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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 19 2:24 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I was berating my "big white chief" at work today for not reminding me about an agricultural show our company show at, at Kington in Herefordshire, when he told me it was this weekend, so I am off to that show on Saturday all being well! It is something I have to say to get back to the ex wife, whose family farm there, and who will pass it on to her. Basically she accused me of having another woman whilst I was married, which was never true, but why she couldn't ask me or one of my mates at the time, to find out, I don't know; I would still be in that state of well not bliss, but you know what I mean. But, I wouldn't have the size of place I have now 4beds and 6ac, which suits me better than my married quarters 2beds and 1ac. But I did have a superb kitchen garden which I can never repeat at my current home up in the gods of Wales on a N/E slope.
I had a lot to do here, and over the years I have made it so that it improves a bit each year and I get to keep my job-income to pay for the work, and enjoy my holding, much as I detest the renovation work, it has to be done. I have just restored the sceptical tank as I call it, which threw a bit of a wobbler at the front of the house-where it crosses the road a few months back-don't even ask-and now all I have to do is repair a few water leaks, this afternoon if I get time. The water is a funny set up here, all one system, but 3 stop-taps on its way to the house. So I get water whilst I repair the leaks in the house, using a tap one output before the house stop tap.

I like Ludlow, it is a town on hill, combining the old with the modern, always busy, but with something to make you stop and look around. When I get too old to work that is where I would retire to if I sell the holding.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 19 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hope you have a good time at the show. It is a pity you will never have such a good vegetable garden, but you can at least grow some things, even if not the full range you could.

We were thinking when we were in normal work of taking 6 months of so cruising on the inland waterways, but one reason I would never take up permanent residence is because you can't have more than a herb garden on the roof.

Your water supply does sound a bit eccentric, but useful if you have a leak anywhere. Hope you get your leaks sorted. Who knows, you may even end up with heating again one day if you keep up with the improvements.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 19 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Heating improvements will come with future custodians of my property, and anything else come think about it! I have my woodworking machinery and my Fergy 35, 3 cylinder tractor, a chopping block and brummock, not much else I need, just a cooker and a refrigerator; I have a microwave already! A bit tongue in cheek but not far from where I expect to be in years to come. I have to do a few repairs to the gutters in the near future and block a few sparrow nest places and then wait for it to fall down! In the perfect world and a lot of money I would knock it down and build higher up as I live almost on the roadside about 10 feet away to the front door and my upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, and my scullery outer walls are on the roadside. Luckily I am a heavy sleeper!
If there are only 2 of you in a big canal craft you can grow many things that you need, I have seen potatoes on the roof of a barge in buckets, and some runner beans at the rear in a "growbag" before growbags were invented behind the "steering wheel", just outside Wolverhampton. When I was a boy on the farm the Cut, (a brummie term for canal), ran through the farm where I worked and there were some strange goings on! Washing lines and so on.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 19 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It depends on how busy the road is as to how much of a disadvantage being close to it can be. If yours is a quiet country road, not too bad, if a busy major road, a real disadvantage.

With the old freight carrying narrowboats, when they were empty, there was quite a lot of room for the family to expand into, with plenty of room for washing lines and all sorts. When they were full, the family was all squeezed into a tiny space. We have hired boats that even have lounge chairs in them, and some people have made theirs very nice, but I don't think I would like to live on one if I had the alternative of a house with a garden.

Yesterday seemed to be a besom day somehow. I had an enquiry from the US, which I had to decline because of the problems of importing 'bark on' wood to them, then one of our outlets phoned up wanting some instantly for a customer, which I couldn't manage, then I have someone else coming later to pick one up from our house. Seems our web shop is working rather well.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 19 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

After all that I didn't hit the Kington show, deciding that it was easier to forget about it and get over it-35 years on. I was accused of something that was untrue and I thought it right to put it straight. But decided not too! I suddenly didn't see the point in spending a lot of fuel and time on someone else's lie, when I could be chopping firewood!
How good to have a shop on the web, MR, but it means your potential customers could be on your back big time wanting things. You will have to take someone else on and train, or, preferably, get the boys in your life to start making the besoms too! It is a bit like me and the firewood-my friends tell me to get a life-all I do is chop wood all the year round and it is because I enjoy it! Sorts out all the world's problems! The road in front of my house is busy with farm traffic and commuters from the next village down the hill by day, and not too bad at night, except at w/e's and harvest times. I have to nose my way out and hope, as it is blind to the right.

Today I am off to Iron Bridge for a couple of nights meeting my friend from Aus. We shall put the world to rights and discuss the reasons I won't go to Aus.,- because I don't like flying-and my place would be overrun more than it is now when I came back. I would be more likely to go by boat, but probably wouldn't like the food on that. We normally go with all their family to Stow-on-the Wold for a week, but not this time.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 19 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As long as you enjoy chopping firewood, that is the thing to do. Some people meditate; you chop firewood.

