Frequently Asked Questions.
Have you finished building your cob house yet?
No, we have not. The spring of 2015 was very slow to arrive and the summer has not really happened at all! Despite having lots of support from volunteers and friends progress has been far slower than we’d hoped and we are still at the digging out footings and putting in drainage stage. This is obviously disappointing as it means at least one more winter in our ‘rather basic caravan’ (to quote Ben Fogle) but as ever we have used the lessons learned to improve our ideas about what happens next.
Do you have any photos of your house or the plans?
See above for the answer to photos of the house! We don’t have detailed plans, at least in part becasue we are not even sure ourselves exactly what it will look like. The cob project is going to grow from the earth and everyone who helps build it will also help shape it. Having a proper image of what it will look like is like trying to predict what a child will look like as an adult. If you google for images of cob projects though you will get an idea of the sort of vision we have though. Curving walls, cosy nooks and spaces, an open plan main area for cooking, living and eating in, small private spaces each for sleeping and keeping our ‘stuff’, lots of natural materials and windows.
I blogged about how we came up with the proposed lay out, as a collaborative family project developed over time with everyone’s ideas and input in my post ‘draw a house’.
Do you take volunteers / WWOOFers?
We have previously hosted volunteers and intend to do so again in the future but in 2017 we will not be taking any volunteers. We do not have any large group projects planned and are anticipating lots of family and friends visiting this year so will be putting all our hospitality energy into that. If you are visiting Rum and are interested in Croft 3 though please do get in touch as if we are around we are happy to meet you and show you around the Croft, talk about our adventures and chat.
Who lives on Croft 3?
Ady, Nic, Davies & Scarlett. A family of four. Ady is in his 50s, Nic in her 40s, Davies and Scarlett are teenagers. We run Croft 3 as a family working together, collaboratively as a team and each with our own projects too. We have a variety of skills and interests both on and off Rum. Along with all of the Croft 3 livestock we also have a pet collie dog Bonnie and a black cat called Kira.
What animals do you have?
As of 2017 we have pigs (four at the moment) who we use for improving the ground and breed to rear the young for our own meat eating, sheep (three) who we keep for grazing, fleeces and long term may breed from for meat, turkeys (currently a breeding pair) who we will hopefully rear young from this year to raise for meat, guinea fowl (three) who are mostly for entertainment, their pretty feathers which we gather for craft projects and because they eat ticks! We have ten geese who are kept for grazing and gathering their feathers. Nic, Davies and Scarlett are very amenable to the idea of eating goose, particularly the more feisty gander but Ady is less keen, we have many ducks and chickens who are kept for eggs (our own use and selling to visitors from our shop) and meat.
What crops do you grow?
We are constantly facing twin challenges of protecting our crops from the wildlife (and our own livestock) and the Rum elements so our crops are grown under cover in our tiny polytunnel or within caged areas. We have a large soft fruit and orchard tree cage containing apples, pear, plum and cherry trees, currants, blueberries, raspberries, loganberries and tayberries. We have a second caged area with large raised beds in which we grow a variety of fruit and vegetables. We have a polytunnel in which we start off our seeds and grow crops which need more heat such as tomatoes, chillies and peppers. We have a herb spiral near to our caravan and quite a lot of space under plastic for strawberries. We love strawberries! We also forage a lot as Rum has a lot of wild food, particularly brambles growing all over the island.
Where can I buy your produce?
We sell our produce directly from the croft gate in our little shed shop which is always open and operates an honesty box policy for purchases. We also have a wide variety of our arts, crafts, preserves and gifts available from the shed to buy too. You can also purchase from us online from our etsy shop.
Did I see you on telly?
Quite possibly! We were on Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild which first aired on channel five in August 2015. The show has since been aired worldwide and appears to be regularly repeated.