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- May 2009
Forest Gardens and Polytunnels
   May 18th, 2009, 6:05 am
Presentation to the Parish Council Meeting
   May 11th, 2009, 1:24 pm
   May 10th, 2009, 12:22 pm
Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm
   May 8th, 2009, 1:44 pm

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Yesterday was a mixed kinda day.

I spent a very pleasant afternoon on a tour of a forest garden in Devon at the Agroforestry Research Trust. Very beautiful forest garden, established fifteen years ago and coming nicely into maturity

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Tonight we're attending the Parish Council meeting. They've given us a ten minute slot. My partner is going to talk about building development on the farm and I'm going to talk about what we're doing with the land.

I've drawn up a few bullet points as a handout. Here it is:


1) Land Consists of 62 acres made up of:
a) Two large meadows of “equine” quality grassland
b) Flattish area of scrubby and marshy grassland leading to steep hillside gorse and bracken - Faces roughly north-west. Hillside land is slipping
2) Intended Usage of Land
a) Grassland – very suitable for hay and grazing. No intention to change in immediate future. Currently to be grazed by cattle and sheep.
b) Scrubby and Marshy Flatland & Hillside
i) Not suitable for much of value in conventional agriculture. Therefore to be developed as forest farm.
ii) This will consists of a variety of species of trees; canop...

[ continued ]

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We bought a polytunnel a couple of weeks ago, and I thought "Hey, dead easy to put up.... nothing to it..."


The first part of the job is to hammer scaffolding tubes into the ground. These are essentially the "foundations" of the polytunnel. Each length of scaffolding acts a sleeve for the main hoops of tubing which make up the "skeleton" of the tunnel.

Now I'm while fairly robustly built, I'm a bit puny when it comes to wielding a sledgehammer. It took me a full afternoon to get the tubes into the ground at just the right angle to take the hoops. Each hoop is made of of two parts, fitting together with a male/female joint. If the tubes are in the ground at the wrong angle, even slightly, the two halves of the hoops either don't come together at all, or they spring apart with a joyous sproinggggg!!!! noise and you have to start again.

Next job; get the ground sheet down. Easy...

[ continued ]

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This blog concerns the farm I moved into last August. After a hectic few months renovating part of our main building as a holiday cottage (we have a mortgage to pay) I can now pay attention to the land itself: 62 acres, Gloucestershire, England, which I am setting up as a forest farm on permaculture principles.

Since I'm still in the first year, a lot of what I'm doing right now is planning and evaluation; walking the land to see what is already actually growing, what is the soil pH? what are the various microclimates on the site? etc.

As time goes on, I'll add in a bit of "the story so far".... but here's the entry for today


Hey!! We've got mushrooms in the meadows... one of the best there is: St Georges Mushroom ( ... d~5697.asp). I spotted...

[ continued ]

Last edited by Anonymous on May 10th, 2009, 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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