new beginnings in an old house
We are a husband and wife team living in a little welsh cottage in the Nantlle Valley of North Wales. We moved here in July 2016 and set to work creating our ideal home and smallholding. The cottage has views of Snowdonia from the back door, and a view to the sea from the front. We also enjoy a mild microclimate due to being so close to the sea. Not only does Emma grow plants for her little plant nursery, we also run a smallholding, keeping pigs, horses, and a herd of goats. We raise rare breed chickens and have a flock of runner ducks and geese. Every animal here is helping to transform the land. We still have many years ahead turning the land back into healthy grassland.
We hand milk twice a day and as well as enjoying the goats milk we do turn the odd litre or more into cheese. There was always going to be the need to make our smallholding profitable and so we created The Clean Goat Soap Company which was born from a true passion for our goats and as a way to use up the extra milk we have from our herd. The benefits of having healthier skin naturally was not lost on Emma as working outside in all conditions takes it's toll on the hands and face.
All of our goats have access to paddocks every day. We grow additional forage for them in our fields and their optimum health is our primary concern.
Emma is now in the process of creating a number of gardens here. She is the plantswoman in charge of producing the additional herbs and floral additions to the soaps. Everything is grown without chemicals and you are welcome to pop on to her website to see what plants she has for sale at The Blue Cottage Plant Nursery. The nursery opens in 2020.
We believe that we can all benefit from the skills used long ago to live simpler lives and that we can all help to lessen our impact on the environment.
Since moving here we have put all our efforts into turning the land back to being productive. 30 years of neglect had left it awash with rushes and brambles and the waterlogged soil was devoid of life. Bringing life back to the smallholding was essential, and all our animals help manage the land with us as a team.
As well as raising a few rare breed chickens, we have an amazing herd of goats. They are our passion and they add the most amazing element to the soap we make here. Everyone of them is cherished and we do not raise goats for meat. Only a few goat kids are born each year and they either stay with us or move on to other herds. It is our passion that animal welfare is at the core of what we do here.
We live a simple life ourselves, growing our own vegetables for our plates and using our flowers and herbs to add those essential finishing touches to the soaps that we make here. We source all of our bought resources from sustainable sources.
Our simple life spent outside with our animals and surrounded by the plants and trees that Emma is lovingly cultivating is echoed in how we live inside our home. Using only the most natural products we can to wash ourselves and our home so that we don't negatively impact on our own land outside. We enjoy our own spring water, endeavor to compost all our waste from the land and use what nature can supply such as nettles and comfrey for plant food. We work with nature and hope to improve our land and ourselves as a result.
We really hope you enjoy our range of soaps. Supporting us in this business means that we can create and develop more such as the shampoo bars and solid lotion bars we know you'll love to use everyday.
If you'd like to follow us and see more of what we do here we have another site www.thebluecottagesmallholding.co.uk. We run a blog on this page, you can follow us for all the smallholding tips advice as well as courses in 2021. This year Emma is sharing her vegetable garden and showing how to grow your own vegetables for a more self sufficient lifestyle.