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
Last summer, after filling the barn with hay we built an outdoor hay stack. (See here). Here it is when freshly built. We meant to put a tarp or something over it to protect the top and help it shed water, but we somehow never got around to it. Over the following months, the uncovered stack shrank alarmingly and I assumed it would be half … Continue reading Outdoor Haystack Part 2 – taking it down
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
Spring is well underway, the grass is growing and the Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor is germinating in the hay meadows. It is also germinating in profusion in many of the areas that we mulched with grass and hay from Cae Mari Jones last summer and autumn. Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) seedlings germinating in hay mulch There has been a lot of interest in the role … Continue reading Establishing Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)
Bracken Mowing – cut bracken to the left, uncut to the right I have been using our trimming scythe to harvest bracken in one of the fields at the Trust. Mature bracken stalks are pretty tough, so I used a 65cm Styria blade, which is capable of cutting rougher stuff without sustaining unreasonable damage to the cutting edge. I say “harvesting” rather then “controlling” the … Continue reading Harvesting Bracken
I was cycling home recently when I saw someone trimming a verge with a string-stimmer. It looked like hot, slow and tiring work – the strimmer could only take small bites of the rank grass, it was obviously quite heavy and the user was wearing long sleeves and trousers and a mask in the hot afternoon sunshine to protect himself from flying vegetation. My first … Continue reading The Trimming Scythe – it’s not all about haymaking you know!