Manchester Drive Forest Garden Project

The purpose of this blog is to document the development of the forest garden project that I have been setting up at Manchester Drive allotment site in Leigh on Sea, Essex, as well as any other random permacultural (or not) rambling thoughts that might happen to stray from my brain. I hope you enjoy it or better still, feel inspired to start your own edible food forest!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tree planting session

This afternoon I finally got in the rest of the wild fruit stock that I bought from BTCV before Xmas. The full list is;

4 Sea buckthorne
3 Bullaces (wild plum)
2 Bird Cherry
3 Silver birch
2 Guelder rose
5 hazels
5 Rhamanus rose

So hopefully in a couple of years time there will be plenty of wild fruit available for making into wines, jellys and jams. I'd also love to have a go at making birch sap wine (which is partly why I put in the Silver birches, the other reason being that I just like them...). I guess it will be a few years before they reach anywhewre near a size where it would be OK to tap off some sap, but the forest garden was always going to be a slooooow, long term project... Besides if I'd put in some birch treees ten years ago when I first thought it might be a nice idea to make the wine, I might well actually be tapping it this spring, so in ten years time...

It was a beautiful sunny day down at the plot, with a feeling that spring might well be on the way, although further cold snaps are forecast. guess there will be plenty more of these if the gulf stream keeps on slowing down... Lots more little spears of daffodils starting to poke through, and also lots of bird activity. I saw a number of blue tits flying about, as well as the usual magpies and pigeons, also a fairly large yellow bird broke cover on the plot and flew into the trees, too fast to make out what it was clearly, and doesn't seem to be in my 'Birds in Your garden' booklet that I got free from the RSPB (its well worth sending off for this BTW).

The other day Ron told me that the council are thinking of cutting back all of the self-sewn ash at the north of the allotment site before spring arrives as local kids from the housing estate are using them as cover for their various ne'er do well activities. This will mean lots and lots of really nice straight ash poles being available- I've spoken to Adrian of Wholewoods to see if he fancies collecting some, and also maybe organising a green wooodworking course down in Southend later in the year- he's keen, so watch this space!

PS. I also picked up R J Garner's classic 'Grafters Handbook' for £2.45 in 'QD' this weekend! A bargain for sure but what on earth was it doing in the cheapo books section of the bargain basement version of 'Wilkinsons'????


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