Riverbank arrangements / shortest For Sale ever

No, we haven’t moved to the riverbank 😂
We have though, taken the house off the market.  We are no longer for sale.  In a nutshell, it just wasn’t the right thing to do for us, at this time of our lives and with what we are fortunate enough to already have.  The reasons we moved to this small smallholding and the offerings it gives us, haven’t changed.  Our requirements haven’t changed one bit.  They are still all around moving to a more (not total) self sufficient, self reliant and enjoyable lifestyle.  
Our knowledge and experience has grown vastly and we got a little carried away with ideas that yes would work, but just were not worth losing our family home for, to move to a place and leave our hearts behind in this home.  Whilst the option is ours, we shall be staying here.  Instead of looking to move to more land whilst working full time for local and corporate companies, we are now (and always were to be fair) continuing to develop what we have here, making our family’s mark on the house, making the most of the land, raising livestock and loving life.  So onwards we go!  That takes us to the riverbank.  
Can you believe we have been sat on 0.6 acres (yes, ALLLL THAT) of land on the riverbank and have done nothing with it since we lived here except plant a couple of trees.  That said, we did have to fence it off to stop the horses going for a swim and to prevent the cattle from the neighbouring field crossing the river to eat our grass during the dry months.  You can see the fence on the left and the river (our of shot) on the right.
So we (the royal we) set to and strimmed 80% of it.  20% we won’t talk about as it involves a broken strimmer and naughty words.
Below is the before and after.  Not to detract from the cracking job Steven did, but isn’t the sky amazing on the after shot?

For completeness, here’s a shot from the other way 🙂 to which the horses wanted part of the action.

Next up, fencing was needed to stop the sheep rolling in to the river.  If anyone’s would, it’d be ours.  Funnily enough, this stage too included a lot more choice words and I knew it was a day to not voice my opinion but to smile, nod and pass the (insert tool name).  Fencing round here has always been wooden circular posts and either stock fencing which we use tensioners on or post and rail.  Depends what it’s to keep in or out.  The ground is very stony and putting posts in can be an ordeal.  However the river bank, not surprisingly, was fairly soft.  Knowing this would be too good to be true, we waited for the inevitable problem to show its face.  And I’m a positive person, so that shows you what fencing can be like!
Said problem arose when we tried to use Clipex fence posts, which we felt very much like we were proper farmers for using.  Sod being like proper farmers, who have proper machines.  Now I know Ste can work like a machine but even he threw down the towel after the first afternoon of trying to use the sodding fence posts, finally retiring to the kitchen and a Jack Daniels mumbling some more of those words I cannot type.
We don’t have machines here, almost everything is manual, almost.
Next day, Ste set about after a night of “thinking about it” and he took Jack, our youngest with him as I remembered I had some really important tasks to do…..
I dared venture down to check on them/fish Ste out of the river later that day and low and behold, what was complete?

A whole brand new fence, the full length of the river bank, made to last the test of time!  OK so a few wooden posts were used which we risk needing to be replaced if they rot, should the river rise, but we (again, royal) are happy to do that as and when needed!  Doesn’t it look amazing?

OK so why is it even needed? 0.6 acres of land?  To rotate and graze our sheep on and yey, we have them on it now!!  Of course they chose to stand in the 20% but that fits in around here.  They have safely been on a couple of weeks now.  It’s a whole other story about how we got them on there and secured them in, which funnily enough included yet more of those funny words 😉

Life is an adventure here and we wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂
(PS Grace is helping me with editing and posting now, she does this to learn what it’s like to work a few hours (she’s paid) and to help me out, so these posts may appear during the working day for me which is when she might be helping)

Riverbank transformation – part 2

At the bottom of our field we have the river.  There’s a decent sized river bank there too, which runs the full length of the field.  I’ve mentioned the riverbank in a previous post, as I felt it’s such a shame to let it go to waste. 
Therefore we have been putting new trees in behind the fence and far enough away so the horses can’t lean over and eat them.  This weekend saw us planting 4 more along side the previous 3.  It’s a bit later than people say you should plant them but they’re be fine I am sure.
We loaded up 2 wheelbarrows with everything we need to get the job done and the whole family trooped off to get the job done.  The kids were smiling and the dogs happy to investigate the field.
Steven did all the heavy manual work as normal and I was there handing out what he needed and making sure the dogs didn’t escape and the kids didn’t take an unplanned swim.

We now have:
Hazlenut Kentish Cob
Hazlenut Red Cracker
Victoria Plum * 2
Gage Tree – Reine Claude Doree
Mirabelle Tree – de Nancy (Plum)
Quince Tree – Vranja

The last 4 on my list above (which is why I have 2 Victoria Plums) were on offer for £5 from dobies and I am very pleased with them.  We planted them yesterday with the usual couple of buckets of muck and a bucket of water from the river and staked them in for support as it can get windy over there.
So the riverbank transformation is starting to take shape.  I’ve not planted any of the herbs down there yet as they’re still a bit small and probably delicate, so I’ll bring them on a bit in the veg garden first.
 The hazlenuts and first plum tree were planted on 15th April (almost 1 month to the date) and have gone from this
 to this:
 They’re looking very healthy and seem to like their new home!
I plan on getting more trees a long here as they’ll also act as a windbreak and noise barrier from the railway line which is behind them on the other side of the river.