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Communal roundhouse
Communal Roundhouse.
Photo credit: Settlements, David Spero

Tinkers Bubble

Welcome to Tinkers Bubble's official website.

Recent Updates - July 2024

  • We're holding a monthly Saturday volunteer afternoon, which anyone is welcome to come along to. Dates and details on the Events page.
  • Our open day will be on Saturday 5th October, this year running alongside our enagement with Somerset Arts Week.
  • Forestry volunteer weekend dates are now on the events page.

About Tinkers Bubble

Tinkers Bubble is a small off-grid woodland community in Somerset. We use environmentally sound methods of working the land without using fossil fuels.

We have planning permission for self-built houses on the condition that we make a living from the land. We make our monetary incomes mainly through forestry, pressing apple juice, and gardening. As a result we’re money poor but otherwise rich!

We manage about 28 acres of douglas fir, larch, and mixed broadleaf woodland using horses, two person saws, and a wood-fired steam-powered sawmill. Our pastures, orchards, and gardens are organically certified, and we use a combination of no-dig methods and horse-ploughing. We press apple juice and cider for sale, grow most of our own vegetables, keep chickens, bees, and a milking cow and make a lot of preserves.

We have solar powered 12v electricity, spring water on tap, and use compost toilets. We burn wood for cooking, heating, and for hot water in the bath house. We sometimes eat meat from our land, and although we try to cater for all diets we do tend to rely on animal products during the hunger gap. Most people wash their clothes by hand. Life is lived mostly outdoors, so it’s cold in the winter, but we live on the top of a steep hill, so there’s plenty of chances to get warm! There’s loads of wildlife on site, particularly badgers, deer and ticks! We’re currently a group of 6 adults, plus long-term volunteers. Though some of us would consider ourselves to be spiritual, we have no shared spirituality. We are open to new live-in members who are interested in making a living from the land.

Ways to Get Involved

We have the following ways to get involved:

  • An annual open day in the autumn
  • Open volunteer afternoons during the spring and summer (email for details)
  • Weekend residential volunteering, usually for woodland management during the winter and gardening in the summer (listed on our Events page).
  • Short term residential volunteering for 2-3 weeks throughout the year

Longer term volunteering and residency is sometimes available, and is usually dependent on completing a short term volunteer slot so that we can get to know each other. It helps if you already have some experience working with land and animals and/or have lived in community, although this isn't always necessary.

More information on our volunteering and residency process is available here. Please have a read of that page and get in touch by email or post if you would like to volunteer with us, including why you’re interested in visiting, and any relevant experience you’ve got. We don’t expect you to be a professional peasant, but we get a lot of interest and so like to know who you are and why you’d like to spend time with us.

Businesses

We currently run two communal businesses.

We process timber from our woodland using a steam-powered sawmill, and usually have a stock of Douglas Fir available in various standard sizes. We sometimes also have other woods, including Ash, Cherry, and Apple. We can cut to order.

We also press apples for juice and cider, which is available directly from us or from local shops. We mostly deliver by bicycle, so are glad of orders within a reasonable cycling distance!

Some residents also run their personal businesses from the land. As of summer 2023 Meg is selling salad, and occasionally residents make food and crafts to sell at market.

Haymaking
Making hay by horse and hand
Photo credit: Settlements, David Spero

Contact us at: tinkersbubble@riseup.net
We usually check emails about once a week, so responces may be slow.