Dave & Jane Run Ravenstar between them operating a comfortable B&B, Croft, Microdairy, Complimentary Therapies and a Blacksmith's Forge.
Dave Eastwood has been a Blacksmith since 1993 and ran the village smithy in Burcot in North Worcestershire until September 2005. He enjoys making individual hand forged pieces and concentrates on this type of work in his forge at Vatisker. Dave has had an enduring interest in smallholding and Self-Sufficiency since the age of 16 and had been putting this into practice over the 3 years prior to moving to the Isle of Lewis, with the smallholding he and Jane ran near Burcot in Worcestershire.
Dave is keen to grow all the food and crops on the croft organically, with a mixture of crops and livestock. He and Jane grow almost all their fruit, vegetables and meat themselves and keep hens, sheep, pigs, ducks and goats.
Jane Eastwood has a keen interest in nurturing and growing plants for their food value and their beauty. This interest was kindled when her children were small and a few home grown vegetables helped out the family budget. Over the past few years this endeavour has grown fuelled by the need to know exactly what is in the food that we eat. Everything from potatoes and root vegetables to squashes, legumes, brassicas and an assortment of salad crops and herbs has been grown in the previous garden in Worcestershire. An orchard and fruit garden completed the variety and led to mouth watering jams and chutneys.
A passion for gardening led Jane to become involved with HDRA’s programme Offa - Organic Food for all, whereby mentors enthused people to start growing their own veg using whatever gardens they had; a community allotment was started in Worcestershire which is still carrying on led by the keen members who joined the programme.
Jane's croft garden yields root vegetables and brassicas, peas, beans and potatoes and the polytunnel helps to shield tender plants from the harsh winds. Home grown vegetables are often available to buy in late summer for visitors to Ravenstar B & B. Free Range eggs are available for sale through most of the year.
Jane is also able to provide Natural Therapy treatments including Reiki, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage.
In 2013 Dave and Jane setup a small scale dairy, the first dairy on the Isle of Lewis aiming to provide hand-made Artisan cheese using quality ingredients including milk from their own goats. They aim to provide locally produced cheeses to complement the growing number of local ingredients available within the Outer Hebrides.