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Fw: [landandliberty_news] Forest Garden News June 23rd

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  • Graham Burnett
    ... From: Graham Burnett To: ; Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Graham Burnett" <grahamburnett@...>
      To: <eco_vegans@yahoogroups.com>; <landandliberty_news@yahoogroups.com>
      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
      veggies???

      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

      www.landandliberty.co.uk



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