This is an exciting moment ... yes really! This empty plot of ground is going to be transformed over the next few weeks into Slow Summer Snail Farm. We had to move out of our happy home at Brogdale with it's lovely fruit harvest and find another place. Three years ago I first approached the Parish Council in Littlebourne to ask if I could keep snails on an allotment and after a great deal of thought they agreed. Under the Allotments Act, you can keep chickens, rabbits and bees on an allotment without special permission - but for any other livestock you have to get their agreement. The primary purpose of allotments must be for growing food of course - if you keep rabbits they've got to be for eating. I'm already half way through moving the snail pens from Faversham but it wasn't until yesterday that I got the exciting news there was a plot I could have. January is the time of year when allotment holders have pay their modest rent, so I guess that's when many decide they just haven't got the time or energy to grow their own food in the way they had hoped. What seems like such a good idea on a balmy day in Spring or summer turns into a chore when it won't stop raining.
The ground is nice and flat so the first thing I've got to do is put down week suppressant fabric to stop it getting overgrown. Then the pens go on top. We're going to need the wire mesh pens to keep out predators here just as much as at Brogdale - there's been a plague of foxes killing chickens and I'm certain there will be hedgehogs, mice and shrews ... and who knows what else! So planning is well underway and I'm just delighted to have the snails so close to home for this summer.