Fw: [landandliberty_news] Forest Garden News June 23rd
----- Original Message -----
From: "Graham Burnett" <grahamburnett@...>
To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002 6:57 PM
Subject: [landandliberty_news] Forest Garden News June 23rd
I visited the forest garden at Manchester Drive, Leigh On Sea today for the
first time in a few weeks. Alot of grass had grown up but the thick mulches
of cut grass and weeds I'd put around the bases of the trees I'd planted
during winter & spring have been effective in holding moisture and keeping
down weed regrowth so these were fairly clear. Most of my time I spent
re-defining the paths, which were just starting to become indistinct, and
pulling up and cutting grass which I used to top up the mulches. I also
slashed back a fair bit of bramble which had also been re-encroaching using
my Chillington grass slasher which I recently obtained from the Permaculture
Magazine. On the plus side, it looks like there will be another good crop of
wild blackberries this year- last year's got made into wine, I made a couple
of gallons which went in a very short period of time- in fact it never even
made it to the bottling stage- delicious and highly potent- some of my more
<ahem> 'left-field' postings at Eco-Vegans & elsewhere have no doubt been
fueled by this brew :-)
Of the willows I planted in winter, 5 have survived and seem to be doing
well, although 4 have died. These I will replace in autumn or winter with
fresh cuttings. I'm not sure if the willows have produced enough growth this
year for me to have a go at creating some living willow sculptures or
furniture, but you never know...
The dwarf family apple tree (unsure which varieties!) that I obtained from
my mother's garden where it has never done very well was for the first time
ever laden with fruit, as was the Own rootstock Katy apple that I obtained
from Phil Corbett's 'Cool Temperate Nursery', and it broke my heart to have
to remove it all! Still, tempting as it was to leave it all, my logical
right brain managed to convince me that the trees need to put their energies
into getting established in this first year after planting if I'm to reap
the full benefits in later years...
I also noticed that the ORS Katy has a little damage around the base, looks
like strimmer damage but since that isn't possible maybe it's rabbits?
Anyway, I've created a protective barrier using cuttings from the slashed
back brambles which I hope will be effective, and also has turned a
'problem' into a 'resource'...
I was surprised to see that a peach which I grew from a stone several years
ago and has ever since sat in a pot looking miserable that I decided to
plant at the forest garden is actually growing away healthily, although I
seriously doubt that it will ever fruit... On the downside though I do seem
to have lost a 'Stella' cherry on a 'Colt' rootstock which is a shame. it
has no leaves and looks very forlorn, although still has green wood just
below the bark so you never know.
I noticed that Ron's plum on his neighbouring plot (also a forest garden) is
fruiting abundantly, so I guess a couple of plums will go in next autumn as
well- there's still plenty of space.
The rowans & hazels that I planted are also looking good...
Still havn't done any grafting yet, but the rootstocks that Ron & I obtained
from Phil Corbett this winter are looking good and healthy...
The week after next ron & i will be doing an 'alternative tour' of
Manchester Drive allotment site, including our plots, and some of the wilder
areas, such as the Northern area of the site which has ben 'neglected', but
is in fact re-establishing as ash and oak woodland, and from whence we have
been harvesting ash poles for green woodworking projects. This is as a part
of the Manchester Drive Allotment Society Open Day, and is at the invitation
of Leigh Town Council & 'The Committee'- a sign that attitudes are at last
changing to accept 'other' ways of allotment gardening than straight rows of
Still havn't got a website with photo's of the forest garden together yet,
watch this space...
I also fitted in a visit to my 'Zone 2' veggie production allotments today,
dug up the first of this years new potatoes, and some nice young beetroots-
you know summer's arrived when you have beetroots for tea and your first pee
of the following morning is bright pink! It scared me the first time it
happened but I'm used to it now...
Cheers for now, Graham Burnett
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