Lonesome Oak Hamstede Project. Self Reliant smallholding.
A self reliant based smallholding that grows & raises quality produce for it's own consumption, thus drastically reducing food miles.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede Project. Self Reliant smallholding.
A self reliant based smallholding that grows & raises quality produce for it's own consumption, thus drastically reducing food miles.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede Project. Self Reliant Organic Natural Smallholding For Everyone.
A "Not for Profit" enterprise aimed at bringing the local community together and to supply locally grown and raised fresh produce to them.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede started out as a part time small holding producing a small quantity of vegetables for the table. Over the past three years, as the hamstede continued the journey on it's quest of becoming self reliant food producer, it was felt that the calling to be a part of the movement that is bridging the gap between the consumer and the food producer was great. The hamstede also wanted to make sure that it produced the healthiest food possible and that it educated people on the differences between how most food is grown and how the hamstede believes it should be.
Not everyone has the confidence to sell their family home and start a smallholding, living "The Good Life", but by running instructional hands on courses for those interested people the hamstede hopes to spread the word that every one can produce their own fresh produce, no matter how much land you have, from a back yard to an acre, the way the hamstede grows and raises produce can be adapted to any size of plot.
The hamstede wants to expand the operation in order to better serve the communities around it via a CSA scheme. In order to do this, once established, the Lonesome Oak Hamstede will be running courses for novices and experienced people who want to learn how the hamstede grows and raises it's produce for consumption. Not only will the hamstede continue to grow vegetables and raise rabbits for meat, but it will also expand to include pastured free range eggs and pastured fed free range whole chickens for the table. This will also allow the hamstede to implement a permaculture system.
Once the project is implemented and established the project will further build community support by having the local residence helping out on the hamstede and being able to mingle together while working or on coffee breaks to chat and rebuild the lost community spirit. This will pave the way for local schools to visit and to learn from where their food is produced.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede, when established in the forth coming year will be able to invite people to come and visit us to learn how to grow and raise there own produce on a small plot of land. Using a combination of modern technology, traditional methods, heirloom crops and the know how gained from trial and error, the hamstede will demonstrate to it's visitors a method of producing produce on a small scale from a back yard to a larger small holding, allowing the visitor to learn from their time at the hamstede how it is possible to produce fresh produce and reduce food miles to zero.
Once established the hamstede will be able to sell it's produce to the local community, who rather surprising the vast majority are all retired old farmers who due to their age are all unable to grow and raise produce. By supplying the local community food miles are reduced, secondly our deliveries of a "in season" weekly produce box will have the benefit of these locals being visited by a person on a weekly basis, this will help the local community as most of these elderly people get no visitors as their families live hundreds of miles away in the big cities.
Thirdly the hamstede will produce it's own heirloom seeds which will be handed on to fellow interested people who can use them to grow their own produce.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede is a "NOT FOR PROFIT" enterprise, the aim is to demonstrate and to instruct both novice and experienced gardeners, smallholders and any one interested in how to grow and raise your own fresh local non modified environmentally safe produce on a small plot of land
After having been given the opportunity to work an allotment the family grew seasonal vegetables and fruit, much to our surprise homegrown fruit and veg tasted better than the supermarket purchases; over the preceding decade and a half, Lonesome Oak Hamstede came about. Through hardship, illness, diseases, deaths, setbacks, knock backs and recession Lonesome Oak Hamstede is where it is now.
“Hamstede” is not a misspelling but is the Old English name for family small holding where animals and crops are raised to feed the family, it goes back to Anglo Saxon era.
Upon the death of my partner, from cancer, the dream was continued as a memorial to her. Now running Lonesome Oak Hamstede as a one man outfit the plan of becoming self reliant continues! After three years on this property experimenting and planning, the project is nearing its fruition of being self reliant on food production.
