Relaxed smallholding courses
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Relaxed Smallholding coursesThe Courses
We currently offer three courses as outlined below.
Please fill in the form on our Bookings tab to book your place: it's that simple.

The Relaxed smallholding courses are delivered with passion, commitment and rigour, alongside a healthy
dose of fun!

'[The course was] very informative, gave confidence going forwards' - Keith, Cornwall      'Knowledgeable hosts' - Kim, Cornwall
A smallholder life for me:
Becoming a smallholder: why, how, what and when*. Full details

Perfect for the would-be/about-to-be smallholder all set to live the dream: a course to inspire and give you both knowledge and confidence.

Dates: Saturdays - 21st Oct
Price: £65pp (inc. VAT)
Choosing your livestock: what, why and how many!!! Knowing which animals are right for you! Full details

Designed for people looking to get their first animals or expand their livestock types: this course will provide support and guidance in making the right choices.

Dates: Saturdays - 28th Oct     Price: £65pp (inc. VAT)
What makes a successful smallholding?
A tour of the entire Relaxed holding, warts and all!! Full details

A successful smallholding is one you enjoy and where the animals are cared for in the best possible way: spend a day with us and see how we achieve this (most of the time...)

Dates: Saturdays - 2018 dates coming soon
Price: £65pp (inc. VAT)
*PLEASE NOTE: A smallholder life for me courses also run via DASH (Devon Association of Smallholders), Saturdays: 14th Oct
Please book direct via their website: DASH members will receive a discount
Relaxed Smallholding coursesA smallholder life for me:
Becoming a smallholder: why, how, what and when

Growing your own, reconnecting with nature, owning a few chickens or even a pig, being self-sufficient (and self-reliant): all these are really healthy and exciting reasons for wanting to become a smallholder. A lot of people seem to dream about it at some stage in their lives: for us it was the retirement dream that we ended up bringing forward – by about twenty years!!!

A smallholder needs to balance the thrill and excitement of managing one's own land with a healthy dose of realism about both one's abilities (physical and mental) as well as the size of wallet!! And by land we mean anything from a bit of garden to several acres. (Interesting fact: we actually worked harder farming one acre than we now do on ten!!).
Relaxed Smallholding courses
‘A smallholder life for me’ takes you on a journey that will try to help you turn your dreams into a way of life!

We begin by looking at the ‘whys’: discussing the reasons why you want to become a smallholder alongside why you think it will work, the skills you (and your family) might need and why it is a good idea to be aware of both the potential rewards and problems: not enough eggs in the winter, too many in the summer; fabulous tasting pork, not enough freezer space to keep it in...

We will also talk through the ‘hows’: the legal side of it all, the paperwork, what to look for in a smallholding, the kind of features that need to be in place/get sorted fairly quickly (fencing, fencing and then a bit more fencing!), how to source livestock and basic livestock requirements. Then there is the most crucial how, as in HOW much? (That’s why we mentioned the wallet!!)!!!
Relaxed Smallholding courses
Finally, there are the ‘whats and whens’: what are the ideal starting points (chickens, a polytunnel, a cow!!) and when to begin, how your initial plans will be led by the time of year you move, what kinds of decisions you will need to make sooner rather than later AND get right – putting your first muck heap in the wrong place is not to be recommended!

We will walk round the smallholding in order to meet all our wonderful animals and discuss all the above in situ - and yes we will show you the muck heap we had to move, TWICE - as well as all the lovely new field shelters we had built in the first three months and without which we could not have got through our first winter!! We aim to tailor the course to the particular situations and expectations of the participants so when you book, do please give as much detail about yourself as you can.

You will hopefully leave inspired and brimming with confidence and, we really hope, with a promise to keep in touch to let us know how you get on!!
Choosing your livestock: what, why and how many!!!
How do you know which animals are right for you?

Relaxed Smallholding coursesYou may have started with chickens (most of us do), you may have inherited a couple of sheep, or you may, as yet, have nothing, not even bought or rented your land… so how do you decide what livestock will suit you and your acreage AND know which species can live happily together (or not).

This course will introduce you to our fabulous range of stock: Dexter cows, Badger Face and Shetland sheep, Dairy and Boer goats, pigs, alpacas and poultry (chickens, ducks and turkeys) and teach you a little bit about each species: behaviour, handling, housing requirements, land requirements, health and husbandary (including vets), feeding and daily care.

Relaxed Smallholding coursesMeeting the stock will allow you to consider the reasons WHY you might want that particular animal: are you interested in the produce (meat, milk, eggs, wool etc). Do you want animals simply to graze your land? Will your animals be considered pets and/or must they all have a ‘purpose’? Do you want to develop your own breeding programmes?

We will also look at which animals can happily mix or not and how best to manage owning more than one species.
When you book this course you will be asked to rate each animal type according to your level of interest in them so that we can then feature the animals most attendees are keen to meet and learn more about!

Why not read about our animals on the Relaxed At Home Smallholding Blog BEFORE you sign up. We are also happy to receive specific questions from you at the time of booking which we will then do our very best to answer on the day!!!
What makes a successful smallholding?
A tour of the entire Relaxed holding, warts and all!!

Relaxed Smallholding coursesTaking on your first smallholding is exciting, daunting, scary, exhausting… You can do all the research in the world but until you are there, standing on your own land, wondering how on earth you are going to catch the piglet that has just escaped under your woefully inadequate fencing (yes, this is a true story), it is very difficult to know if you really have what it takes.

The first year on a smallholding can often seem very easy because you don’t know what you don’t know BUT when things go wrong, life can get a little bit serious! Falling over in the mud is funny the first time but when you then slip and cut your wrist on a piece of old soil pipe you didn’t even know was there… (yes, another true story).

Relaxed Smallholding coursesOn this course we will take you on a full tour of our 10-acre smallholding and talk about all the aspects of being a smallholder, that in an ideal world you want to get right as soon as you can. We will look at and discuss: buildings (size, structure, ventilation, position, number of, access to); the land itself (layout, fencing, access to water, gateways, hedgerows, slopes, grazing, vegetable and fruit growing potential); machinery (quads, trailers, chainsaws etc). You will meet the animals and look at how they are housed, moved, fed. We will also discuss the smallholding through the seasons: winter and summer management can be VERY different!

You will see things that are NOT quite right because on every smallholding there is always something that needs sorting, fixing, changing, re-thinking and seeing what does not work and why, can be as valuable as seeing what does.

Tel: 01769 581175     07929 204386/204521           Facebook@RelaxedSmallholding      twitter@JackAtRelaxed      © Relaxed Ltd 2017