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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Grow Your Own

Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1643
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 17 10:03 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I have already hit 'plan b' today, MR. I got up earlier than intended, did a bit of one thing or another and set off to come here only to be 1 hour earlier than I thought, so went to visit a friend with a business just down the road, which developed into a second breakfast-coffee and a bacon sandwich I now feel fat after 2 breakfasts!
Lovely morning sunny and warm, I was going to an agricultural show in Kington, Herefordshire, but decided against it as I have too much to do at home. The plan being to cut enough wood for the kindling this morning for at least this week, and more if I can, then to continue with the throwing out process. It hurts to throw away, but I really can't live as I am for any length of time-road to depression. Such a shame the bungalow next door didn't develop as it would have been a huge way of downsizing-4 bedrooms down to 2 and half the cleaning.

I have a question regarding timber-tree felling. Do I have to get permission to have trees felled' if so where from. I could get away with just branching the 2 large oak trees, but they are massive and guess around 250 years old,and these 2 are encroaching a long way into the fields, along with a very large beech tree and an ash or 6 in the wrong place. My ash trees appear to be unaffected with the die back so who do I ask if they want seed/salpings for testing? I am happy for people to have growing ash saplings from me if they are any use, I can find a quite a few. Your knowledge and advice are needed MR, please

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 17 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can cut up to 5cu m a quarter if no more than 2 cu m are to be sold, i.e. you are keeping 3 cu m for your own use as firewood, lumber etc. Above that you need permission from the Forestry Commission. The only reason for felling otherwise would be if they were diseased and dangerous, but doesn't sound as if they are.

I was in touch with Alice Holt Research Centre of the Forestry Commission about our ash trees, but you may have one nearer. The best thing to do is to contact the FC about the trees and mention the healthy ash. You may have to e-mail rather than use the phone, but worth trying the phone first. Their details for your area, including who your Woodlands Officer is will be on the Forestry Commission website.

We went up to the woods yesterday just for a short while and I managed to fill another 6 log sacks while husband looked at a roof he is trying to sort out. It then poured with rain so we gave up and came home. I also managed to sort out the printing of an Order of Service for our Trefoil Guild Harvest Celebration and managed to get everything in the right place which pleased me no end as I am not brilliant at Publisher files.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 17 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, I forgot you are in Wales so may have slightly different rules to England. I think they are the same, but check on the Forestry Commission Wales website.

We had our last in a run of 4 shows yesterday, and the weather wasn't too kind. We had fairly gusty wind then heavy drizzly rain, so had difficulty keeping things dry. The tent and quite a lot of other stuff has to be dried off, so we will have damp cloths, tent and assorted other things draped over everywhere for the next week. As the weather forecast isn't great, we can't get them out on the line either. Still, these things are sent to try us I suppose, and we haven't got to get it all ready again for next week.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1643
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 17 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you for the bag, MR, it works at the amount you suggested, so
I am very pleased. All I need to do is to order from the supplier which I guess can be done on-line, well I will give it a try! We are now looking for bags for the kindling and there seems to be a problem getting them at the size we have, but whose numbers will run out before Christmas and the man doesn't seem to be able to sort them out from where he bought them before-all because his wife's computer not remembering; after 5 years it apparently wipes its memory, so I will give the log bag supplier a call and see if I can get a sample to them for kindling sacks too. I have stock for up to Christmas, but if the weather turns then there could be a problem for me after that.
Thank you also for the Forestry Commission advice too. I will give them a ring nearer the time when I have time to do what I want to do. Although felling now seems to be logical, and get it planked and kilned asap. If the logs take off then I will keep the branches for that job another year or so. The one Oak's branches are so big they too would make decent boards!
I quizzed my friend about how much you can harvest and he says a tree a year, but I am not sure he knows and is going on what he does.

The rest of the gang seem to have disappeared I hope all is well with them. Particularly for Jam Lady's family with the storms. And that Tasmania is giving Cassandra a warmer time by now. My Australian friend has a son living in Tasmania, but I have to find out where yet. I will ask him next time I "speak" to him. They are coming over again next year and he wants me to go back with them-not sure I like the idea of flying all that way to heat which don't like. They are all sorted with air con but you have to go out in it at some point!

I agree with you that packing up the show kit is a nuisance if things are wet. They attract moulds and the like and rot eventually. I already have tent that is useless now as it 'went' due to me putting it away after a camping session from which I returned early due to wet weather, and the tent was not dry enough-my fault. It hasn't made a difference as the new tent I have is synthetic-still better put away dry, however.

I have just contacted natural resources Wales ref. ash dieback via email. I await an email on Thursday!