Unfortunately the sponsor pulled out, due to health reasons, at short notice leaving Lonesome Oak Hamstede project with no capital to develop and see the project through to fruition, this is where you as supporters can dearly help the project remain on track. Your kind and generous support will enable the hamstede to rebuild local community spirit, make available local fresh produce to the residents and to enable the public to come and learn how to produce their own fresh produce on a small plot via weekend courses, all set up when the hamstede is established.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede started out on a small allotment where seasonal vegetables where grown part time mostly at the weekends after regular work, for the family consumption. Over the past several years the journey has continued to the point now where Lonesome Oak Hamstede is approaching the point of being self sufficient in supplying the basic food to feed the family.
The project is to produced the healthiest food possible in a cost effective way and also to demonstrate and educated people on the way the food is grown and raised.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede are raising funds to setup a permaculture small holding. It all started with being accepted as an allotment holder twelve years ago. After discovering how nice it was to eat fresh home grown seasonal vegetables it was decided to try and grow a steady supply of vegetables for consumption. Then as a family we started thinking "Wonder what else can be grown?".
That thought process led to looking for a homestead or vacant land that was affordable. The market for such land was scarce and out of the price range. So, with the advice and research it was decided to move to a more farm friendly atmosphere. That was ten years ago!
Now three years into the project, Lonesome Oak Hamstede has gained valuable experience, knowledge, and ingenuity to run a small holding producing food for it's own consumption all year round. Extensive research and experimentation with various plants and methods of growing has resulted in the long term plan of food production on a small scale with little or no effect on the environment.
With your help and support Lonesome Oak Hamstede plan to demonstrate how it can grow and raise environmentally and efficacy produced food all year round on a small scale cutting down on food miles. This demonstration can be learned about on the forth coming web site and by pre-booking a visit to the hamstede to learn from hands on demonstration course on how to do certain tasks. You do not have to be a gardener or a small holder to learn techniques, every one who is interested can lean how to grow and raise fresh produce on a small plot of land.
The aim of the project set up by Lonesome Oak Hamstede is to demonstrate the possibility for home owners to raise and grow their own fresh food produce no matter how small the property is. The hamstede hopes, with this campaign, to spread the word about what Lonesome Oak Hamstede is doing in regenerative food production.
What Lonesome Oak Hamstede is Doing
Lonesome Oak Hamstede is attempting to produce it's own high quality nutritious food and lower the food miles to zero by growing and raising produce in an organic, environmentally and humane method of food production for self consumption.
Eventually, when established, the hamstede will be able to offer it's fresh locally produced produce to the locals thus reducing the food miles; this will happen through a community venture scheme, where the <hole community can share in fresh produce and come and visit the hamstede to see how their food is ethically and environmentally produced.
To achieve this goal Lonesome Oak Hamstede requires to expand it's operation by putting unused land into production of produce for consumption, by using it for free range chicken and rabbit raising for meat production and for producing high quality free range egg production all year round. The land reclaimed will also be used for intensive crop production using organic and environmentally friendly methods. Land reclaimed and cleared this season will be cultivated ready to be put into food production next season.
All food produced will be consumed on the hamstede, nothing will be wasted.
How Lonesome Oak Hamstede is going to doing It
The most important principle to the project Lonesome Oak Hamstede has started is going on beyond organic, this means Lonesome Oak Hamstede will use methods of cultivation of crops using environmentally friendly methods, man made chemicals will NOT be used on the hamstede, all methods of food production will be organic. To grow high quality produce traditional methods of cultivation will be employed but adapted to the modern era, these methods will ensure Lonesome Oak Hamstede produce the most natural food possible. The goal is to go, “Beyond Organic” standards with the systems used on the hamstede; producing food products for consumption that have little or no effect on the environment. Part of “Beyond Organic” is being able to recreate the systems that are found in nature, using natural heirloom unmodified seeds and livestock. The free range egg chickens and meat breeding chickens will be allowed to roam freely on natural grass pasture, eating grass and natural food they find, this will be supplemented by heirloom grains, maize, seeds and greens, such as Dandelions, all cultivated on the hamstede. Yes Lonesome Oak Hamstede will be cultivating Dandelions for feed for the chickens and rabbits, as well as being used to make natural home made D&B pop/soda. The same ethics will be used for the meat breeding rabbits.
