I have been hedge cuttering my way round the brambles in new orchard field and have now completed the first chop of the brambles in what will be our orchard….. And it’s HUGE!!!! We decided I must have cut about ten time a the size of our home garden in bramble patch!!!
A bit of during
And…… Drum roll please….. After!!!
Giant field!!! With orchard, willow and hazel growing opportunities in its future!!!! Hurrah!!!!
Whilst James played with the beast!!! I hacked down some more chunks of the bramble patches along the pipe stream bank and into the woodland!!! Got a big chunk done too not that it shows from the top of the hill, because it went down the side and around the back of the colossal patch to allow the beast to be able to travel through the patch and then turn and complete the bramble munching!!
Found another sheep skull too!! Maybe it’s the puma!!! Lol!!
Over the last month James and I have been clearing the rough pasture as this is the new venue for an orchard!! This means more weeds…. More bramble forests and some chainsawing up of goat willows and overhanging branches!
Last weekend we went back to the farm to make sure things were ok ready for work to start on the 16th!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!! I went out with hedge cutters, the strimmer and more weed death spray!!!! A bit more is cleared!
Slowly but surely….. We are getting there….
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!!
Once the spraying and clearing in slurry pit was done I decided to venture into what will be our orchard with the strimmer and the hedge cutters to find the other side of the bank and the gate at the end of it that leads into the yard or will do once we clear it!!!
I figure that this will make a better run through to the orchard than the current little windy path past the tin hut!!
Any way back to the brambles and nettles!!!!
We started with a load of this…..
Then with some strimmer and hedge cutter action we got to….
And after a bit more I made it to the gate!!! Though we need to take some wire cutters etc to sort it some more before finishing the job!!
The next two days I was alone at the smallholding with just Sookie for company. Sookie used this as an excuse to wedge herself into my armpit every time I sat down or to go absolutely bat shit crazy every time anyone approached the farm or if there was a noise!!!
We came to terms with our empty calf less barn!!
Though I had to stop Sookie on a couple of occasions from trying to get in there and stop her from eating cow poo!!
We had three window companies out for quotes, a plumbing/electrician firm and I met the guy who is tackling the knotweed down in the woodland off the road!! I also rang a few other companies for quotes on damp proofing, bore holes, septic tanks etc etc etc!!!
I also tried to contact the Rural Payments Wales people to register etc etc so we can start trying to get into the Glastir Programme and start off getting some payments in to help us manage the land…. But I realised quickly into the call that I had left the holding number back with the other paperwork at home!!! Doh!!!! So that’s a job for another day, probably May half term!!!
The only significant amusement during my time alone, other than quotes, was the arrival of new bedding for the remaining barn load of calves!! Our tenant fired up his bob cat in the barn and the whole tin hut shook wildly!!! I was just it ting down for dinner and managed to hurl a tomato in my surprise across the tin hut!!! Te he!!!
I did also manage to get out amidst the drizzle and continue clearing along the back slurry pit banking. I cut the Rowan branches that over hung the pit and hacked back about three metres of brambles using gloves secateurs
and a pitch fork!! And I have started a new bonfire pile!! When James and he parentals left, I was under strict instructions not to relight the fire or go into the woodland alone.
I also managed to start clearing some brambles by the stream pipe in the rough pasture!! So a productive few days even though I was alone with the pup!!