One Step at a Time - A Tiny Derbyshire Smallholding

Welcome to Merrybower Homestead

Latest from the Orchard

  • Cider No.3 Pressing & Cider No.2 UpdateNovember 26, 2017 - 12:01 pm

    Cider No.3 Pressing The final cider making day of the year, and what a day was forecast! A height of five degrees Celsius, with rain from mid-day to mid-afternoon – lovely! The thermals were extracted from the rear of the wardrobe where they’d lain since last winter, and with four layers on I ventured out, […]

Latest from the Animals

  • Initial Thoughts on a Grandpa’s FeederSeptember 7, 2017 - 2:04 pm

    The video below is our initial thoughts on a Grandpa’s Feeder, from New Zealand. Anyone who has ever seen a rat get into their poultry feeder knows that feeling that something must be done. I’m a firm believer in prevention is better than cure, and to that end we invested in galvanised treadle feeders a […]

Latest from the Allotment

  • Planting Plan 2018 – What’s Going WhereJanuary 29, 2018 - 4:15 pm

    The layout for this year’s planting plan. We run a 5-year rotation, but with the new smaller allotment having seven different 10′ x 10′ beds, it’s changed to a 7-year rotation! The Allotment Briefly, the rotation works like this. The top-right bed – this year the nitrogen fixing beans and peas – will drop down […]

This website began as a way for us to record everything we’ve done here at Merrybower; an aid to memory for what we do, when we’ve done it, and why, so hopefully we can learn from our successes, and our mistakes.

As life continues, it has a tendency to become richer, and busier. A small vegetable patch grew into an allotment. Two fruit trees grew in to over eighty. Four rescue chickens grew into a few breeds of chickens, geese, ducks and rabbits (plus the odd waif or stray that finds us).

Today we live as much as we can from the food grown here. Any spare we give away to friends and family, swap with fellow growers, or sell over the garden gate.

Whilst the lifestyle can be quite solitary, the advent of the internet has meant we each can learn so much more, and so much quicker, from others carrying on in a similar fashion, throughout the world. The amount of knowledge people are happy to share is quite staggering, and humbling. Here at Merrybower, alongside the ubiquitous Complete Book of Self Sufficiency by John Seymour, and other specialist books, sits the computer. This opens up literally millions of live books people are writing every day, from which we can all cherry pick the nuggets of information that may help us in our own particular situation. Hopefully someone somewhere might find a nugget or two in our own scribblings, to help smooth their journey just a tad.


Read MoreHay bagged in clear refuse sacks, made here at Merrybower. The rye-grass, clover, timothy grass mix is perfect for small furries, weeded by hand through the growing season. £3 per bag, or four bags for £10. Contact us to arrange a pick-up time or free delivery in Barrow parish.

Read MoreHaving found a high-quality dog food that our own Penny loves, we have decided to supply the specialist UK-made range of Ancestral Canine products, as their ethos is close to our own hearts. The entire menu is wheat gluten free, using low gluten grains, vegetables and herbs, making the foods palatable and easy to digest.

Read MoreWe are part of an informal group of friends and keen enthusiasts who take an interest in breeding pure breed poultry. To see the breeds we currently have for sale, or those we intend on breeding in the coming year, see below. Please do get in touch if you are interested in any of them.

Produce For Sale

At the Garden Gate we have eggs, on the front with the honesty box. Normal sized eggs, bantam eggs and duck eggs – all free-range and fed quality feed. We also add in-season vegetables and fruit, surplus to our own family’s needs.

Apples & Pears
As the fruit season comes into full swing we will have various apples and pears to buy at the garden gate.

Chickens and Geese for Sale

Contact Us

To have a chat – hit the big purple button!