I have enough besom heads for the time being, so just have some handles to prepare, and then get on with bagging logs. Son and I went out yesterday lunchtime to look at ash trees to see if any had to be felled, and I cut a couple of rods that should do for at least 1 handle each, so all right for the time being.

The e-shop generates a bit of custom, but not so much that we are working on it all the time. At the moment it is quiet as the main sellers, charcoal and besoms have been out of stock, but son will be advertising that the besoms are in stock again, but the end of the charcoal season is pretty well with us. We are doing a firing today, but should quieten down for that now.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 19 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I enjoy chopping the wood, so there we are MR! I will keep it going as long as I can.

The friends from Aus. and I had a good time in Ironbridge, Telford for the last 3 days. We stayed in a good hotel, but with a few querks!. We were in an annex a few yards down the road-self contained-but eating in the hotel proper. The rooms were good, but we couldn't understand some of the lack of finishing touches. For example the sitting room was good, but when you looked at the curtain rail it was at an angle, with a drop of 2inches-50mm-from one end to the other around 6 feet so noticeable. And all sorts of other silly bits of not being finished off-no catch on my window upstairs, and another screwed down. We still had a good time. Anyway the friends have decided that I am to go back to Aus. with them next time they come to the UK, as they have the experience-around 50 years of traveling to and fro. I guess that I don't like flying very much, which contributes to my apprehension, and a boat would take too long, not that time is so important at my age next week is good enough for me, when I am paying!

Can you store charcoal over winter, MR, in a water proof shed for example, to help alleviate the hiccups in production during the summer. or at least make an earlier start. I was thinking, burning in a big shed, no sides, in winter(?) and storing some place where absorbing moisture could be eliminated?
When I did the biochar at home with the "man", there were a lot of big bits which would have gone into a normal charcoal bag with no complaints. I then wondered if biochar is just a posh name for charcoal with big and small bits in?
I have a lot of ash at home. Are the small growing ash trees, about 20 feet the sort of thing you use and do they have to be dead straight, or are they made into straight stales? They are currently trying to take over my back yard and access to my house door.

Not a lot to report otherwise, but I am considering retirement now. It may cut my income in half, but it will reduce my outgoings in diesel terms.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35673
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 19 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ash makes ace fire wood used green or dry
it will split nicely from a short log, even 3" diameter green one will split into 4 to give cookfire sticks and owt from kindling to tables can be made from big dry ones

i dont know if charcoal is a plus or minus compared to it as wood.
it seems probable it can be made into charcoal but it might be better as wood

20 ft tall is a decent size to harvest for fuel

if you leave the stools the next crop will be ready later.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 19 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad you enjoyed your weekend. It would be good to go back with your friends, and if you were with them, flying wouldn't be so daunting. I don't mind the flying; as far as I am concerned it is just another way of being travel sick, but I am not keen on airports, particularly large ones. I find Heathrow particularly bothersome, and it may be worse now as I haven't been there for over 20 years.

Ash is very good for firewood and does make reasonable charcoal, but I would use it for the fire as it is a brilliant firewood. I am currently bagging it now as we have 2 orders for log sacks, a total of 140. I did 39 yesterday, but think I should have stuck to 30 as I was absolutely worn out afterwards.

We do try to have a bit of a store of charcoal over winter, usually ready bagged, so we have it for anyone who wants it during the winter. The ideal is to store it in sealed barrels, but they make rather a lot of themselves, even if stored outside, and we don't have a barn or anything for storage.

If you are chalara free, then ash does coppice, although the shoots can take a couple of years to get going. Sadly, a lot of ours was very old and didn't re-coppice, or it has succumbed to chalara, so we are now only cutting trees that are either badly affected or have rot or root lift, and hope they survive.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2129
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 19 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm ready for a fire! Wednesday night and Thursday night the temperatures dipped into the high 30s Fahrenheit. And it is never that cold this early. We often don't get a frost until late October.

