Starting again

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
Rossendale, Lancashire
Since my other threads tend to wander off course I thought I'd start a new one since apart from some seed from the year before last and a few ex Red peas herself grew this year for fresh seed for next we were pretty much starting from scratch.

The top back garden has lain fallow for a year, over the late summer we just weeded the deep rooted stuff and I poisoned some of the nasty stuff like bindweed and the neighbours bl@@dy ivy with stuff that breaks down in the soil, I forget the name.

The middle son has deep dug the lower half of the garden,, I've just been and measured it and the patch is 41 foot across at the top where there is a break in the slope of the garden ( the lower part dug is not far off being flat) and due to a corner in the wall the bottom or wall end is 31 foot wide although after a few feet it widens to about 40. The path side is 32 foot long while the opposite side is a total of 38'. This, the fence side ill call it has the foundations of a small out house about 8 foot square. The wall at the back is about 3 foot high and only a couple of courses of stone visible on the other three sides. The centre is filled with rubble and our current intention is to clear this out to a depth of the original floor or if this proves to be deeper than expected just a foot or so and use the stone from it to rebuild the walls up to a even height of say about 18 inches and then refill it with top soil to make a sort of raised bed. At a later point further work would turn it into a well placed cold frame. Next to this is a huge slab of stone about 9 foot by three. I'm tempted to use this as a base for a small tool shed for just the bulky gardening gear we currently store For the last 17 feet of this side the dug area runs the full 41 foot. ( ill do a scale drawing when I get a mo' )

so this is the main area we have to play with. Above the break in the slope there's about another 25 to 30 foot of garden ( ill measure it, I don't know why I didn't just now) that tapers out to about 50 foot wide. The top left hand corner is heavily shaded by mature hawthorns so we have just dragged the council issued compost bins there. There's the foundations of a small brick built building there we intend to dig out. Iths there we found a heavily worn 14 lb sledge head ( with the sort of dimpling I've only seen when something has been used to whack steel tools like chisels or the other thing we found there a large cold sett .

aAove he break the lad has already deep dug a small bed 8 foot by seven and without encroaching on the area I've reserved for other things could easily get in another 3 the same size. actually there could get in another two if we clear outa couple of pits that thoughtlessly we used for dumping. One we dug as a rot of fire pit come seat,about knee deep which we then used for throwing garden n waste in to burn and the other was a slit trench they dug to play in when the garden was really overgrown which we then used to dump all, the bricks and chunks of concrete when we started clearing out the garden proper. Since we'd have to carry them quite a distance before we could even get them to a skip or back of the car I'm tempted to let the lads smash them up and use them as hardcore / rubble in the foundations of a area of hard standing I want,basically the concrete footings for a shelter at the far top of the garden. That's a long term project. If not since the eldest loves digging down but for some reason resents digging out wards I'll get him to bury them deep under where the fire pit currently is to improve the drainage.

Anyroad, that's how the site currently stands. The fruit hedge all down one side that was planted nearly a year back is coming on nicely, the three apple trees took ok although the cheap Asda one did die on the main stem but has grown back from low down. I do hope that its not some grafted stuff and the grafted on built hands died and the host survived. What I know about fruit trees you could write on the back of a stamp!

there is a large pile of wood waiting for bonfire night , the ashes ill spread and we are intending to get a goodly amount of rotted manure from one of the farms about. I do need to work out how much for the square footage, say 1,400, as I don't want to buy more than is needed and the ground hasn't exactly been over farmed! Well hoe the few weeds that have come through since he dug it out then dig in the manure and ash so it can break down over winter, we get some strong frosts up here.

The front garden is completely set with herbs and has been established for at least 5 years, I do need to diversify in the coming spring. I was lazy last year so we have vast numbers of variations on the half dozen or so herbs I use most.

There is also the lower back garden which is mainly a raised bank that acts like a step onto the main retaining wall where the big top garden is. Well if the two risers are armpit high. Between these is a area the full 40 foot wide, less some steps that cut through the area to access, and about 18 foot deeply the furthest and it that's paved with slightly irregular shaped stone slabs, probably what used to pave the area that is beneath it before. Lights the main issue there, especially since the neighbours built their abomination of a extension. It has improved since we removed this big bush that served no earthly purpose than to make the kitchen dark. Unfortunately it was inhabited by invisible biting things who's marks haven't completely gone after over a month. Just on me like, the three lads, not a mark, me, I looked like I'd been peppered by buckshot for a fortnight! Anyroad the eldest cleared that of all the mud and weeds that washed down since it was last done so its just a big open area. I'm now wondering what can be grown there thats edible or useful that wont be bothered by the poor light. There are two stoop in big coal houses built under the area to the left of the stairs that we cleared out and replaced the wood work on when we first moved in. Ones free to reuse and we have been talking of racks of mushrooms.

More when we have done something to it! The only firm planting plan is put in the whole pound of bere barley seed we increased from a few ounce we got from Orkney. I'm trying to find where the rye and small oats seed I cadged is hidden.


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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
My grape vines on the west side of my house don't see the sun before noon.
Besides the afternoon shade on days of 30C+, I eat the young leaves on dolmades.
With pruning, the 2 (yes, two) vines still cover the wall, 14' high and 40' long.
Sorting the prunings for quality, I start 50-100 each spring for sale in the Farmer's summer market here.
This year, started 72, 60 'took' and I was sold out by early August.
After several years, sold vines are coming into production and I get enthusiastic reports of success.

Best grape yield was 2013, 65 lbs per vine. I have other, smaller vines, too.
Past 2 years I have sold the entire grape crop, maybe takes 20 minutes to find a buyer/pickers.
Wine can be made but less frost-hardy varieties are better.
Juice, jelly and jam is pure mountain sunshine.

2 vines. 8-10' apart. Pinch off the flowers for the first few years as the root system develops.
Enjoy, they take so little ground space.

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

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