducing the amount going to land fill – not to mention the slugs they eat.
In Autumn, I am keen to grow some naked oats for the hens, as well for our own use, along with straw for bedding and mulch.