About Us

Crockern Farm is where we moved in 2012.  Located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in England, we are surrounded by wilderness, wildlife and projects to restore this old house and garden to something more self-sustaining.

I grew up in Ohio in the US, lived on the East Coast for over twenty years as an adult, and then met and married Roger.  Roger grew up in England, has an affinity for the natural world and a good sense of humour.  We were traveling in the Canadian Arctic when we met and share a love of the outdoors.

Hiking in Connemara, Ireland

I was once told that if you jump, the net would be there.  So at an age where we are old enough to know what we are getting into, and young enough to still do it, we decided to jump into this project and landscape.  This blog is my attempt to chronicle and share our adventures.  Our approach is to not get bogged down by mistakes, but instead appreciate those experiences that we may, or may not, repeat again.  Along the way, we hope to have fun, learn a bit, and keep observing.

We are starting this adventure with our dog Sam and our three chickens.  Who knows who else will join as time unfolds.

45 comments on “About Us

  1. Thanks for following my blog. I love the feeling of yours and am following it. I grew up New York City and ten years ago we bought a little barn in upstate New York which I hope we can keep. All a big learning experience and loving all of it from bats, a snake and squirrels in the house to our little piece of Paradise in the back yard, a marsh.

  2. We have a lot in common! I look forward to following!! ~Sherry~

  3. allycs says:

    Hey! Ive nominated you for the inspiring blog award yaaaaay! Check it out here….http://allycspittle.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/inspiring-blog-award/

  4. “So at an age where we are old enough to know what we are getting into, and young enough to still do it”

    What a great line. I have been trying to get my wife to buy a larger property and give farming a go. I think I’ll use this line if you don’t mind.

  5. beeseeker says:

    Just a quick hello and a thanks for finding the time, and energy, to drop in to my Muck, Line and Thinker blog. Much appreciated.

  6. RobP says:

    Dartmoor is a beautiful place – one of my favourite places to hike in the uk. It’s probably the only real wilderness area we have, unless you pop up to Scotland.

    Looking forward to seeing how your project develops!

  7. snowgood says:

    Hello, as far as I know you’re the nearest WordPress blogger to Snowgood. I’m based in Chudleigh, and like you enjoy a good walk. Last year I finished the Cornish Coast Path & did the Two Moors Way (Coast to Coast). Who knows we may bump into each other on our pedestrian adventures.

  8. Here’s a strange thing… you unexpectedly call in to view house martins on my sub-blog, and kindly ‘like’ them. And on the same day we book a short family holiday on Dartmoor… at a place with the Dartmouth Leat running past (through?) it. So I’m going to like your whole blog in return… and learn something about the area! All the best.

    • Small world! Thanks for visiting the blog and enjoying it and I hope that your family holiday on Dartmoor is lovely — with good weather, too! As an aside, we have over twenty swallow and house martin nests around the property and they are all currently filled with activity!

  9. Catherine – thanks for the follow… but please don’t feel obliged to check out the wildlife goings-on of a sparsely populated island 4250 miles away merely because we are taking 4 days family holiday on Dartmoor! Or is there an Ohio / East Coast interest maybe? RH

    • Ah, but your blog is lovely! I enjoy reading about sunnier climates, too. I thought you were already on your Dartmoor holiday….are you still to come or are you doing a repeat trip?

  10. Brenda Skinner says:

    Catherine, I’m a Canadian who has married a Brit. We live in Canada but travel back to the UK as often as the budget permits (which is not nearly enough for me). Friends and family scattered all over the island, so our travels are far and wide, but we have a particular liking for your part of the country and we’ve spent a fair bit of time in Dartmoor. Half a pint of the local cider nearly knocked me off my pins in Widdecombe several years ago! My sister-in-law lives near Budleigh Salterton, so we always spend time near the coast. Oh, so many happy memories of times in the UK… I think I’ll enjoy following your blog very much. And by the way, I’ve been ready to make that leap for about 15 years but have not been able to persuade my husband to leap with me, more’s the pity.