Mr Jam Lord has moved all except a couple of carts of split firewood from next to the driveway over to the storage are against the house by the basement door. He'll finish that in two mornings. Now that the driveway storage racks are empty he's start on cutting firewood for the winter of 2020 / 2021. We use close to 3 cords each winter, a cord being 128 cubic feet.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35673
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 19 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks , i learn more about ash

afaik we seem free of disease round here but ash is not as common as in other places so low distribution might reduce the spread and intensity.

re the regrowth thing some seem better than others, i have killed a few by accident and had a struggle killing some with intent

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 19 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If charcoal can be stored in metal sealed containers then I am up and running! I have a source of non contaminated metal bins which have a very good seal on top and would keep out moisture without any problem. A German company sends a chemical over in them which is contained in an inner bag, so the non harmful chemical doesn't come into any contact with the outer steel drum anyway. I currently store wood in them and so far-about a year-there has been no leakages into the drums. I take some of my wood away to be cut and if they don't want to do the job immediately, I take the wood and leave it there in these drums and it stays dry whilst they get to cut it in their own time and I collect it a week later. I haven't seen any sign of contamination and the workforce whose company use the adhesive for decorative panels don't have to use gloves!
Going onto the ash I have lots of self sets and a several big trees one of which needs to come down as it is covering a lot of field and I have 2 or 3 which are very tall, around 60 feet, and very thin as they are part of a hedgerow, but with fruit trees growing each side, means they are around 60-70 feet high with not much 'body' a recipe for disaster.

MR you must not over do the logging, I have discovered that tomorrow is a better day when I get tired! I am glad you said about the sealed drums for charcoal. We will get going and see what happens, thankyou. I will see how many drums I can get-I am up to at least 10 already, but will have a count up, and also see which is the most profitable use. The bins have inside what I call "pensioners potty"; little blocks ex pallets which I bag up and sell for 50p and so much cheaper than the standard net. I also supply the librarians with wood as they help me so much.

It does look as though I am chalara free. I have the trees growing everywhere, almost weeds. Much as I like them they have started to colonise my mini backyard, by the well, so they will have to go. But the logs will sell well. I an hoping to get set up this year with log sales, it didn't take off 2 years ago, so I will give it one more chance.

My one neighbour uses the root systems to make garden tables, mainly out of oak. He has an old elm root ball too. It will be special when that one has been done. The neighbour who does the biochar isn't worried by what wood it is.
Got to go times up!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35673
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 19 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

stuff in drums does seem to keep well whatever it is

re the ash trees they are nice to see etc but some insist on being in the wrong place, such as anywhere you are fond of a wall or well.
the roots are ace at finding a way into and then splitting masonry

the one doing most damage at sd's new house took a few goes to kill, the top had been removed many times and the trunk was 4" dia at the stool.

sawn off , drilled and filled with nasty herbicide worked.

not ideal near a well, leave a decent bit of trunk and haul it out with a machine might work but it might mess the liner if it is brick or stone

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 19 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I wouldn't store firewood in sealed drums as even dry firewood contains some moisture and can start to produce mould or fungus. The best storage for it is a shed with good ventilation; open sides with pallets or similar is best, and ideally pallets or other slatted sort of flooring. That way the wind can get in but not the rain. Protection from snow as well is the absolute ideal.

Perhaps we should look for those drums or something similar for charcoal Gregotyn. We do tend to be pretty busy with firewood, coppicing and felling in the winter, so not sure we would have time for charcoal firing too, but a very good idea. Trouble with having product for round the year is producing and shipping it at the right time. We are into the firewood season now, but did a charcoal firing because we have the odd order coming in, but unfortunately couldn't get it done quite in time as they have just run out and we can't deliver until next week.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 19 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes I agree that under a shed that has no sides is the best way to "cure" wood. I have such a shed, but accidentally. I store my chopped wood in a "netting shed". I was carrying chopped wood to the netting/storage shed which takes me through a gate and past a storage shed whose roof had part collapsed during a snow fall from the cow shed to which it is now partially, but was fully, attached. I opened the gate to go past that shed and when I got back from delivering the chopped wood to the bagging/storeage shed, the end of the shed had fallen and was resting on top of the gate I had just gone through. I small sweat developed! A neighbour came round and we fixed it, propped it up and banged a few angled cross pieces between the three uprights and I now have a very airy, but covered drying shed. I get complimented on how dry my sticks are by a few folks and it is all down to the 'falling shed end'!

The drums are coming in thick and fast just now, not sure why, but it may slow down when we leave the EU-ex Germany. I am going to talk to my friend, the one who does the biochar and charcoal, to see if we can reach some kind of agreement financially into putting a charcoal business together, as I have so much to burn and I can't cope with waste if there is a viable alternative. I know a man who would take all I could produce. I thought that your mobile charcoal machine did a burn in a short time MR?. I wondered if you could take it to a site, burn and go home once the burn was over, in a fairly short period of time?

I am looking for a viable alternative to working where I am; but I need something to make me get out of bed. I am on top of the sticks and will be more so when I retire. What I do have is a lot of wide hedges which grow upwards and outwards and a lot of trees available for trimming-I guess the encroachment of "hedges" will have cost my place about 10 small haylage bales overall, this year.

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