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 was far slower than we’d hoped and we reached a point where we reconsidered how feasible the project was without an army of people working on it. This was disappointing as it has so far meant further three more winters 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.
The cob house is still a project we would love to one day work on, but we are realistic about the resources in terms of people power that it would take and currently as a family we are unable to provide the hospitality that such a large group would require in terms of hosting them with food, shelter and facilities.
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 because 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 2019 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 2019 we have sheep (three at the moment) who we use for improving the ground by grazing and using their fleeces for craft projects. We are are planning to breed from them later this year to rear the young for our own meat eating, turkeys (currently a breeding pair) who we will hopefully rear young from this year to raise for meat, We have eight 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 ganders 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.