The dream becomes reality... - HOME PAGE
The dream becomes reality... -




Welcome...
This is the official web site of Old Castle, Llangain

There are also pages for my writing

Breaking News!
We are now setting up a social firepit for the Shared Smallholding.  
I had been worried about my neighbour 

FUNDRAISING AND HELP WANTED!

If you can't physically help can you sponsor an animal?

Do I have any friends who have time on their hands and who would like to be involved in helping out here?

Hopefully very soon there will be a couple of caravans to sleep in and I would be happy to provide food, tea and coffee. OR There is a B&B nearby. Or there is a Travelodge 15 mins away at St Clears.

There is a pub within a mile either via the road or directly cross country via rights of way!

Llansteffan Beach and Castle isn't far away... About 4 miles I think.

This is for when it warms up a bit...

I need help with:

Building the Arapawa House (felling small trees & building)
Fencing the Arapawa Area (knocking in posts and cutting rails)
Putting down a path for the public/visitors
Clearing the Storytelling area (removing some bits of metal)
Building a Composting Toilet (from a pre-bought shed)
Building a Solar Shower (from a pre-bought shed)
Cutting back brambles (for a big bonfire)
Creating a Firepit
In March helping me to get the pigs to slaughter

Luxury Projects:

Woodland Bath - in the spring area (needs construction from old brick built ruin) - solar heating, spring water...

Cloud House (Yurt) - From materials and some bought in
Roundhouse - From materials around the place

Possible Eco Projects

Putting together a Hydro Ram & pipes for water pumping
Building a Windmill water pump tower (like in Westerns)

In exchange for help I would trade Half a Pig for the freezer when they go in March. Or, I will trade "Distance Memberships" for work. Distance Memberships are when you are welcome to turn up for a weekend "work weekend" and help out/join in on the smallholding and in return you get a veg box, eggs and a share of other produce. With a Distance Membership, if you are helping out on the rest of the place as well, you get free Rough Camping.

By the summer Rough Camping won't be that rough as we will have the compositing toilets and solar shower!

Six pigs are going to slaughter in March, they are my "currency". Two of them (Lily and Tilly) are staying on.

Fleeces for sale at six pounds a kilo. Or you can Sponsor a Sheep. You get the fleece and can sell it or keep it. Five fleeces are already "earmarked", there are 11 sheep. The sheep are in with the ram and lambs are due about May. So shearing will be probably June. You get to name your sheep and you can book the fleece every year if you want it. Fleeces are picked up at "Fleece Fest" which is an annual camp where the sheep are sheared or you can organise a courier (which is far less fun).





Sponsor a Goat: Of course I'm looking for funds! You are welcome to sponsor a goat. You would be helping to pay for its goat feed and in exchange you can come and visit your goat. You will get a picture and a felt silhouette of him/her in your welcome "pack". You are also welcome to one weekend free camping to come and see your goat either on your own or we could organise "Goat Camp".  




Racing Goats: The goat keepers are going to scream at me for this but as this is the first year I couldn't get rid of the wether boys. So there are three of them. Athos, Porthos and Aramis. On the fifteen acre field I would like to build a racetrack for them. Just a straight line of fencing with a start and a finish so that they can run from one end to the other. I will just cost posts and sheep wire. The previous owner left some wire so we could use that! I can then get them used to racing down there to get their food. So on work weekends we can also have "the goat race". Goats love to run and play. The boys are evenly matched as two are brothers and the other was born at the same time.



Goat Handlers: I'd like to train the wethers so I need people to come and goat walk. Come and camp and take goats for a walk. Rough camping is fifteen pound a night or you can sponsor a goat and come and stay for free.

Dedicate a Tree:  Why not dedicate a tree in our orchard to a loved one.  You can then visit that tree when you visit here.


Work Experience: Come and help out and get something for your CV.
Animal Husbandry, Kennel Worker etc.

Goats for sponsorship:

Brenin - Arapawa Male, one of two living in the UK
Mistie - Arapawa Female
Hope - Arapawa Female
Snowy - Arapawa Female - named after Scout Camp Warden
Joy - Arapawa Female - named after my mum
Holly - Arapawa Female
Blackstar - Arapawa x Anglo Nubian Buck - Myth's Son
Howell - Arapawa x Anglo Nubian Buck - Marco's Son

Symbelmoelle - Named after Lord of the Rings Flower
Marco Pierre White - Symbel's Son
Amy Pond - Symbel's daughter
Riversong - Amy Pond's daughter
Athos - Symbel's Wether Son
Porthos - Symbel's Wether Son
Aramis - Amy's Wether Son

Frixie Pfriend - Cream Anglo Nubian
Stormcrow - Frixie Pfriend's Son
Jareth - Frixie Pfriend's Son
Stella - Frixie's Daughter

Pixie - Black with Snowy Ears Anglo Nubian
Midnight - Pixie's Daughter
Mythrandir - Pixie's Son
Raven - Pixie's Daughter
Trixie - Spotted Anglo Nubian

Asha - Black Anglo Nubian
Leia - Asha's Daughter
Dana Scully - Snowy's Daughter
Ash - Anglo Nubian x British Saanan
Gizmo - Ash's Daughter
Aspen - Anglo Nubian x British Saanan
Gracie - Aspen's Daughter
Willow - Golden Guernsey Female
Oak - British Alpine Female
Anouska - Anglo Nubian Female


2018
Community Smallholding
Be a smallholder without having to give up your social life, home and job...
Please see the Community Smallholding Section

Community Smallholding Alternative
I have been working along the lines of a smallholding which already functions but we don't have to use that template if another would work better.

