Here you will find details of some of our past events to give you an idea of the sort of things we do.
Open Smallholding including Tool Sharpening
Saturday 21st August
Venue: near Castle Cary BA7
A visit to a smallholding with poultry, Zwartbles sheep and polytunnel run with conservation in mind. A great opportunity to see how others do things and pick up some ideas and tips.
A professional tool sharpener was at the event who, for a small charge, sharpened smallholding tools including all types of shears, knives, mower blades etc
Sheep 101 Workshop with experienced Quantock sheep farmer/shepherdess
Saturday 25th September
Venue: Crowcombe, Quantock Hills TA4
Basic sheep care in the heart of the Quantock Hills (not far from Crowcombe) from our host
who keeps pedigree Ryelands and Leicester Longwools and whose lambing shed has grown up organically.
The Bring and Share lunch which is an ideal opportunity to glean information and get to know fellow smallholders.
Produce Show and AGM
Saturday 11th September at 12 noon Venue: Near Chard, Somerset TA20
As well as the AGM we have a fun produce show/competition. This year we have chosen to celebrate out 45th birthday by theme the event around the number 45.
Renting Holiday Accommodations – a Workshop with Kate Morel July
Kate’s background includes holiday property rental and ten years working in the glamping sector. As an industry professional, she now works independently supporting land and business owners to effectively develop or diversify into boutique and experiential types of holiday lets. This was a great opportunity to meet Kate and learn from her considerable expertise.
the Mid-Somerset Agricultural Society Show Sunday 15th August at Shepton Mallet Showground
Better known as the Shepton Show.
A big thankyou to the organisers for a fantastic show. We met so many wonderful people ans spent a busy day talking 'smallholdering' and other things.
Saturday 15th February Always a fun evening.
Peg Loom Weaving Workshop
The workshop will cover the setup and basics of weaving on a peg loom. For those who are more experienced we can look at weaving circles or 3 dimensional items and other fancy techniques.
Peg loom weaving is probably the simplest form of weaving and can be used to make rugs, wall hangings, placemats and even bowls from a variety of materials and with quite inexpensive/homemade equipment. It is an excellent way of using sheep fleece without the need to spin it first. The thrifty among you will appreciate making useful items out of old tee shirts and other fabric scraps. If you want to come but don’t have a peg loom let us know when you book.
Hedge-Laying For Beginners
This session does not follow any speciﬁc code of hedge-laying (and as many of you will know every region has its own unique style) but will focus simply on making an otherwise untidy and unkempt hedge into something which is stock-proof – to all but the most determined escapees! We will use only manual tools to achieve this and attendees will work together to lay a section of hedge having been shown the basic principles being used. Given we will be working in January you should come suitably dressed for potentially cold and/or wet weather. Good thick thorn-resistant leather gloves, safety glasses, a hat, old coat and waterproof footwear are fundamentals as we may well be working in and amongst hawthorn, blackthorn and brambles. If you have your own tools, a pruning saw/bow saw, and/or billhook please bring these with you. Our Host has very kindly agreed to provide us with hot soup for lunch, but please feel free to bring other food and hot drinks for yourself or to share.
SOMERSET SMALLHOLDERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Our AGM followed the trend and went onto Zoom.
Thurs 10th Dec 6pm
Christmas Party – get dressed up, have your Christmas meal ready, glass of wine etc and come to our Zoom Christmas Party! A general chat and social gathering, maybe with a performance or two! If you would like to play a short piece of music, read a poem or extract from a book or perform some other type of entertainment suitable for all ages, please book. We look forward to seeing you there!
During the Covid era we have held a series of Zoom based Q&A workshops covering all sorts of smallholder topics.
The usual format is that we talk about what we do relevant to the topic, what works and what doesn't. People pass on hints tips and ideas and we all learn lots of useful things.
Topics so far include poultry, sheep, veg and some more general smallholder discussions.
Preparing Poultry For The Table
Christmas is coming and the poultry are getting fat…..
This workshop will cover dispatching, dressing and preparing poultry for the table. We will be demonstrating all stages of the process and there will be opportunity to practice dry plucking.
If you would like to prepare your own bird following the demonstration you are more than welcome to bring them along. This will give you the opportunity to practice the process yourself with someone on hand to guide you through.
Bring and Share Christmas Buffet
This Year we will be having a Bring and Share Christmas Buffet. Come along to this event and enjoy some festive cheer with fellow SSA members. I’ve heard rumours that Safety Elf might be there in his Christmas outfit!
Shows in 2019
If you were out and about in 2019 you might have seen us at:
The Game Fair Priddy Folk Festival
The Green Scythe Fair Yesterday's Farming
Each show is different but whatever the show we look talk to people about smallholding.