Wednesday, 24 August 2011

orchard progress

We have been working to clear the orchard for four months.

When we began, it was an orchard in name only: it was impenetrable due to the growth of cherry, blackthorn and oak some twenty eight feet tall. We only guessed it was an orchard because Google earth images suggested blossom amongst the thick growth of foliage when viewed from above.

Stuart and Jan joined us from Southampton today and found themselves  scraping, dragging, burning and axing as we reached the 'three quarters clear' stage. Bless them! They'll need Radox in that bath tonight!

Eight apple and plum trees have been exposed and many have fruit!

I have now attached numbered tags to each of the exposed fruit trees and will try to collect samples of fruit from each so that their variety can be identified.

The vigorous regrowth from the underground network of suckers has only been slowed due to the drought. The soil is little more than sand now and gives a good idea of how much work will be needed to improve fertility for these abused trees.

We have found the water meter and hope to have water connected by next week.  I can then bring in my secret and 'hilarious' weapon!

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