Byther Farm, a 0.8 acre homestead – a smallholding in the UK – was designed using permaculture. The gardens produce approximately 85 per cent of the food and drink consumed at the kitchen table. It is home to Mr J and Liz Zorab, who runs courses in gardening and homesteading, writes, hosts the podcast called Gardening Demystified and has a successful YouTube channel, Liz Zorab – Byther Farm. A local veg box scheme, run as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, was successfully piloted in 2019.
‘We moved to Byther Farm in late 2015 to start a new life together. A gentler, greener lifestyle that would nurture our physical and emotional needs to slow down and live more with the rhythm of nature.
We choose natural methods to grow an abundance of fruit and vegetables – without using mass produced ‘chemicals’. And we raise chickens, ducks and turkeys which are fed on organic feed and are given the freedom to roam on pasture areas and to express their natural behaviour.
We enjoy the freedom and resilience that this lifestyle offers and are happy to do the hard work required for this level of self-sufficiency.
Liz works full time on the homestead and as a content creator in various media. Her love of gardening started as a small child, but blossomed when she left home and first had her own garden, finding joy in propagating plants and growing food for her family.
She worked for twenty years in the charity and community sectors including community development and strategic planning. With a particular interest in innovative practices and promoting volunteering opportunities, she developed (with Fair Shares in Gloucestershire) the first Time Bank in the UK, and the first mass employee volunteering project, Hands On Bristol (with Community Service Volunteers – now called Volunteering Matters).
More recently she worked in marketing and community liaison with Bristol Rugby Club, now known as Bristol Bears, developing and managing the youth supporters’ club, and event-based fundraising with its charitable foundation.
At her happiest when pottering in the garden, Liz now manages the half acre fruit and vegetable gardens and food forest at Byther Farm.
Liz is available for talks and presentations about gardening, growing for food security and self-sufficiency.
Mr J works off-site for part of the week and works with Liz on the larger and more cumbersome projects and manages the renewable resources projects at Byther Farm, including maintenance of the reed bed water system.
He is a reluctant, but much appreciated, participant in videos, preferring audio productions.
Immediately before moving to Byther Farm, Mr J worked as the UK Operations Manager of an international behavioural research company.
A child of the Sixties and of suburban London, he has been involved in radio and the music industry, in one form or another, for most of his working life. Further details and where to hear his radio shows can be found on his Facebook page, Titus Radio, here.
Recording Our Story
When we made the decision to move to this little homestead, I decided to keep a record of our daily lives and our progression through the years. Partly this was to share the experience and partly to have the record for us to look back at and enjoy.
I started by writing a blog, which will appear on this website over time and after a year or so, I started making a video record of life on our homestead. Since then the YouTube channel has developed to offer gardening instructional and tutorial videos together with vlog style videos and some social commentary. In 2020 I added a podcast to further explore gardening and growers ideas and knowledge. — Liz