So the past two weeks have been filled with visitors and LOTS of outside work….. not much time for crafting except in between visitors and knitting of an evening!!
We started with a few days with my sister and niece and nephew!!
Someone was very pleased with his visitors!! And we had wall building round the Polytunnel!!
Playdoh….. painting…… forest school trip!
Bird box building and painting….
Phew very busy!!
Then last week my parents came for a few days!
It turned colder…. but we have meshed the fruit cage….. planted and frost fleeced a few plants that had been delivered…. blueberries in pots in some good Ericaceous compost as our soil isn’t right for them but we need them as young sir would eat his body weight in blueberries!! Well fruit in general!!
Then we had lots more Polytunnel progress…. just a shame on the final day the wind picked up so we couldn’t get the plastic on….
We had a wood delivery too…. didn’t get as much in last year as this year has required!! It’s all a learning process and bear in mind this time last year we were only able to collect wood every other weekend!!!
Any way all this done plus toddler wrangling…. plus catering…. keeping the home fires burning…. and growing a baby….. phew
We have had a quieter weekend this weekend sans visitors!
Finishing some jobs in the fruit cage….
Using sawdust to make paths…. cable tying the mesh further and pegging it down….
Chipping the brash piles we’ve had lying about from hedgerow sorting!! Finally seem to be making some progress in rejuvenating some of the hedgerows and hope we will be able to lay some of them in a couple of years to thicken them up and really sort them!
So I have been knitting on Some Christmas socks and the wool is working out ok!
Then I’ve finished a project from the WIP wall of shame!!!! Yay!!!
Meet the leaf babies!!
So more about them later this week!!
Then I’ve been out in the workshop working on some wood crafts and pyrography….
Then for little Sirs Forest school group I’ve been asked to knit some elf clothes so the children can make some little elves!!
I finished proto elf last evening!! Along with a few other projects to be revealed later this week!!
So stay tuned this week for lots of shop updates and FO posts!!!
We have continued to process the wood that we have been cutting down…..
The logs have been cut and chopped and stacked!!! And we have rearranged the barn a smidge to make more room to stack wood!
We have been sorting the wood to be sawn and the wood to be chopped….
And even chipping the branches so we can use them as path or bedding mulch!!
We have mainly cut goat willow (Salix Caprea) and tidied up some branches and the leylandii!!!! And have been trying to work out how much we will use/need to have for a year of stove use!! James’ parents brought us a poem a while back…
Beech-wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new-cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for years ’tis stored away;
Birch and fir-wood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
But ash-wood green and ash-wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.
Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold;
It is by the Irish said;
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread,
Apple-wood will scent the room,
Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom;
But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.
This gives you a start as to what will burn… I.e. The leylandii will burn quick and bright….
But we have been hunting further…. Willow is apparently also a poor wood…. Mmmmmmm we have a few oak branches…. And a load of bits to tidy up!!!
James has cut down a goat willow!!
Here it is mid stream, and now here it isn’t, with another puppy photo bomb!!!
We have loaded all the logs into Ally the gator….
And popped them in the barn ready for splitting and stacking!!
All the branches are piled high in the fields, I think either for hauling to the barn to pass through the chipper ready for paths or for making more beacon fires…. Probably for the chipper on the next wet day!!
We are making good progress on June log piles ready for the log fired stove/heating system and cooker!! And plus we are freeing up valuable stream bank space for spring ready for the planting of the basketry willows!! Or Salix purpurea!! Can’t wait for all those fabulous colours to be there in winter!!!
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!!!
Well we had some wet days recently at the smallholding and we decided it would be a good time to move the woodpile which had started to sprout thanks to the willow and the fact that the barn leaks where we chose to put the pile at first!!!
The moved wood pile looks so much better now and there is airflow round it thanks to the pallets we discovered on our excavations!! We also found a desiccated rat under a large piece of wool carpet which was all wrapped up!! That is in good nick but having been stored in an asbestos barn for who knows how long it will do for weed suppressant!!
We found a chimney sweeping brush and more of the old barn innards one of which we reckon is the dated lintel which sets us an original build date!! What do you all think the date says?? We are a little undecided as the last number isn’t that clear!!
Piles of rubbish and newly designated areas for things!!
But we now know what we have hidden away and everything is sooooo much more accessible!!!!