Friday, February 19, 2021
The rain keeps coming down. It’s hard to know what to do when everything is so wet. This is really the time to be tackling all those winter infrastructure projects, ready for the spring. Except that it’s so wet!
We have turned one lot of compost, so that we will have some good earth for when we build more raised beds in the polytunnel. We have made ekes for the bees – a low wooden frame to put over their brood box, just high enough to accommodate a sausage of sugar fondant, to keep them fed over the winter. We fed the bees just after the new year and were delighted to find each of the four colonies still alive and busy in their hives. We will keep an eye on them through the winter and into spring.
We have planned to plant almost 1000 trees and the first batch of 200 have already been delivered. They are a mix of hedgerow trees (including hawthorn, hazel, rowan, dog rose, crab apple, elder) and some trees which we can plant as standards – beech, oak, hornbeam. On a walkabout to assess where we could plant the trees we found that there has been a lot of rabbit damage – they have chewed the bark and effectively ringbarked many of the trees. We are not keen on plastic tree guards, but we are a lot less keen on all our planted trees being killed by hungry bunnies so plastic tree guards it is. On our wanderings we found that the small group of apple trees which were moved from our old farm site have been smothered by a vast tangle of brambles, so one day last week a couple of us made a start on untangling the giant knot and releasing the apple trees – a work in progress.