HARTLEY’S PLOT – organic smallholding

Growing plants on a rugged hillside and telling the story as it unfolds, weaving in anecdotes about music, current affairs and daily life. Questioning everything.


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This is the story of an ever-developing hillside organic smallholding (the ranch), and how its annual cycle slots into daily life. This includes playing in bands (I started off playing guitar in punk band Notsensibles and have never stopped), running a little record label, writing, messing with old vehicles and constantly challenging the mainstream narrative during the pandemic and beyond, from the point of view of having worked as an Emergency Medicine consultant until recently resigning/retiring early.

I like the as above, so below concept. Namely, the principles seen at work in nature, and the  way that we harness them to grow food, can be extrapolated to the outside world. This encompasses ideas like permaculture and at least partial self-sufficiency. Somehow gardening and music seem to complement each other.

I started by documenting one year in the shape of a book – Painting Snails. Once I’d written that, the habit was formed and I’ve continued a regular blog, which is unapologetically ranty, irreverent and vernacular. 

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