The meat chickens and rabbits will also be allowed to feed on grass pasture with additional food supplemented by natural animal feed grown on the hamstede. These chicken and rabbits will be in a large tractor and moved daily around the pasture so that they have fresh natural grass. The reason for keeping the livestock in tractors is for their own protection, each large tractor will house a mall number of livestock. This method of raising the livestock will ensure they have a happy and stress free life ensuring the meat they produce will be of a high quality. The droppings produced by the livestock will naturally over time be worked into the pasture by nature ensuring the land is well fertilised and the fresh growing grass is healthy for the animals to consume. As time goes on, the pastures will become healthier, more nutrient-rich and it will begin to grow an entire ecosystem within the soil. Living-soil creates the healthiest pastures. The vegetable garden will be a No-Till system raised bed system, fertilised by natural compost sourced from the hamstede. After the sod is clear, Lonesome Oak Hamstede will clear the remaining grass and roots and then begin to build vegetable beds. Each of the beds will be topped with a 2-4 inch thick layer of compost, which will have to be purchased at first, that will help to build a strong layer of top soil as years pass. Not tilling the soil allows the soil to maintain the ecology and biology within the soil without any disruption, and creates more life within the soil. Living-soil also creates the healthiest vegetables.
Why Heirloom/Open Pollinated What they are and why we use open-pollinated cultivars?
Open pollinated varieties are those that come true from seed, as opposed to hybrid varieties which are produced by crossing two inbred lines of plants for seed. In the first generation hybrid seeds perform very well and produce uniform crops. However subsequent generations will have a random mix of genes from the two original lines and will not perform as well.
Seeds of domesticated plants have been handed down from our ancestors for thousands of years. They have been stewarded by ordinary farmers for all of this time, and this has brought about a vast diversity of varieties. The varieties are decreasing all the time as the seed industry consolidates, and old varieties are lost. Old varieties were kept because they produced valuable crops, often under less than ideal conditions. Modern varieties are bred to perform under ideal conditions of climate and fertility, and often perform badly when stressed. Lonesome Oak Hamstede has a window of opportunity to make sure each crop variety grown is suitable to its environment and climate.
Open-pollinated varieties are populations which carry a diverse mix of genes. Natural selection by nature weeds out genes that are unsuitable to an environment, and farmer selection encourages the proliferation of genes that make the plants useful to us. In this way plants that carefully selected varieties can adapt to new conditions. Inbred plants are produced by selecting seeds from a single or small number of very similar plants and self pollinating them. When this is carried out over many generations the individuals become genetically almost identical, which give them very little scope to adapt to new conditions.
Why We’re Doing It
People constantly asked, “Why on earth would you want to produce your own food?” And “Doesn't it cost more to grow your own food?”
Well the answer is simple. Lonesome Oak Hamstede cares about health and the health and welfare of the livestock on the hamstede, to ensure high quality food is produce great effort and care is applied to producing the food. Lonesome Oak Hamstede is passionate about growing food in a way that doesn't destroy the planet we all live on. One of the goals is to reconnect people with where their food comes from and bridge the gap between the land and the people.
To be able to demonstrate their passion to others, when established, the hamstede will be offering people the opportunity to come on "hands on" courses to learn how fresh produce can be grown and raised on a small plot of land. Also operating a community
How to spread the word
Too many children have grown up with no conception of what nature can accomplish or where our food comes from. Some think it appears spontaneously on a supermarket shelf, or worse, at their local fast-food establishment?
How can we restore understandings about food, a most basic need? Lonesome Oak Hamstede believes that every family should be given the opportunity to learn about the production of traditional high quality food. Families need to get back their roots, yes the modern world is a hectic place, by growing their own fruit and vegetables a family can learn how to become stress free. Growing a garden, even a small 1x1 metre raised bed will allow the family to experience sensation of caring for a seed which develops into a plant which then feeds them.
