We piled up the excess bits from the tree tidying we did behind the bank….. Well we have been piling for weeks…. Finally this weekend the weather was right…. A couple of hours dry in the morning and rain moving in to out the fires when needed… So a couple of hours before the rain James lit the beacons as I have been calling them!!
The riders of Rohan didn’t appear though……
Over the weekend we were back at the farm and I went hell for leather with the hedge cutters (although I am paying for it now with a poorly bad hand and wrist) The orchard field is basically now cleared other than some brambles which Mum is coming to help pick clean next weekend!! I shall probably follow her with the hedge cutters to complete the hack down once all the juicy goodness is bagged and tagged!!!
We are starting to get some tantalising peeks into this section of woodland which we have not seen yet and we have found fencing!!! Yes fencing along the edge of the woods before they expanded over the fence!! James spent most of the weekend taking down the shambolic fencing at the top by the slurry pit bank and we have now cleared the back of the bank which means of course we have found more dumped metal work in the form of a gate and something else!! We shall see what that is when we pull it out!!
Our lovely farmer who rents our fields popped by to give us some advice on the slurry pit mess and see if he could help!! We now definitely need a digger to come to the farm to dig a channel through the bank to allow the pit to drain…. Spreading the muck on the fields is not advisable due to the amount of seeds and what not contained within!! So draining and spraying and digging out the weeds is going to be the name of the game!! But we have plenty of work for a digger to do with levelling the rest of the pit and excavating the rocks (basically lobbing them over the wall of the pit to create a complete bank all the way around!) muck heaps to be moved and everything!!
Whilst the borehole was being dug, the owner of the company brought up his mini digger to do some trenching for the pipework….. He decided to take the mini digger into the slurry pit to see what state the bog of eternal stench end was in……
BAD news …. It is much deeper than we thought although there is a ramp by the little wall end….. And….. It is stinking gelatinous goo….. Which whilst vile in itself is also dangerous…… I.e. Could suck small people in should they walk on it…… So we have been investigating one man and his digger options and are also going to ask the farmer who rents our fields and barns if he fancies reducing his bill by spreading the goo onto orchard field for us!!!! Fingers crossed it comes off soon so we can get cracking with the slurry pit vegetable garden in earnest!!!
Looking about the farm we have a number of small jobs that a large digger would make mincemeat out of like clearing the path to orchard field, moving the compost piles to the slurry pit once excavated…. So may as well get a load done at once!!!
We don’t want anyone to be eaten by this!!!
During our fortnight at the farm weed wars continued!!! Having gotten a handle on the nettles with cutting and spraying and the brambles too…. I moved onto GIANT HOGWEED!!!!! A vile plant that grows enormously and seeds and attracts flies and horseflies!!!!!! And it is also colonising our orchard field….. Sooo me a set of hedge cutters and a spray gun have attacked it!! First I cut it down in swathes with the hedge cutter then wait patiently….. Well as patiently as possible and when signs of regrowth start it gets a squirt of weed killer!!! I am being rather selective in my use of weed killer as I don’t want to over do it due to the cost of the stuff and also because of its effects on so much else that’s good out there in the orchard, but needs must when faced with a colony of hogweeds!!!
Hogweeds also when cut exude a nasty sap, which according to my googling is photo toxic, which means that if the sap gets onto you skin and then you are in the sun it can blister and burn!!! Ah ha said me finally the explanation for the weird purple marks on my skin!!! Propolis gel sorted those although it took ages!!! Now this means that I go out with visor, overalls, gloves, boots everything!!!! Am even contemplating goggles as the sap can cause blindness if it gets in your eyes. Luckily the hedge cutters are long heavy creations that mean I can cut them down a way away from me!!!
In other news it appears like nothing can kill our invasion of flag irises which look like they will need to be dug out and moved….
But the good news is the cutting spraying etc seems to be working on our banks of the slurry pit and I should be able to start planting strawberries and herbs etc in them soon!!!
But for the time being I shall keep attacking the hogweeds and continue the weed wars to reclaim our little patch of land!!
Whilst the borehole was being dug I took a few photos around the farm…..
James has been working ever so hard at the small holding wood pile!! We have both been chainsawing up branches and small trees that needed to be tidied up and he has then been collecting the logs in Ally and then splitting them with an axe or his chainsaw!!
By the end of a couple of weeks hard graft we have this beauty!!!
Yes it took three and a bit days to drill to 240 foot and then install a tank and all the pipe work!! But there is now water again coming out of a tap at the smallholding!!! The amazing borehole company helped us out with extra connections and they connected up the hovel!!! Hurrah and despite my fears for the hovel pipe work!! No explosions of water ensued!!
The day after the DPC was completed Heddwyn from well drilling came up with his drill rig and they began to drill the borehole!!!!!!
They drilled through the concrete driveway, then six foot of earth, then they hit rock……. The dust!!!!!!! It was immense and everyone around must have been cursing us for the dust!!!!! At forty five feet they hit water….. Apparently not enough to feed a chicken, but certainly enough to suppress the dust!!!
At the end of day one they had gotten to 100 feet in depth so 94ft of rock!!!!!
Damp proof injecting has been done on all the stone walls!!!!
And we ran out of spring water!!!!! Argh!!!!! Luckily we had one jack of water from home and two spare jacks which our fantastic neighbours let us fill up!!!! James went to investigate and it seems our tank up the hill had been disconnected for who knows how long!!!! The tank was dry!!!! We ended up using rain water from the troughs to flush loos and sink strip washes were the name of the game for a few days!!!
James left his trail camera in the woodland!! Look what it caught!!!!