Thursday 24 September 2015

Clearing thornbush

Now the summer bird nesting season has finsihed we've been able to get down to clearing a sizeable patch of black thorn bushes at the end of the orchard. During previous years of neglect by previous owners these bushes have been allowed to grow on a level part of the field.  Their thorns make them a nasty almost dangerous type of undergrowth to remove. We've using a chainsaw to topple them leaving stumps some 30 cm high. 

Over the next few weeks we'll use cable winches to pull up the stumps and their root network. I was able to find a convenient source of steel chain. We use the chain to wrap around and grip the stumps as we winch them out. The chain  supplied in retail hardware stores is either too weak or grossly overpriced. Even our local agricultural supplier Lester Lowe  didn't have a suitable chain on its capacious shelves.

We've been left with a huge pile of bushes to burn. We started the burning this week, but the as the wood is green it will take a while to get the job done.

Our volunteer has learned a healthy respect for the thorns and I suspect he is very grateful for the thorn proof gloves we provided him at the commencement of his voluntary work period.

Thankfully after several weeks my foot is recovering from injury, so soon I'll be able to get back to a full schedule of work in the orchard.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Fruits of our Labour

I and the volunteer were working on the Turnditch orchard last night preparing the ground to remove some more blackthorn bushes which have invaded the field. With my wonky foot progress was a little bit slow but steady. We are working to make the land safe so other people can be invited on to the land.

I was able to take home a couple of the Queen Cox apples which we allowed to fruit this year. They have a gorgeous flavour. It gives promise of great fruit in the future.