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The Backside of Mount Pleasant Farm

The Backside of Mount Pleasant Farm

Most of our land sits in front of our house, but behind we have a relatively level small area of land. This area is lovely of an evening and hosts our existing greenhouse (which due to construction work we have been unable to access for quite a while. I wanted an area that we could sit out in the evening, and behind our house is perfect as it gets full sun in the evening. I also wanted to plant more…

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One Legged Growing

One Legged Growing

You know when in your head (and on paper) you have a grand plan. What you are going to do; When you are going to do them; what results you should expect etc. etc. Then along comes a big spanner and it drops itself into the proverbial works. Well, in February, the spanner clanged. I suffered a fracture to my Tibial Plateau (i.e. broke a bone inside my knee joint). 7 weeks full leg cast, no weight bearing and then…

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Breaking Wind (Part 1)

Breaking Wind (Part 1)

Where we live is quite exposed and we get hit by serious westerly winds. One of the first jobs on my to do list was to plant a fast growing wind break to protect my planned precious fruit trees and bushes. I’ve opted for a single width Willow (Salix Viminalis) hedge. This will have an second row of Chaenomeles (Japanese Quince) and Crab Apple (on the leeward side). This will provide both fruit, pollination partners and will have really pretty blossoms….

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Hedgerow Creation

Hedgerow Creation

As you me know I have plans to plant lots of trees and create some hedgerows. Lying in the bath one night, I though “there must be some grants available somewhere.” A bit of an internet search later (not in the bath – electronic devices and baths don’t mix), and I found that the Woodland Trust did indeed have assistance for certain planting schemes, and they didn’t have to be massive multiple hectare jobs! I sent them maps and information…

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The Grand Plan!

The Grand Plan!

So, after much measuring, deliberation, thinking, poking, drinking of wine and general musings, I came up with a workable plan! I had several iterations with lovely cascading ponds, swales and orchards, but reality wins every time; so, here it is, my grand plan! So, what does it contain? Woodland & Trees Existing We have about an acre of existing woodland, split over 2 sites. The lower woodland is a mix of Hazel, Ash, Holly, Rowan, Oak, Willow and Cherry; the…

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Functions, systems & elements

Functions, systems & elements

This was a really good process to go through, consolidating ideas, thoughts and realities. Is an orchard good use of our space? We had loads of functions, but I chose to concentrate on the four key priorities. If in future years our climate changes and an orchard of vineyard is possible, we can change! The key functions I concentrated on were: To produce some of our own food with a view to selling surplus or expanding in future – grow…

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What’s under our feet?

What’s under our feet?

Before embarking on this project I had some knowledge of our soil as well as some major presumptions. I presumed our soil was acidic and heavy clay, and that is was really thin and full of rocks. Our fields have been used for pasture and have fed our neighbours cattle for the past few years. They get particularly waterlogged at the bottom of the slopes, but hold a lot of water all over (especially on any relatively flat areas) As…

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Mapping – not just about coloured pens

Mapping – not just about coloured pens

Mapping our land isn’t just an excuse to buy and use a new set of coloured pens (honest). Watched with amusement from Brian our friendly walling expert I set about measuring the earthworks behind our house and combined my findings with scaled up OS Map tracings. Drawing and maths aren’t my strong points, so mapping was one of the areas I was nervous about remembering what to do, and whether I’d get it right. I now had a huge base…

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What do we want? Loads of Stuff!

What do we want? Loads of Stuff!

Ah, the all important client interview… who wants what, why, when. Over dinner one evening I grilled (I mean asked) my husband and daughters what they wanted to do more of as a family and what they wanted our home and land to be. I of course put my tuppence worth in the mix too. Yes, I mean to do this whole shebang as a proper project. The results were interesting Family Use outside more, do more bike rides and…

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