This is the official web site of Old Castle, Llangain
There are also pages for my writing
START UP November 2017
We are just starting out as we purchased Old Castle in January 2017. MEMBERS are welcome now for the Community Shared Smallholding. We are offering that no fees are payable for the months up to 1st February 2018 so that we can get Members now and so that those Members can have a bit of a bonus as they will be there from the start. So JOIN NOW!
This is a chance to be there right from the start. The field is a blank canvas on which the Smallholding can be created. It is up to the Founder Members where everything goes and what is grown. Initially we are proposing a shared plot but if members would like individual plots for projects that would have to be discussed.
The plot is five acres and there is an extra one acre for an orchard which is not in the main Smallholding Area as the trees would be a "fixed item". This allows the plots and crops on the Smallholding to be rotated.
The work needs to be done and that is why we are looking for Members NOW. If the work is not done there won't be anywhere to grow anything.
This is a great opportunity. We have bought this place and we have set aside this space for a group of energetic, enthusiastic and like minded people to make the most of it. It is not an option that will be around forever if there is no take up on it.
Sometimes being offered your dream isn't what you want. But if you want to make your SMALLHOLDING DREAM a reality, this is your opportunity. It is up to you to take it up.
If we do not get Members by February we will plough the land, reseed it and use it for cattle.
November to February Commitment
As we are starting out the commitment for Members from November to February would be to get the fencing in for the vegetable plots so that the pigs can live in that area and dig it up so that it is ready for the planting.
This is the time to get the Members Caravan set up (we have one which needs moving onto the plot) and perhaps build a solid awning so that there is somewhere to sit and discuss what is going to happen on the Smallholding.
The only other commitment is to dig in the fruit trees that we already have and others that we can purchase. Trees are best put in before March while they are "sleeping".
It may also be the time to put in paths and to put in fixed beds of daffodils and other spring flowers to be cheerful at the start of the year.
There are no veg boxes this time of the year but we are raising four pigs so early members will get a half a pig for the freezer as a reward for joining early. These pigs will be available in MARCH as porkers or MAY as Baconers. Only Members who join now are entitled to a share of them. Other Members who join later will have to wait for piglets to be born and raised and if there are no Members now the four will be sent to market.
Why not give a gift that will keep on giving? Why not buy a relative a Membership? We are doing a Special Christmas Offer of £550 Annual Membership Fee.
There has to be a LIMITED NUMBER OF SPACES so that Members can have the opportunity of earning FREE MEMBERSHIP by selling excess produce.
Also, a single Membership allows Members to bring their families along so there can only be a limited number of Memberships due to parking and other concerns.
So SIGN UP NOW or you will miss the opportunity.
Once we have our Members there will be no more Memberships available until someone gives up a Membership. We will put you on a waiting list but we cannot guarantee when there will be a Membership available.
It may be tempting for you to think, why not wait until the Summer when the work is done? By then there probably won't be any memberships available or if we haven't had enough members sign up we will not be continuing with this project.
Use it or lose it!
COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING (CSH)
This is something we are starting in 2017. Memberships are available now and we need five members to make this viable to start. So sign up now and make this a reality. It is all waiting for you. If one person in a family is a member then all the family are welcome to come and help.
It has never been more important for everyone to be able to grow their own food. Our reliance on supermarkets and their ever inflating prices is not lost on anyone no doubt. Raising animals for food and fun is also ever more popular. But, not everyone can give everything up to "Live the Dream". Well now you don't have to. As long as you live within a reasonable distance and you can fulfil your responsibilities. So this is really for people in Carmarthen, Johnstown, Llangain and Llansteffan.
The more people we have involved the more we can achieve. There are plenty of ideas on here which hopefully will be inspirational. Not everyone can dig and garden but between us we could make some of these ideas a reality.
We hope where we lead others will follow and if it is a commercially viable thing for Farmers and larger Smallholders to do others may take it up too.
This is a smallholding for a Community based on an Annual Membership which can be paid monthly. Any profits can be offset against this so eventually it is hoped that memberships will work out free, members will actually make money and we can have a thriving business that everyone enjoys.
