Ragman’s Lane is renowned for its permaculture background ever since Bill Mollison visited when they started. To this day, Patrick Whitefield bases many of his courses there. However Matt has found it by no means easy running a farm on the scale of Ragmans (60 acres, Forest of Dean) since it’s a little too large to integrate the different areas of the farm as much as he’d like; primarily because it takes a great deal of time to execute. He gave the example of moving sheep in from the pasture to arable fields at night since that way they bring their day’s grazing with them and leave it to fertilise the arable fields before they leave the next morning. But realistically who has time to round up the sheep every night when you’ve a permaculture course to welcome, a lame calf to attend to, a crop to market, a polytunnel to water, etc.
So they simplified. A lot. Cutting out a lot of their activities and focussing on oyster & shiitake mushrooms and apple juice, and things are looking good.
They’re keen to increase veg production and are OFFERING LAND IF ANYONE WANTS TO START GROWING.
Ragman’s run courses on everything from permaculture to cider making if you’d like to re-skill and learn something useful, fun, resilient, and profitable.