Posted: 27/11/2014 at 13:07
I had a similar experience to Dove. When I was young my parents bought a farmhouse surrounded by the farm and it's land, although my father wasn't a farmer. The farmer had built himself a smaller easier to manage house. I was one of 6 children. I was lucky enough to have a New Forest pony.
My first OH bought a farmhouse in Kent. It was a registered smallholding and I bred and milked (by hand) Jersey cows, just a couple, enough to have milk, cheese and rear calves to sell in the market when they were a year old. I also had chickens, ducks and guinea fowl and a big veggie garden. I had sheep for a bit too, but they were good at escaping, weren't mine so gave them back to their owner. It too was subsidised by my husband, didn't sell much apart from eggs and calves. I used to give surplus veg to the old people's home in the village. It felt good growing so much of our own food, but we couldn't eat the lovely ducks! I had John Seymour's book on self sufficiency.
We had 4 children and I thought it was a lovely place for them to grow up. But my husband owned a big dental surgery in London and had a long journey to work, so he got stressed and we moved to France, which he loved. He bought a practice here but died of a heart attack aged 53 in '98.