Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts tagged willow

Balls and how to make willow ones

Balls and how to make willow ones

We’re leading a day in the as yet undiscovered craft of making a ball from nothing but willow, on Sunday 22 March, here in Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire. We will be using willow grown on the farm to create something that’s eye catching, beautiful and unusual, but otherwise has no practical value at all. These are purely […]

Great fun at Great Fen

Great fun at Great Fen

It was great to be back at Great Fen, near Ramsey in Cambridgeshire, last weekend. We’ve done a series of training days for the wildlife Trust there and they’ve all been very enjoyable. This time, we were teaching a group of lovely people to make willow balls. The first time we had run this particular […]

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 […]

Making a rabbit fence fancy

Making a rabbit fence fancy

I’ve spent a couple of days recently building a rabbit net around a Bedfordshire veg patch. I was fairly skeptical to begin with, when my client suggested building  a rabbit net that would be supported by hazel stakes and decorated with willow. However after some experimentation and discussion, we’ve developed a fence that I’m pretty […]

Basket making for beginners

Basket making for beginners

We are very pleased to welcome Ed Burnett back to the farm on 22 September to run a day of basket making. Many of those who came to Ed’s course in May wanted to come back and do more and several others couldn’t make that day, so here’s another chance. If you’ve never done anything […]

Swifts and a hobby

Swifts and a hobby

Whilst making a hurdle in the barn yesterday, I became aware of the wonderful screeching of swifts; a sound I’ve been waiting to hear for a fortnight or so and probably missing since their disappearance last August. Sticking my head into the brilliant sunshine and looking straight up, there, at around 100 feet, were a gang of thirty swirling, […]

Gardeners are go

Gardeners are go

We’ve been very busy since February and particularly in April and May, making structures for gardeners – obelisks, cloches, hurdles. At the same time, demand for hazel bean poles and pea sticks has been very strong and we’ve just about sold all our stock this spring.I think Monty Don may be behind the increase in […]

Wet, wet Woburn

Wet, wet Woburn

Great to be back at farmers’ markets for the spring!Yesterday Woburn and for the hour it didn’t rain we did well. After that there was a little dampness in the air and by about 12.30, all but the most die-hard shoppers had retired, either home or to the many warm, snug and dry hostelries in the […]

The new machine

The new machine

We bought a new thing recently and gave it its first outing last week. It’s a German power scythe in a rather fetching green/orange livery; loaded with horse power, armed with 6 gears and a mightily long cutting bar. We had hired and borrowed smaller machines in the past which worked well enough to suggest this would be the […]

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 […]