Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The ash tree fell down in the recent storms and as you can see it conveniently fell inward. The boys were rather upset as they had been building a platform on it and used it as a makeshift treehouse. Ash trees however do not have long roots, so I am told, and thus we had warned them that they could not construct a tall tree house as it could keel over any time. This ofcourse happened. ( a lesson they learnt that when parents say things like that they do not mean to spoil their fun but there can be some wisdom in it).

We need to get to the tree but currently the soil has had so much rain intake that we could be wading around. My Dh is trying to borrow the chainsaw and cut the tree into convenient size chunks that will light the fire next year. Ash is very useful because as a wood you can burn it green or dried so it can be used immediately if you need to.

The trees are part of a hedge that simply has been left to grow wild and part of our management plan for the future is to restore the hedge using traditional skills. This has not yet happened as we have been trying to create the vegetable and fruit garden as a priority. I never like to cut down trees but some of them are covered in ivy and are not much alive either. It is a major project and shelved for the time being. The trees also provide shade and shelter from winds.

Our homestead is small and set in a bowl of an old stone quarry. It is southfacing and the trees shelter the winds which has created a small microclimate which we are trying to understand and work with. All plants grow towards the light and with some beds having a backdrop of a 50 foot cliff face, means that all my beans can be found at the beginning of the row growing towards the light.

Its a unique setting, its not big by all means, just a large garden space which we are cultivating and surprisingly it provides quite a lot of produce.

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