|Creating the narrow marsh behind the pond.|
Each year, we coppice or pollard some of the trees around the site, to provide wood for our cooking and fires during the year. The trees will re-grow multiple stems from the sides of the cut stump, so they provide a renewable resource. Our aim is to create a truly sustainable system which provides enough wood year after year, and as you may have read recently, we are now using the regrowth for other things, like weaving bed-edges. We don't use chainsaws for the work, even though we are initially cutting down trees up to 5m tall. We use a fabulous saw on a pole which is very sharp and very controllable. If we take the tree down bit by bit, starting with the top-most branches, we also reduce the risk of something large falling on someone, and by putting ropes onto the branches we are removing, we can ensure they don't land on something we want to keep. We also take care to cut trees early in the year to avoid the nesting season, and when the weather is mild, like it has been, to check that there are no birds already nesting in or near them.
Audrey, Mark, new Chris and April took on the fruit bush cuttings, and made a lovely job of setting them out to grow in one of the beds we made from a builder's bag. We did an experiment last year with layering some of the lower branches on the fruit bushes (ie. covering them up with soil where they touched the ground), to see if they would root. It worked pretty well, so we had 3 ready-rooted bushes to add to the cuttings as well.
We were joined today by the DISO team, who got stuck into helping Laurence with finishing the pond and helping Chris to process the felled wood into usable material (we need stakes and poles, as well as fire wood and sticks for the rocket stove). Some of the lads also had a go with the pole saw, and were really getting the hang of it by the end of the session.
We were given a present of some lavender bushes (thanks Tim!), so those needed heeling in. Guy and Hassan got on the job, and we've now got them all nicely tucked up until we get the sensory garden pathway organised. The aim is to have a lavender-lined walk, which should be a great scent experience.
|The finished pond, ready for planting up in Spring|