Poultry, Bees, and Gardening

Way back in 2019, I used to run a great sourdough course with my friend and fellow fermenting enthusiast, Vicky, in her fabulous kitchen at Starnash Farmhouse. Fast-forward to now, and the philosophy behind our baking – to bring the wild levain process to anyone who wants to make their own bread – has been transformed in to a whole new incarnation, namely The Resilient Life.

The workshops will enable people to not only learn new skills, but share experiences, concerns, thoughts and ideas about how we reconnect with nature and feel more in charge of what, why, and how we do things. The workshops are led by Vicky and Tan, but I came along on the last afternoon to lead a session on bees, chickens, and gardening.

Being able to talk about the fascination of honey bees, the charm of poultry, and the benefits on all levels that we get from gardening in a holistic way was brilliant. Having lead courses on beekeeping, chicken-keeping and wildlife gardening, the chance to amalgamate all these in a regenerative way worked really well.

We spoke about open-pollinated and F1 seeds, regenerative agriculture, how to maximise the value out a chicken’s desire to scratch, and a bee’s ability to pollinate, as well as harnessing the natural predator-prey relationships of our garden wildlife to help our plants grow. Soil health too; nursery beds or compost; plant sharing; collaborating with other growers and gardeners to swap produce; land-share initiatives to provide not only help but also – as George pointed out – have some company.

The Resilient Life will be running further workshops later in the spring, and there will be a few stand-alone day sessions that incorporate the principles and practises above for those wanting to learn the techniques and discuss options. I do enjoy the interactive nature of workshops as everyone can learn so much from the queries that come up…there’s no such thing as a silly question!

The next 3-day workshop will be in May, with more dates added as the project evolves. You can stay up to date by following them on Instagram or contacting The Resilient Life here.

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