Our beloved Hazelbank. where do I start….?
My parents bought the smallholding in 1988 and various members of the family have lived in the three houses that occupy the space. Currently my sister and I inhabit two of the houses with our families. The third cottage is for family and friends when they come to visit. There are 10 acres mostly to open field and woodland. There is a small burn that runs through the property on its way to the sea. We are up a hill with a large bank of hazel trees being the defining feature.
As a smallholding my father ran a free range chicken farm but sadly he died some 17 years ago. It lay fallow for quite some time until we arrive over 10 years ago. Now it has more of a horticultural focus as we grow willow, herbs and flowers. Our latest venture has been into willow and in two years we have over 25o willows and plan to extend that by the same again this year. We use the willow to make wreaths and other decorations with Christmas being a very busy time for us.
Things are changing this year on the smallholding as we anticipate changes in our family. Our four children have been such a help over the years but they are growing up and making their own way in life. Pete and I need to realise that we must preserve some income from it for as much of the year as possible. We are reverting to our growing roots and planting more herbs that can be dried to use in my craft range all year round. We have a new community shop on the island and I have also joined a wee collective (The Bobbin Collective) dedicated to all things sewn and vintage. We have a new etsy shop that will need new products all year round. Pete is interested in developing our larder and teaching himself can and jar products; this may lead to another source of income.
Beyond that Scottish island mum has a large and loyal following and I am hoping to offer opportunities to come and stay with us to take some time out and learn new skills. We are hoping to offer our first experience week in September of this year. Aligned with this I am hoping to run craft afternoons during the summer from our garden studio that has come the new HQ for the Bobbin Collective.
I am therefore building a new vision board for Hazelbank so that I can build a portfolio of newness and it is an exciting time. I will be adding to it all the time but if you want to keep up with emerging ideas click HERE.
It is an exciting time for us as Hazelbank, once more, it changes to suit the needs of the people who inhabit it. Ask me the question ‘will I still have sweet peas on my table all summer cut from my own garden?’ Of course I will. xx