|The strawberry bed|
Hundreds of Elaeagnus fruits which took 4 hours to collect
Protecting cherry trees from birds is quite a problem, you can try plastic snakes or owls or just sit under the tree all day and try not to go to sleep, or grow miniature cherries that are easy to cover.
My method is to use large nets and construct a cage from coppiced poles and bamboo. I have a 4 metre picking ladder which is useful in pulling the net over the cage. The netting I use is a micro mesh which allows good airflow but keeps out other unwanted predators such as wasps. Its 13 metres wide and I was lucky enough to purchase 500metres 2nd hand from a farm in Scotland and I cut it up according to each tree size, made to measure so to speak. Its now 3 years old and there is no sign of any breakdown in the fabrication, long may it last.
Completed frame of cherry Small Black
Net in position
Small black cherries ripening in safety
This time its about the humble scythe.
I have been using an Austrian style scythe to manage the grass, nettles,bracken and herbage for over 6 years now and have found it to be without doubt the best piece of kit for keeping order amongst my plants. This year in particular the growth has been amazing and the scythe with me hanging on the end has been in use non stop.
So whats eco about a scythe then?
For the planet
The handle or snath is made usually from Ash which is a renewable resource from coppice.
The blade is relatively small made from steel and can be reused over a lifetime.
The whole kit is light and cheap to ship.
The only fuel is human.
For the land
Animals that may have been chopped to pieces with mechanical devices will have time to escape the swish of the blade.
The trees will not be damaged as they can be with strimmer cable.
Only light foot traffic which will not compress the land.
We get a chance to get closer to our environment observing nature while we work.
Using the scythe is a first class aerobic exercise and will also build muscle, you should see my 6 pack.
Believe me it is an efficient method of working and often wins in races against a strimmer.
Its quiet in operation you can even hold conversations with fellow scythers.
Well you will need to acquire some new skills best done by taking lessons from an expert.
The blade is razor sharp so you will need to be aware of this and how to keep safe around yourself and others. All in all its fun to learn and fun to use even if its only for your lawn ( yes you can scythe the lawn and get really good results.)
I would be happy to teach anyone interested I am shortly to announce a 2 day intensive course and allow students to camp in the Forest Garden. I plan to offer this as open source (no fee) in return for 2 days scything. If anyone is interested just email me firstname.lastname@example.org