Growing a garden, experiencing the vital sensation of hands working in the soil, the thrill of watching seeds sprout and plants grow, the satisfaction of working together with others to take part in a natural miracle. Learning how, where and why nature feeds us naturally all help us to understand our planet and especially the environment.
Learning & Courses By using social media, on line diaries, demonstration and instructional videos, as well as setting up a Lonesome Oak Hamestede web site, where information in detail can be added, the hamsetede hopes to spread the word about everyone having the opportunity to produce their own food. Using these modern media correspondence the hamstede will be able to answer any questions that the general public and the supporters of Lonesome Oak Hamstede project have.
Along with the use of social media the hamstede will set up a series of one and two day course for the public to demonstrate and instruct the hamstede way of heading towards self reliance.
What we need
As with any growing venture, there are start up costs. A small holding, that is to become a teaching and learning centre for prospective self reliant food producers, is no different. Although it is true that no-till and pastured method of production rarely use expensive heavy equipment, there are still quite a few investments that need to be made to make what Lonesome Oak Hamstede do possible. The start-up cost for the project is £1,500. A small figure but by keeping the figure small and accurate it allows for a better chance of reaching the goal; yes £15,000 would be an ideal target, which would allow Lonesome Oak Hamstede to implement the project and be able to expand and develop further. That is a fantasy figure, the hamstede can only work on one project at a time so the target remains small giving a better chance of success. This small figure will provide Lonesome Oak Hamstede with it's initial start up requirements, to enable it to successfully develop and become established, to allow it to run a CSA and to pass the experiences learned to the interested public through hands on learning courses run over weekends through out the year. It will also allow local residents to come and share the experience on the hamstede and rebuild the lost community spirit.
How You can Help There are several ways you can get involved! First is “SPREAD THE WORD”. The more people that know what Lonesome Oak Hamstede are doing, the greater the opportunity of it's success, the easier it is for them to support the hamstede. By using Twitter and Facebook please help Lonesome Oak Hamstede spread the word about the way it is growing and raising food produce for consumption, thus reducing the effect on the environment by using environmentally friendly methods of production.
Secondly, backing Lonesome Oak Hamstede financially; allowing the project to get off the ground and start producing food produce all year round. In order to get the hamstede up and running, a basic figure of £1,500 is needed, to commence the project and for it to be successful. Anything above and beyond this figure would be graciously received as it would then allow the hamstede to implement other parts of the project quicker.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede operates an “Livestock Freedom” scheme which is based on five freedoms:
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Freedom form discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury and disease
Freedom to express normal behaviour
Freedom from fear and distress.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede is proud of the progress it has made in the last season, but true sustainability of this project depends on some urgently needed infrastructural improvements. With your support, the hamstede will be able to make the necessary improvements that will allow it to sustain it's ethos and set it on a path to self reliance and be able to operated a local CSA programme as well as running a local community support venture on the hamstede, bringing locals together to rebuild the lost community feeling and support. With your support, Lonesome Oak Hamstede will be able to take the first tentative steps to setting up the programme where the skills used on the hamstede can be passed to others via an web page and in structural courses, that will be run when the hamstede is established, for people of all ages and experience to come and learn how to grow their own and raise their own fresh produce.
What you get in return
The hamstede would hate for you to think that it expects you to give with nothing in return. After all, this is a community-supported way of life and Lonesome Oak Hamstede wants to make sure that it is all coming together to make this happen, each person feeling like their efforts were worth it. Listed above are the promises the hamstede make to you, if it is fully funded. Please take time to choose the one that is right for your family and fits your budget. Thank you in advance for your love and support! The hamstede is excited to do this with you!
Pledges and Rewards
Supporting this cause would make a massive difference to the financial situation, and would enable the hamstede to more quickly seek out opportunities to fully utilise the skills and knowledge learned from this project, thus facilitating Lonesome Oak Hamstede's impact in this crucially important field for the prosperity of the next generation.
