The move...mud and a new home in the woodland...
Seizing a couple of days of 'dry' weather early this month we hitched up our caravan, freed it from the garden fence and set off..
Back up was called in and the little tractor that was towing us was then towed by a much bigger tractor.. tractor pulling tractor pulling caravan....
Until that moment i'd never known that under the right circumstances a caravan can be used to dig trenches...very neat ones too!
After creating a, perhaps unneeded, trench all the way up the field and negotiating our way around the woodland we have landed in our beautiful new home.
the picture above is of Ben making a stand for the solar panels, one of the first jobs on arrival at the new site...
i never got that picture of the 'tractor tractor caravan' combination. it would not perhaps have been seen as appropriate to get out the camera at that point! :)
Chemical Free Fencing...
It wasn't an easy product to find here in Staffordshire. Further south chestnut fencing is much more common and is seen as a traditional country craft with chestnut coppices easily found, but for some reason that doesn't seem to have happened here in the midlands.
After much searching we did find a 'local' supplier and after two trips out to Nottingham with the cattle trailer we found ourselves with some of the most beautiful fencing i've ever seen!
Perhaps waxing lyrical about fence posts might seem a little odd to some but to me... these posts are glorious!
They feel so good to touch, they're all odd thicknesses and create a rather wibbly wobbly look to the fence, and best of all..they are completely pure, don't leach anything nasty, and they're safe for my little boy to touch.. fencing heaven! :)
My Forest Garden Dreams...
A farm goes through many changes, each generation doing what he or she believes to be right. A balance between conservation and the ability to actually keep the farm running in some sort of sane financial way.
I can see this wonderful place in my head that i would love to help take form, less fields and hedges and more trees and open spaces.
The first part of the plan was put into place 5 years ago with the planting of our first 12 acre conservation woodland with the help of a wonderful man from the Woodland Trust called Peter Leeson. I had contacted Peter about the possibility of some sort of grant for tree planting and he came back to me with new ideas he had that so perfectly complimented mine..it was one of those meetings that was just meant to be.
From those first ideas we now have a glorious woodland growing, planted with a mix of deciduous trees and shrubs and undersown with a mix of meadow and woodland wildflowers. There are both large and small clearings/meadow areas worked into the space and the whole thing is beautiful.
So now i just have to 'garden' the remaining 157 acres! :)
Being here in this new location is part of that plan :)
The garden begins...
I am about to write an actual garden blog and will post the link to it here when it's done! :)... and there will be full size photos :)
Soap Nuts and Solar Powered Washing...
that's really all i need to say about this one..
In the never ending search for green products, and the need to find a washing detergent that didn't irritate my son's sensitive skin, i have found soap nuts! ...
You put about 4 or 5 into a little cotton bag, add it to your wash and that's it, clean, natural, biodegradable, irritant free and very green washing...and they really really work!
My clothes have never been cleaner..far better than any other eco washing liquid/powder i have tried..can't reccomend these enough! :-)
and to make it all extra special i sourced a really low energy twin tub that runs completely from our solar panels so our washing is now completely guilt free!!
very happy! :) and lots of clean clothes ...
and last but not least...four things i wanted to show you :)
I first spotted these in the new woodland a couple of years ago and since then they have self seeded and spread all over the place, they mean spring to me, they're the first flower that comes out here..apart from the dandelions of course! :) Their flowers appear and disappear before their leaves show themselves.
Coltsfoot is said to have edible flowers and leaves (although i have tried neither..and would be really interested to hear from anyone that has).
more info on Coltsfoot and it's edible uses can be found on the site www.ediblewildfood.com, clicking this link takes you to the right page.
When we planted the woodland we undersowed with a mix of annual and perennial wildflower seeds...and Cowslips were not one of them :)
but here they are, looking so beautiful, i'm so glad they made their way here on their own because they're a wonderful thing to find on a March morning, may there be many more in the years to come :)
because, well, everyone loves a sunset :)
and if you got this far...thank you for reading, and i hope you have a wonderful day :)