I am very excited to welcome Lorraine Turnbull to my blog for the first time (hopefully the first of many!).
Why I Write
My primary school report cards were similar: ‘Lorraine is a bright child who needs to concentrate on what she is SUPPOSED to be doing and not staring out the window and inventing stories.’
After a lacklustre education and being thwarted in my plan to attend agricultural college by my parents I ran away from home at the age of twenty three, and after a loooong period of bland jobs and life, I’ll fast forward you to the aftermath of my divorce in 2003 and my remarriage to my now husband. Disenchanted with suburban life in a Glasgow suburb we relocated to a run-down bungalow with an agricultural occupancy on it in deepest Cornwall. Then began the busiest and most rewarding part of my life: Smallholding! Working the land in all weathers and for all hours. By a quirk of fate I applied for and landed the most fabulous job working for the Rural Business School putting together land-based courses for people just like me!
And that, dear reader is how it all began. The same questions came up again and again, and it was all too lengthy to verbally explain just how to make a profit on a smallholding – so I wrote a book.
This was a labour of love and covered a vast range of subjects as no smallholding or smallholder is the same as the next. Not for me the colourful photograph-filled coffee table books full of artistic portraits of chickens in dewy fields. No sirree! Not one photo in the book (after all everyone knows what a hen looks like!) – and yet it was stuffed with information, tips, wrinkles and case studies from experienced smallholders. It sold like hotcakes and I was hooked. That was in late 2019 and then the double-whammy of Brexit and Covid arrived and I had an excuse to start a second book about smallholding in France. My writing, grammar and punctuation improved as I learned the discipline. Not just producing 1500 words a day, but ensuring they allowed the reader to hear my voice, to ensure that whilst I was educating, I was also encouraging, entertaining and entreating them to follow their dreams.
Following the publication of my third book, Living off the Land, which is my memoir of living the dream, I received a few emails and messages from readers. Some praising me for being a woman in what is perceived to be a man’s world; but also many heart-breaking letters from carers of family members suffering from dementia. They could identify with so much of what I had gone through caring for my mother who suffered with the disease, and felt the book had given them both a voice, and the courage to acknowledge those not-so-noble feelings that the incredible pressure of being a full time carer releases.
I’ve had to pause in writing book number six as I prepare to move house. The self-sustaining smallholding urge has called me back to the land and I can’t wait to share new adventures with my readers.
About the author
Lorraine Turnbull wanted to be a farmer since she was five years old. After running a successful gardening business for many years in Glasgow she uprooted her family and moved to a run-down agriculturally tied bungalow in Cornwall. After retraining as a teacher she taught horticulture at both adult & further education level, whilst running a one acre smallholding. In 2010 she began working as a Skills Co-ordinator for The Rural Business School, who won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2013; and began commercial cider making in 2011.
In 2014 she was recognised for her contribution to sustainable living by winning the Cornwall Sustainability Awards Best Individual category. In 2017 she relocated to South West France to run a successful gite business.
She has written occasional articles for Country Smallholding and Smallholder magazines prior to writing her first non-fiction book, The Sustainable Smallholders’ Handbook, which was published in 2019. She has now published four more books and is returning to a more sustainable way of life on a four acre smallholding in the Lot.
You can follow Lorraine on Amazon’s Author Central (just click the big yellow FOLLOW button under my photo) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorraine-Turnbull/e/B07RYW3XJ1
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LorraineTurnbullAuthor
On Twitter https://www.twitter.com/LorraineAuthor
On YouTube (WARNING: strong Glasgow accent) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4pUvhds6QGX8Vg2ADxBY6Q
Links to books
How to Live the Good Life in France https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086DT7ZS3
Living off the Land: My Cornish Smallholding Dream
Mum’s the Word