Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I have been out foraging with my mate Bill. We went to the woods to collect hazel poles for my beans and peas. It's all right that's what Bill does for a living and he looks after the wood as well. It was a gorgeous day with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. The wood was so quiet and peaceful, you would not believe we are only a mile or so from the middle of our only city.

Here's Bill with his trusty saw, choosing the best poles. Some where less than straight but the beans don't mind a bit. This is a very old way of managing the woodland, its call coppicing. The hazel ( in this case ) was cut back to the ground to stimulate growth and the wood was used for hurdle making, house building or firewood. 

I also got the twiggy peas stick as an added bonus. These I use to keep the birds off my broad beans and for the shorter peas to grown up. I believe the twigs were used to make the besom brushes. Witches brooms. 

Bill had this wonderful old truck to collect the wood in. We bounced along the woodland track, not good on the old bones but great fun.

Here we are loading up our spoils. 30 bean poles and a large arm full of pea sticks. Enough to keep me going for a few years and a few to swap with my allotment friends for other goodies. 

Here are all the pea sticks in situ, keeping those pesky pigeons off my broad beans. The broad beans are doing very well considering we have had so little rain since I sowed them. I have about 800lts left in my big tank and a full barrel tank by the tunnel. I have been bringing water from home, to keep the small barrel full. As the tomatoes are going in this week I do hope it rains soon, as they drink such a lot. 

The weather is still wonderful here, it is giving us a false sense of security. I don't think we will have a frost now but the wind can be a killer here in Cornwall. It dries up the ground so fast and the salt ladened air doesn't do any good either. We are a liitle sheltered from the west here, the way of the prevailing wind, so lets just keep our fingers crossed. 


Kath said...

We used to coppice our loarge Hazel every winter and give the withies away on Freecycle. We would be inundated with folks saying "yes please" to them.
The woodland in your photo look very peaceful.

Maa said...

What a brilliant idea. I see your veges are starting to grow.
Both my nieces have an allotment at an organic community farm. I went along for the day to give them a hand. I will be posting on my blog about that later. You might be interested. Maa

Rachael said...

Loved viewing these pictures.