Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts tagged Coppicing

Willow harvest creeps on

Willow harvest creeps on

Cutting willow isn’t something to be done in bad weather if it’s not essential; we try to avoid it anyway. It’s physically demanding and is miserable in the rain but hey, we’ve got hats!The worst of it is not being willing to take a vehicle over the ground to pick up all that’s been cut […]

So good to be cutting hazel

So good to be cutting hazel

Cut down trees. Do it now; you know you want to. It’s great therapy even when some swearing’s required when the poor old saw doesn’t start first time. I managed only two hours cutting hazel yesterday before needing to get back to other things on the farm. Actually it’s still a bit early in teh autumn because the […]

Sawflies munched my hazel

Sawflies munched my hazel

It would be great to have more time to… well for all sorts of things. Spending time with spouse, children and friends comes top even though I know I’m luckier than most in that regard. Playing music, singing, walking, cooking, cycling, reading. That list could be a long and pitiful one so let’s stop there!A […]

Wassledine willow wassail

Wassledine willow wassail

It’s hard to ask for help. Pride, perhaps mixed with the certain knowledge that the help we might request is for work that is hard, cold and pretty dull. On many occasions  over the last few years however, visitors have suggested we tell them when we need a hand; but we’ve not been good at asking.This year we did and things turned out […]

Bean poles, pea sticks, hedge stakes&...

Bean poles, pea sticks, hedge stakes…

I got into the swing of hazel over Christmas and have cut a bit now. I like to cut a little, process it, then cut more; that way, by alternating activity, I avoid spending too much time doing either (and the associated muscle pain), but more important it avoids creating a cat’s-cradle of fallen stems that’s a pain to unravel.I’ve […]

Fascines

Fascines

We’re doing a bit of experimental work making willow ‘fascines ‘ for a potential client in Cambridgeshire. This is an interesting diversion and work so far suggests that we will be able do the business using a mix of living sallow, Salix caprea, and a couple of our plantation-grown willows (species and varieties yet to […]

Ready for the rain

Ready for the rain

I woke up early this morning, thinking to get some paper work done before getting out to use all the light the day can muster. Of course I forgot the weather. It’s raining hard and the forecast suggests that it could continue through to the end of Christmas Eve. I did know this but had […]

Wood bog – all dressed up and n...

Wood bog – all dressed up and no one to go

In the usual run of things, I wouldn’t usually have much to say on the subject of  ‘the toilet’. Poor hygiene or a complete absence can of course be irksome, but that’s about as far as I would usually go. However, for some months I’ve been searching the net for bog blogs and tales of alfresco pooing. Suddenly I’m fired up […]

A hazel tunnel

A hazel tunnel

A couple of weeks ago I built a four metre long tunnel using hazel poles. This was for a client who is developing a great garden and wants to grow more veg. She spent the day helping which was great too. The idea is to create something that will carry climbing plants – lots of […]

A sallow rant

A sallow rant

Starting to collect sticks together for some hurdle jobs and hedge stakes, I’ve been cutting sallow or goat willow, Salix caprea. Now I know some of you will scoff at my use of willow for hedge stakes. Actually I know some of you will get quite cross about it. Everyone knows that willow will grow if used in a hedge, so […]