    • It is a special part of the world, and we were just in Canada and Montana about 2 weeks ago – breathtakingly beautiful. I’m a fan of the local bitter, Jail Ale. Named after, you guessed it, Dartmoor Prison. As to taking that leap, the net is always there!

  11. JC says:

    Thanks for coming around and liking my post! JC

  12. jumbo says:


    You have a great blog here!

    And thank you for visiting – and following – mine!


  13. Thanks for liking my post Catherine.

  14. Only just found your blog, it’s nice to see my parents old house getting some much needed attention. It’s such a special place to live!

    I still visit the valley from time to time to paraglide from Beardown Tor, I’ll try and get a nice shot of the house next time but I thought you might like this one of the woods:

  15. Stephanie Caunter says:

    My Dad grew up in Dunnbridge (4th generation) and I am loving reading your blog. Good luck with you adventures, you live in such a special part of the world.

  16. Ian Fontova says:

    Hey people! I don’t know if you remember me but I’m a spanish boy that arrived to your farm this autumn, and I asked for have my picnick lunch indoors, cause it was very windy. And you said yes and you were very nice and gave me some cake and wrote this wordpress adress in a piece of paper. And today I just found this paper in my pocketbook and checked this, and it’s so nice and interesting, and I felt nostalgic.

    So I only want to say hello and thank you again for how you received me that great day. So hello and thank you!

  17. John Hadden says:

    My mother rented Crockern from the farmer for 10/6d a week in the 60’s/70’s..I was ‘the hippy commune’….water from the stream, an Elsan toilet and many interesting visitors. My sister has the visitors books from then – if you are interested I could scan some pages…..

  18. Love your site, just found you and so glad I did! I look forward to your articles!

  19. Janet Hadden Brewer says:

    I have a nice photo from the 1960’s of my mother boiling the kettle on an open fire in the main room at Crockern. If you would like it please just let me know how I can send it. Thanks

  20. You can certainly send a digital copy. What I don’t wish to do is to post my e-mail on the blog. So, if you would like, I think you can post the image on the blog as an attached reply. Alternatively, if you send me your e-mail (you can do that in the post if you prefer the privacy) then I can respond that way. Hope that helps and I’m looking forward to seeing the photo. Hurrah!

  21. Janet Hadden Brewer says:

    Sorry, cant seem to use comment box, so please could you email me at janbrewercbc@yahoo.co.uk?

  22. Naomi Guy says:

    Hello Catherine,
    I lived at Crockern from 1976 until 1984 with my father. He was a fine woodworker & replaced a lot of the wooden beams in the roof of the old house. I was 9 years old when we moved there & would walk down the lane to get the bus to school. I have a lot of memories. It was a struggle with only one cold tap & no electricity! I now live in Boulder Colorado, to where I was drawn in 1995 for the mountains & rock climbing!

    I really enjoy your blog!

    Kind Regards! Naomi Guy

    • Thank you and what a wonderful connection. Since we’ve lived here, we’ve encountered all sorts of people who “went to a party” or “knew someone” who lived here. But there is nothing more exciting than filling in the pieces of who was here and when — rich history in this old house. Did your Dad do the woodwork which includes the stars along the loft space? And the carvings in the eaves outside? We’re very aware about keeping those in place, and it feels great knowing that someone may have memories of those being made. Since the mid-80’s there are a few more modern conveniences at Crockern, but there are a good many which are not. Still on a generator, but I’m confident that old lister will see us through! Please keep in touch.

  23. Simon Mills says:

    My family used to stay at the cottage in 1964 for our summer holiday I have several photos of the cottage which i can email to you as it looked in those days .My sister remembers an otters head mounted in the living room by the fire which she used to stroke .Fond memories of playing in the stream making dams

    • Many thanks for your note and what terrific memories you must have. We love it here at Crockern and are slowly, and lovingly, trying to make needed repairs to keep this old place in good stead for generations to come. Glad you found the blog and will look forward to your memories adding to the collage.

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