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 17 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You may need to wait a bit longer for a reply from Natural Resources Wales if they are anything like English government departments Gregotyn. Their numbers have been slashed and they are barely keeping up with their work. Anyway glad the bag was all right. I have to order some more in the near future, but your kindling man should contact them to find out about kindling nets. I know they do them, but don't know if their standard sizes are suitable for you; they should be.

The weather here has generally been damp the last few days. I have got slightly wet the last 2 days, and it has made it difficult to get on with the work we want to. We managed to fire the little charcoal kiln yesterday, but didn't bag any charcoal as it kept either raining or threatening. Not the sort of thing you want when you are in the middle of bagging. We had wet and windy weather overnight, but it seems to have gone through, so hopefully we will get a few dry days now.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1881
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 17 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cousin's son and family in Key Largo likely have no electricity, Internet, etc but are alive. Other relatives in Boca Raton and Port St Lucie are doing well.

Much of what I would write about is apparently of little interest to Downsizers. It takes time to write and I've lost interest in doing so if there is scant interest. Enjoyed my time here and on other forums but will be infrequently posting from here on.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 17 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad your family are safe Jam Lady. Sorry you feel that way, because some of the things you have written about are very interesting. Hope you pop in frequently anyway.

I just had a shopping day yesterday, so nothing particular to say. Husband and son still couldn't bag the charcoal as it keeps showering. May have to set up in the log store as at least it is dry in there.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1643
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 17 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry you feel that way Jam Lady. Pleased your family are alive and well, even if inconvenienced rather by the ravages of the recent weather. I hope all goes well for you and family in the future.
I have taken up a few things of interest including reading a lot about the basketry making; needs to be put into practise now, and I will once I decide to retire from working, guess the money is still there and I am able to work, so not for this year anyway.

I have been in touch with the Natural resources Wales and had a fob off response to ring someone about pollution, but that is not what I want so never mind. I guess I will do what I want and get the big oaks trimmed to allow a tractor underneath them and see how that looks. I have been told you are allowed a tree a year so that may be it; I will go to the NFU and see what they have to say.

My kindling nets are enough to take a single width, orderly row from the chute of 6inch long sticks, and around 6inches high. I have enough to do about 20 more nets and then I am out, so a pain, especially as I have enough sticks ready for around a further 200 nets and that won't see me through the winter; a degree of panic is setting in as they are starting to go quite quickly now. Back to the old system of putting them into small plastic food bags. I could fill 3 of those every 2 minutes-faster than any net! When ordering log nets is that a standard size-ie do I ask for log bags or is it ordered as that size ie., 40 cms x 60cms or whatever it is. I hope you can give me the size anyway as the sample seems satisfactory for my stock. But is now distorted as it is full, and so probably won't return to its original shape. I will order about 200, which I hope will do this year and next! We are having difficulty with the small nets so I may send them one to see if they can match it. If you have not yet ordered then let me know and I will pay for 200, plus postage, packing and time, unless that is too much hassle for you-busy time of the year for you now, so I understand if you can't do that. I have tried measuring the kindling nets but they don't seem to be uniform, so I would rather send a sample. I hope this all makes sense!


Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6246
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 17 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry you feel that way Jam Lady..you post very interesting links.

Keep writing about what is happening in your part of the globe please. People have to understand that from different places they bring differing expectations, and also the English language differs in countries it has moved to. So misunderstandings occur all round.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 17 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, you need to keep on at Natural Resouces Wales I am afraid. Try looking on their web site when you are next in the library. You can certainly find out the amount you are allowed to cut from the Forestry Commission website, so would think they would have similar information. Otherwise go with FC limits and you shouldn't be wrong.

I enquired about the smallest number of nets from the company I have ordered from and their minimum is 1000. I could probably package up 200 for you and send them if you can't find another supplier. Again, try the internet for 'log nets' and you should find several. I have used Bag Supplies, but there is also Medallion Nets and a few others. I can't help you with the kindling nets as we don't use them, but they should conform to something on one of the suppliers sites.

As you say Gz, it is very easy for misunderstandings between nations even with the same language. Someone, possibly Churchill, who was part American, said that we are 'two nations divided by a common language'.

We finally managed to get the charcoal bagged yesterday, but still have another little kiln full to empty. Husband and son did another couple of loads of firewood and split some more for me for log sacks, but they had to give up early as it poured with rain again. I was out delivering charcoal and it simply tipped down while I was on the way back.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1618

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 17 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cheer up Jam Lady - the stress of the last few weeks is probably getting you down. Have a rest and come back when you are ready.

I have been having a fairly busy time with the History Room, and meetings I must now attend as President and so forth. But generally nothing much has been happening. You wish for warmer weather is echoed here Gregotyn - snow to 300 m forecast for tomorrow again, though unlikely here.

