Category Archives: Permaculture

A Late Bracken Harvest

What to do if you’re running low on animal bedding? Go out and harvest more! The bracken on our farm needs controlling, but it is also an incredibly useful resource. Amongst other things, we use it for cattle bedding. When the autumn harvest began to run out, Phil and I took a late cut from a scrubby corner. Despite a winter of rain and wind, … Continue reading A Late Bracken Harvest »

The Austrian Scythe – a versatile tool

Cearing a path in the woods

People buy a scythe for lots of reasons – for managing everything from a smallholding to the edges of a heritage railway line. Looking at our site at this time of year it can appear that our scythe use is restricted to the hay meadow, but this is far from the truth. One of the delights of the scythe is that it can be used … Continue reading The Austrian Scythe – a versatile tool »

Peening to Keep Mowing

Hay rowed up for the night on Cae Mari Jones

Whilst mowing this morning both Phil and I were sharpening more frequently than usual to keep our blades mowing well – time for a peen. Here is Phil working on my 75cm Profisense ready for tomorrow morning’s mowing. Permaculture Magazine are featuring an article by us on peening in their latest issue. We want to encourage more people to experience the benefits that peening can … Continue reading Peening to Keep Mowing »

Spring time in the Garden – Mulched Potatoes

For the last few years we have built an outdoor haystack. This serves as an emergency backup for the indoor stacks should we need additional animal feed in a really severe winter. Its primary purpose is to “store” mulch material for use in the garden in the spring, as there is little fresh to harvest at this time of the year. We have grown potatoes … Continue reading Spring time in the Garden – Mulched Potatoes »

Autumn Harvest – Bracken

In autumn the scythe moves from harvesting grass to bracken, a task to which it is well suited. We harvest the bracken both to control it in the fields and to use it as a resource on the farm and garden. These two posts about the 2014 bracken harvest and the 2013 bracken harvest give more detail about how and why we harvest bracken. This … Continue reading Autumn Harvest – Bracken »

Mowing at Midday

We have a grass track running through the Trust. We maintain parts of it with a scythe, usually using the clippings to mulch the vegetable gardens. The edges to the tracks are left to grow longer and bramble tries to creep out from the hedges. Periodically the edges need managing too. Edges ready to be mown The balance of grazing land to hay fields on … Continue reading Mowing at Midday »

Harvesting and Using Bracken

We held our last scythe course of the year on 30th August. As well as cutting grass we cut a large patch of bracken that grows in the Quiet field. The participants got a lot of satisfaction from cutting the bracken. The stems are stiff and widely spaced and so cut easily, even if the cut material can be rather heavy and tangly to carry … Continue reading Harvesting and Using Bracken »