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The Story So Far

The following 6 blog posts have been taken from my contribution to a Facebook group 'Celebrating Smallholding UK'. For the benefit of those who do not follow Facebook, I hope you enjoy these short updates.

Post 1: Introduction

Greetings fellow Smallholders - we are Dave and Debbi Church - a quite ordinary risk averse couple, quietly working hard in the world of IT for a large corporate and paying the mortgage on an average 3 bed semi in Hertfordshire.

A near tragic event occurred in 2012 which proved the catalyst for a monumental decision to laugh in the face of risk, throw caution to the wind and make the most of something you only get one go at - life!

One Friday in February 2012 Dave started to feel ill, by 5:30 he became very ill and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed as having acute Pancreatitis. This is at best an excruciatingly painful condition and in its severest form, life threatening. Sadly for Dave, his was the severe form and the consultant gave him a stark 50/50 chance of survival. We try not to dwell on those dark times too much now but suffice to say, thanks to the brilliant medical team at Lister Hospital in Stevenage who got him through the initial crisis and the equally amazing consultant and staff at the Royal Free in London who effectively put him back together over the following 18 months, Dave is still with us.

The illness has left Dave with Type 1 Diabetes, a condition which he never complains about and refuses to limit his life as result of - indeed, the first thing he did as soon as he was cleared to resume physical activity was to train for and complete a half marathon, raising over £3,000 for Battersea Dogs Home in the process.

So, we've come out the other side and life should have just reverted to normal routine right?


An increasingly heavy and stressful workload for me, an unsuitably sedentary job for Dave and a run of family bereavements prompted us to re-think our life.

And we came up with this - give up our very good jobs, sell up in Hertfordshire and buy a 6 acre small holding in Pembrokeshire.


We hope you’ll join us for a series of posts documenting our journey so far – the highs, lows, successes and absolute c**k ups!

Meanwhile a wee picture montage on us ‘Then’ and ‘Now’.

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