City to good life

Country Smallholding - - A smallholder's World - @small­hold­er­sUK UK Small­hold­ers are pro­filed week by week on twit­ter @Small­hold­er­sUK

This month: Vicky Quick in Mid Devon

“I’m a city girl turned am­a­teur small­holder. We work for a fam­ily as Head Gar­dener and House­keeper which gives us ac­cess to three acres where we raise rare breed pigs, ducks and chick­ens and plan to raise an or­phan lamb or two.

“When we de­cided to move to the coun­try­side, I knew I wanted pigs. My other half bought me The Haynes Man­ual for Pigs and we de­cided that we wanted to do our bit for rare breeds and chose the Bri­tish Lop. We went to visit the piglets be­fore they were weaned and chose three boys. I also broke my first rule of not nam­ing them so as not to get too at­tached, by choos­ing one with a dam­aged tail and af­fec­tion­ately re­fer­ring to him as ‘Stumpy’! As well as be­ing one of the rarest of our na­tive pig breeds, with fewer than 200 reg­is­tered breed­ing sows, the Bri­tish Lop orig­i­nated from the Devon/Cor­nish bor­der of Tav­i­s­tock; a docile breed, ideal for begin­ners, which we were. The sec­ond lot of pigs we were Ox­ford Sandy and Blacks, another rare breed, but cer­tainly one whose pop­u­lar­ity is on the rise, and in the new year we also took on some Large Black pigs. The land own­ers have spon­sored our pig project; in re­turn, we do all the work and then split the meat be­tween us and their fam­ily.

“De­spite pre­vi­ously liv­ing in a one bed flat in Southamp­ton, we still man­aged to keep chick­ens and ducks. My other half built an en­clo­sure and when we were at home we would let them out onto the grass. We took six ducks and four chick­ens with us to Devon and we now have 18 birds in to­tal. Last year I got an awe­some birth­day present which I put to im­me­di­ate good use, a Brin­sea in­cu­ba­tor. I used some fer­tile eggs from our trio of Buff Rock ban­tams – I was so ex­cited to hatch my very own chick­ens.

“The plan in fu­ture is to sell some sausages at lo­cal farm­ers mar­kets, and maybe have a tra­di­tional house cow with calf. There’s lots of plans, but it’s what we can make work!” * Do follow Vicky @at­twp https:// andthen­therew­erepigs.word­ * Com­piled by Deb­bie Kings­ley who tweets from @ SouthYeoFarm and set up @Small­hold­er­sUK

Vicky Quick and friend

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