I have sold the vest which is good news. Now to work out what to buy with the revenue - I want something worth keeping to make up for having to part with it, but what? Perhaps some carding combs?

The firewood situation here is a bit grim what with the frequent blizzards and galeforce winds, so I will call my wood man and see if he can help me out with one more load to get me through.

And I finally finished the pair of socks I was knitting, though one seems to be a bit smaller than the other one so perhaps not quite a pair after all!

And my parcel of fluff arrived from the seasonal box offer I signed up for (well, I signed up for the first one to encourage the new start-up, but may not participate again for a bit). Lovely stuff, just such a wide variety there was not enough of any one thing to be terribly useful - but the rose fibre looks gorgeous - I will be able to use that for blending!

Have been picking a lot of hard fungi off the wood before it goes into the fire - will have to get some fresh bleach so I can test it for dyeing options.

Oh, and the boys came back to finally replace the mis-placed concrete pads, but after some discussion we have opted to simply move the location of the attachment to the roof so I get a wider awning. Sounds like a much more sensible idea than having three spare concrete blocks beyond the limits of the intended paved area.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33840
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 17 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ditto to the top line of cassandra's post.
i dont often comment on day to day stuff but i find your posts a fascinating insight into downsizery life in NJ.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1643
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 17 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would like only 50 of the log nets, at any price, to get going MR, please. Well 49, I already have one! I am in touch with the net people in Stoke regarding our size of net for the kindling and am sending a sample tomorrow. I only need to sell the price to the customer, as he pays for the nets-Vat registered, I don't do enough to warrant registration, but it is something I enjoy rather than need to do-been chopping wood for around 62 years, since my father died.
I will press on with contacting the Welsh conservation set and hope to get somewhere, sometime. If enterprise logs is to take off I will need a suitable supply; I can do a lot with what I have got, just trimming, but will need to fell at some point.

Most annoying is that they, Yahoo, have changed the format of the e mail and it is including adverts too-very hard to eliminate. I expect I will get used to it.

You have been busy Cassandra, with various things, tidying up loose ends is always good. If you have sold one vest then make another, but only keep the last one, the one that doesn't sell. We have been lucky weather wise, just a bit of rain in the morning around 5am as I go out, and gets me wet, but cleared up during the drive to work or very soon after and has been warm and windy all day most days this week. I could do with a warm sunny day tomorrow, and get some outside work done.

I am out to a meal tonight to the young couple who live opposite to me and graze my field when they need it. We were going to build a field shelter, but they seem to have gone off the idea for a reason I guess will come to light tonight.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9735

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 17 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I should be able to manage 50 nets Gregotyn. I am expecting my new ones to arrive on Monday, and will look at packaging for 50 nets, price for delivery and then PM you. We are not VAT registered either as we don't have a high enough turnover and to date it hasn't seemed worth while with all the extra paperwork. I might go through it with out accountant some time though as we have to absorb VAT on everything we buy.

As you say Dpack, it is interesting to hear what is going on from as many places as possible, and I have found some of the old farming events really interesting. It is also nice to hear how the other botanical events are staged and some of them seem quite spectacular.

Glad you sold the vest Cassandra. It looked really good and a pity it was too big for you. A pair of cards might be a useful addition to your spinning supply. I use them rather than flick combs, but still tend to pull out of the end of the rolag, so often spin 'semi-worsted'. Hope you get your firewood all right as it sounds quite wintery still.

We seem to be getting more autumnal now. The last few days have been getting a bit nippy in the mornings and evenings and have had to wear a sweat shirt, though not got back into tights yet.

Got my first ever squash from the garden yesterday. Went out picking after several damp days when I didn't bother, and there was one pattypan squash which I think is the right size. Not sure if it is ripe but picked it anyway as it had a tiny bit of rot in the bottom.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1618

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 17 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Haha Gregotyn - I have to spin the yarn first. And decide on colours. I am replacing the black and greys with three shades of brown, and intend using the dull red I have, but what the other two colours will be remains to be seen. Still, I have a lot of spinning to do before I have to worry about that, especially as I get so little time to do it at present.

There are curried sausages in the oven at present - a suitable meal after a day of alternating snow, sunshine, hail and rain. Served with mash it will be a nice meal to end the day.

The animals are all comatose in front of the fire, and I am snug and warm for all that the thermometer tells me it is only 14 degrees in the room.

My day in the History Room tomorrow will start with a trip to the Lucky Ewe to collect my ill-gotten gains and (probably) spend some of it. Between that and the gift vouchers I have quite a little stash of funds to play with, but will exercise restraint as I also need firewood as it looks like this weather pattern is with us a little longer yet.

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