28.01 Yesterday saw the beginning of planting orchard 2 which will number 75 trees. The bedrock is closer than expected in places. A soil depth less than 40cm puts a question over the suitability for planting. Today after a few hours of banging stakes and digging holes in the rain I stopped work with second thoughts. The trees would do better elsewhere... Higher up the field the soil gets deeper - the bedrock is deeper down. Three rows of 25 trees are planned following the hedge that runs up and down the hill north to south. The apple trees will be shaded during the afternoon by several tall Ash and Cherry trees. The Ash however can be pollarded although the Cherries can only be cut back. This will have the effect of bringing in the afternoon sunlight for fruit set and ripening. Planting Hazel, Rowan and Elder down either side of the existing wall and trees will fill in the gaps so creating a more effective wind shelter for the apple trees.
The birds in hen house number 1 have done a great job fertilising the area over which the house is positioned and the immediate surroundings. Tomorrow morning before the birds are let out the house will be pulled into the permaculture field.
05.01 "The aim of permaculture is to produce a system that is ecologically sound and economically profitable…" (bill mollison)
The first few days of the year go rushing by as though there was no tomorow! Beds in the yard have been cleared, manured and mulched with black plastic. Over the next few months the sheeting may be rolled back on raining days to keep the biological work active. When the time is right quickly establishing cover crops can be sown direct before the weeds. Nettles and weeds that do compete with the green manure can be pulled and laid back onto the bed. Being so close to the kichen it makes sense to plant herbs in these beds.