The Smallholding lifestyle is amazing. It doesn't have to involve giving everything up though if you choose to join us. Many people buy their smallholding and then find they have to work as well. Well this is the easy way of doing it. You can stay in your own home and still be a smallholder. More importantly you do a share so you can keep your life too. You can enjoy the animals and the plants, the bees and the place without having to give up your everyday life. With the duties shared there is no 100% commitment to every day and you are not "owned by the animals". The animals still come first but with more hands to do the work there is no need for anyone to be here every day (well unless you want to be).
The more people there are the less the commitment but, if you enjoy it, why not come as often as you like and get involved with as much as you like. We have loads of ideas and with enough people we can get all these things "off the ground".
We want to help you to be more self sufficient. We would love it if the visit to the supermarket is only for essentials that you can't make yourself or buy. We have plenty of books on making produce and if these are successful we can also sell these to raise more money for better facilities.
At the moment a six acre field awaits you. It is a blank canvas which needs to become something amazing. This is the opportunity to be there right from the start.
Founder Members will have a say in setting up the rules and they will have benefits that later members will not have. Not least that the number of people who can have a share of the smallholding is limited so if you leave it too long there may not be a space for you and you will have to wait for someone to give up their share.
You don't have to be someone who physically digs or plants. There are plenty of other jobs that are needed. Someone has to let the chickens out and get them back, someone has to feed them. There are enough gentle jobs and everyone's skills will be important.
Members pay a monthly fee and for that they get a share of the produce from the designated smallholding area as well as the opportunity to enjoy being a smallholder in all its glorious colours.
Members can sell their share and any excess can be sold too and put towards everyone's membership fees. So membership could be free as well as having a share of produce etc.
There are lots of ideas being put forwards but they need YOU to make them work.
This is a poem written by friends of mine which has been adapted a bit...
A man and a woman are one with the forest
All around them is green
The earth provides for their needs and they no longer hunger
The spring provides their water and they no longer thirst
They have cast aside their guns, nobody wishes to kill them
They are not judged because of where they were born
What they own or who they are owned by
They are judged for what they do now
What they wish to achieve and learn
How they have lived and how they wish to live
How they love and how they wish to love
And the judgment is that they shall be absolutely free
One day they may have the gift of children
To care for and to love
Those children shall not be taken from them
And when those children grow they will have their own choices
To make with all the inhabitants of this earth
Whatever race, class or religion
They will build a world where truth
knowledge and justice will rule...
This was not our past, but this can be our future
THIS IS OUR EDEN DREAM
For which we fight, for which we are prepared to strive
AND IT WILL SET US FREE
The original poem was written by dear friends of mine. Their creativity and understanding of the world has been an inspiration ever since.
The dream has become a reality in a place just as beautiful as the last but a place which is large enough for the ever growing herd of goats. We now have land and barns for them and more space for the projects we have planned. www.old-castle.co.uk
If you would like to bring clients and friends here for quiet meditation and storytelling please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a natural storytelling area and a beautiful valley.
The place has two natural halves. One side is agricultural with a large field and the one for the Community Shared Smallholding. The other side "beyond the wall" is the old earthworks and a woodland around a "hidden valley". There are 35ish acres in all.
When we came here we had agreed that the water and electric would be cut off. We never thought we wouldn't be able to reconnect with a pipe running across our land. Apparently we cannot connect to a spur. It was a blow but we have a spring on our land. It is a theory it is the old iron age fort so if the spring fed them it can feed us. I t is a bit environmentally unfriendly as we bring it up by quad but as it is a long way we have no choice.
We have no house as such. The animals have a lovely big barn. It is a great new adventure and what we can afford.
One day we may have a little more than an old touring caravan. For now we make do.
It is a big change, another big change I should say. Leaving London for Wales was the best thing I ever did. Pengraig was a fabulous home and if life had been different it still would be.
We were cut off from power here at the new place as the power was shared with next door. We could go back on grid but we have managed alright so far without it so going back to it now seems a betrayal of my beliefs. My partner is learning it is possible and he likes the idea too.
We couldn't have a mainline phone line as there is no room on the exchange so we have our own hotspot and better internet connection via EE than we ever had from BT.
There are alternatives, we have been forced to find them and we are better for it.