Lonesome Oak Hamstede are grateful for your pledges, unfortunately as the project is just starting and the target is the basic amount required to see the project through the setting up stage, Lonesome Oak Hamstede are not able to offer any rewards for your kind support other than to thank you via their forthcoming website and to mention your donations on Twitter. Please be understanding, all the proceeds received will be spent on the hamstede.
Is this you
I care about the environment we live in.
I care about healthy food, good quality.
I care about animals and how they are treated.
I want to leave this place better than I found it.
Want to learn how to grow and raise produce yourself.
Would like to spend a weekend on the hamstede learning about self reliant food production.
If this is what you are thinking then supporting Lonesome Oak Hamstede is the right thing to do. Please help the project be successful and support the hamstede in its quest; Lonesome Oak Hamstede gladly thanks you for your on going support and much appreciated gifts.
Risks and challenges
As with all outdoor activities, the hamstede depend on the weather and the nature around it to cooperate. The hamstede does it's best to mitigate risk, but unfortunate circumstances do arise from time to time. As with any CSA, you share in risk-and-reward program. When the hamstede has a rough crop year, you may get less than expected. When it has a great year, you will receive more than expected. Every single pound/dollar/euro over the goal helps to build infrastructure that will allow the hamstede to keep risk down and yield high!
I am a 50 something widower. Attempting to live a frugal self reliant lifestyle in the rural countryside and trying to have little or no effect on the environment around me.
After participating in the modern world for 35 years of my life, working in the marine, nuclear, offshore oil and gas industries, I decided it was time for me to slow my lifestyle down. So I decided to sell up and leave the modern world to settle in an idyllic setting in the countryside and go back to my passion of growing and raising vegetables.
Being in a relation ship for over 22 years I suddenly found myself all alone six years ago when my wife passed away; having taken myself out of employment to look after by sick wife she passed away leaving me alone for the first time in my live. With no family I decided it was the time for change and to face a new challenge in my life. As a couple, the wife and I talked about retiring to a small holding, and this is where I am at now.
Using life experience and all the things I have learnt working in the navy and offshore, combining them with my passion for the land and growing vegetables for consumption, I set off down the path of becoming a self reliant individual, living on a small holding with my dogs and raising animals.
Here I have been for three years now, a single 50 something widower, facing the greatest challenge of my life, living a meagre existence on an acre and a half small holding attempting to reduce my impact on the environment.
Risks and challenges
As with all outdoor activities, Lonesome Oak Hamstede depends on the weather and the nature around to cooperate. The hamstede does its best to mitigate risk, but unfortunate circumstances do arise from time to time; too much rain, hot sunny summer days, disease pests and a variety of other factors that can effect the harvest.
When there is a rough crop year, the hamstede may get less than expected. When there has been a great year, Lonesome Oak Hamsted will receive more than expected. Every single penny over the goal helps to build infrastructure that will allow the hamstede to keep risk down and yield high!
The challenges facing Lonesome Oak Hamstede are complex and multi-faceted. Lonesome Oak Hamstede is dedicated to creating a hamstede that works to address these issues in a small but significant way. The hamstede has started growing crops and raising livestock on a small scale, these steps have shown that it is possible to use traditional methods in a modern environment. Now the challenge, with your kind support, is to demonstrate that these traditional methods, used in an intensive system can produce enough food to supply the demands of the hamstede on a plot of an acre in size; so for a couple areas of land have been put back into production after several decades of neglect, these plots are constantly evolving.
The first challenge facing Lonesome Oak Hamstede is to raise enough funds, from your kind support and donations, to advance the project to the next level. If unsuccessful then the project has failed, the livestock will have to be slaughtered as at this moment their feed comes from store purchased feeds, but if successful the livestock will be safe as the opportunity to self feed them is from lonesome Oak Hamstede grown animal feed.
- (37 days)