Thursday, 28 April 2011

the hidden orchard

Twice hidden out of sight at Mushroom Farm is an orchard. It is doubly hidden because it is bounded by a four or five metre privet hedge and then the cherries and apples growing within the orchard are overwhelmed by an impenetrable thicket of young oaks, blackthorn, horse chestnut and suckered apples - sometimes over twenty four feet or eight metres tall.
So, over the past few days we have laboured to reduce the height of the privet hedge to allow light in and to remove ten or fifteen years of undergrowth and strangling trees.
And hard work it was! Adam and Matthew joined Jill and me in cutting back the privet hedge.
And in turns, Roger, Adam, Matthew, Trev and I wielded a big axe, spade or mattock on the recalcitrant oak stumps left after the chain saw had taken the top stem.
One chain saw died so a new, mega chainsaw was purchased which proved a true labour saving device. Twice on its first morning in action, the chainsaw nuts fell out requiring Roger to return to the shop. So he spent much time travelling back and forth proving what a labour saving device it was - we got no work out of him.. saving him much labour!!
But no labour saving for Judith who trudged backwards and forwards for the whole day today, dragging felled copses to create large mounds of 'brash' that will be burned on Saturday. What a star. And Jill who went to have her hair done in the morning only to have it undone by hours of dragging branches. And Linda who did her stint as well as mum and dad and Kay and Alan.
And Becky and Adam who made a brilliant meal for us when we got home.
But, it is so satisfying to be able to see what has been achieved - even though the job is nowhere near complete.
And here you can see before and after - and four proud and very tired landowners at the end of the day.

Post a Comment