Having been told yet again that smallholdings, crofts and small farms cannot be successful, this time by a neighbouring farmer, I thought I’d set out my reasons for believing they can be successful and argue that until our current water crisis Stonehead Croft was a success.
For me, the crucial thing is how you define success.
If you define success according to the prevailing economic, social and cultural wisdom, the anything like what we’re trying to do is doomed to failure.
You’re going to be lucky to show much profit in a good year; you are not going to provide yourself with all the mod-cons of satellite TV in every room, games consoles, video phones, acres of DVDs and the like; you are most definitely not going to have a flash car car, flash clothes or a flash house; and you’re going to find yourself bereft of all those chattering people you know from work, the gym, the wine bar or the cafe.
But, if like us, you have walked away from the prevailing consumerist monetarist ethos, then why are you judging the success or otherwise of a smallholding in those terms? Of course, you can never entirely abandon society as it’s too pervasive, but you can live your own life on the fringes and if you do that, then you have to decide what success means to you.
For us, the success of Stonehead Croft is hinges on whether it can provide us with water, food, shelter and a mental and physical state of health that, for want of a better word, I tend to describe as mellowness.