This place is “Old Castle” which dates back to Medieval Times.  So why don’t we look at a Medieval style of farming. It is still a good way of managing the land with a three field rotation and "strips" which can be shared or each Member could be responsible for a strip?  This can all be discussed and the Founder Members will have the opportunity to put any rules in place which will make the place run smoothly.  

It is hoped that this will be a place of friendship and happiness for all the Members.  There are going to be differences of opinion over how some things should be grown and for that reason there will be a wide margin around the outside of the main field.  So, members can have their own veg plot and grow things how they want to grow them.

It is proposed however that we are chemical free and if Members are happy to maintain this that we could apply for Organic Status.  

The current template takes into consideration that Membership Fees pay for feed, seed and other materials.  Any other arrangement would probably be unfair.
  
Some Members may wish to be more active than others.  

Some Members may just wish to pay a monthly fee and receive vegetables (a Customer Membership). 

Some members may like to turn up occasionally (Distance Membership).  

I can set up different memberships to reflect this.  The more you do the less you pay...  Also it is possible to "sponsor" a member whereby someone who wants vegetables and meat can pay for a membership of someone who doesn't want as much but wants to enjoy being a smallholder.

This can’t be residential as it is already a smallholding but I am offering “rough camping” at fifteen pounds a night.  

This can’t be on a permanent basis but if Members want to stay overnight then they can.

The reason I am mentioning the Medieval idea is that I have applied to Glastir to put in a hedgerow and fence, leaving a large margin where raised beds and permanent structures can be put.  

The hedgerow will provide a large middle area which could be divided into three fields and the “old fashioned” strip farming system could be put in place.  Each strip and a raised bed etc being the responsibility of a Member. 
 
So you can grow your own and then trade with others for the veg boxes from your private raised bed.  All vegetables in the main beds are shared.




GIFT SHOP

Faerietales Emporium is Old Castle's travelling Gift Shop.  It is hoped eventually to have a fixed shop on site.  When we do we would be very happy for members to sell what they make in there as well.  It is run by Widget (the puppet).



Goat Keyrings
Goat Keyrings
Various colours.

£2.00 plus P&P at cost.
Notebook Case Teddy Bear
Notebook Case Teddy Bear
Any of the shapes you see can be put on a notebook case. I can also use a silhouette of your pet etc.

Takes standard notebooks from the supermarket.

£5 each plus p&p at cost
Cat lovers notebook case and notebook
Cat lovers notebook case and notebook
With bells on so it doubles as a cat toy. I can put a specific breed on here, or a silhouette of your cat.

Takes standard notebooks from the supermarket.

£5 each plus p&p at cost.
Fairy Bells
Fairy Bells
Various colours.
Satin ribbon, a charm and a bell. Ideal as phone charms, handbag charms etc.

£1 each plus p&p at cost.
Dog Mobile
Dog Mobile
Hand sewn felt with mandala at top. Various dog designs available or I can use a silhouette of your pet.

£10 Inc p&p
Bat Mobile
Bat Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Star Mobile
Star Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Teddy Bear Mobile
Teddy Bear Mobile
Can be made in various colours.

£10 Inc p&p
Dove and Heart Mobile
Dove and Heart Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Hanging decoration
Hanging decoration
Hanging decoration
Hanging decoration
Bone hanging decoration
Bone hanging decoration
Bird hanging decoration
Bird hanging decoration
Can do a silhouette of any bird
£2 plus p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
£10 Inc p&p
Mobile
Mobile
Single hanging decoration
Single hanging decoration
£2 plus p&p at cost
Various colours and your own design possible
Single decoration
Single decoration
Card
Card
Book cover
Book cover
Book cover
Book cover





















COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING

The membership is less than a supermarket bill  and you can bring the family along for fun.  Unlike an allotment you can sell the produce.

The membership fee is for the family.  So if one person in the family is a member then anyone in the family can come along and help.  Of course you only get one veg box share though and one pig for the freezer.

No need to sell your home and buy a smallholding. 

No need to give up the day job as your minimum hours commitment can work around you.  

You can live in your home and still be a smallholder.  

You can sell your share of you don't need it.  

Those who want to get involved in making produce can benefit from the proceeds and/or have free membership if we sell enough.















COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING
START UP 2018
We are just starting out as we purchased Old Castle in January 2017.  MEMBERS are welcome now for the Community Shared Smallholding.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I JOIN NOW?

If you join now you will have a Membership for next year although you do not have to pay until February.  All membership fees are due on the 1st of the month by Direct Debit.  When you sign up you sign up for the year.  

How much you do is up to you and the other Members but anything done now makes it easier later.  The only job that really needs doing is to put in a fence around where the vegetable patch is going to be so that the Pig Arc can be moved in there and the pigs can do the work for you.

The Members Caravan won't be available until we move out of it in about three weeks time.  But, we wouldn't advise trying to move it over the mud at the moment unless someone has a really good 4x4.  I'll give it a good clean and get it ready when we move out.   It will be great for members to have a cup of tea and we will keep it stocked with magazines and gardening books.  This is NOT RESIDENTIAL.

Other than that, discussing the rules and planning the smallholding is all that really needs to be done now.  That can be done by group email from the warmth of your living room.  So your commitment is minimal other than securing your place as a Member.

EARLY REWARDS

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.
 

LIMITED SPACES!!!
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.



COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING (CSH)

This is something we are starting in 2018.  Memberships are available now on a first come first served basis.  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.

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 five 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 serenitywildhare@yahoo.com.

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.



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