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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 18 6:37 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Bio-char, which is quite fine bits but not dust are used for the garden. The dust disappears too quickly, but no reason not to use it as far as I know. We don't have a big market for it so we tended to put it in the tracks to firm them up, but we don't get so much with the new kiln.

We have been at the National Coppice Federation Gathering over the weekend. Our coppice group was organising it so a lot to do. I am exhausted now. On Friday it was rather windy, but no major problems, Saturday was warm and sunny, so idea. Sunday it rained, but most of the things were carried out inside, so it didn't cause us an real trouble. Luckily the rain stopped so we could get the charcoal out of the kiln and into dumpy sacks to bring home. Think we now have 3 dumpy sacks full, so plenty of stock to pack at present.

I will let Cassandra know you send her your regards Gregotyn. Not sure how her computer link has been, which is how she posts here, but she posts on Facebook, mainly from her phone I think, and seems well.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1735
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 18 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I assume you were demonstrating at the coppice group show, MR? Free entry I hope and free wood to do the job of demonstrating? if so that seems like a winner to me! Does it keep as a commodity or are you still selling well? I would think that no-one is doing bbq's our way now, the weather is much too unpredictable.

I don't have much to report, having done very little over the weekend except de-nail boards, saw to length and chop wood. My stock is building up and sales are lower than I expected, they must be hanging on to light their fires! I should get through the winter with what I have ready now, so only need to top up for next spring bit at a time as the winter progresses; but that is theory, in practice who knows?

Thank you for 'talking' to Cassandra. I hope she is well, I can't cope with facebook, I can't work how to use it somehow, beyond my 'pooting skills.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 18 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cassandra seems to be fine. No idea why she hasn't been posting here, but I know a little while ago her internet wasn't playing, so think she tends to use her phone for FB not her computer.

We were organising the show, and husband and son were demonstrating our retort kiln. We didn't get free entry, and we had to supply our own wood, but we get the charcoal. It will store through the winter, but we may get some sales, so we will see. At present we have some ready bagged, and quite a bit in dumpy sacks now.

I was so busy dealing with things round and about at the Gathering that I didn't get much of a chance to do much else, although I did manage to go on the visit and find out that the way I have been doing my hazel baskets is right. Otherwise it was making sure everyone was where they ought to be, putting loo rolls in the toilets, helping at the auction etc. etc....

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1735
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 18 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you, MR, for the Cassandra info.; we three have 'known' each other for a long time now, I enjoyed her stories of down under, but just want to know she is alright.

I am not sure you should, having organised the show, paid to get in-seems a tall order, when you have so much other expense just showing there, but it sounds as though you have a good start to next season with the bonus stock.

The weather today has been lovely-sunny, blue skies, no clouds, warm and comfortable. I drove home with the window down part way, very pleasant.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 18 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It has been a bit cooler here the last couple of days, and may have had a frost last night. It was a lovely clear night and the windows are misted this morning. I finally got round to cooking some biscuits yesterday after not having any for weeks. With any luck we are now over most of the weekend dos, so can relax a little bit more and have the odd day off.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1957
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 18 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Temperatures dropped to 28 degrees Fahrenheit last night. Fire in the stove this morning.

Tomorrow there is a basket and broom making event at Howell Living History Farm. Sunday is a rock garden society chapter meeting at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum with a speaker talking about autumn flowering bulbs. A friend is coming with me. We'll brown bag our lunch, plan on stopping at Willowwood Arboretum on the way home. Leaf peeping, but trees are still mostly green or yellow.

Next Wednesday is garden club meeting with the owner of my LYS (that's local yarn shop) speaking about natural dyes. A neighbor who has Shetland sheep and another friend (from the mushroom society) who dyes with lichens and mushrooms are both coming with me. There will be a soup and bread lunch following the lecture.

Next Thursday I get my flu shot. And on Friday I'm off to the New York Botanical Garden for a talk by two high end flower arrangers whose just published book I had coincidentally requested from the publisher for review.

My dance card is rather full, don't you think?

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1735
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 18 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another good day, after a foggy start at 4.30am. We have had a frost or so, but I have had nothing on the roads to see or to skid on; maybe it justs feels cold to me. Long may it last that way. I don't mind snow, I can see it and drive accordingly, but ice is not always noticeable till it is too late. It is 'over' for the summer, it is now the weather changes and wood men get logging, or in my case I get even more excited on the kindling. I am storing a trailer for a friend at home. He and I are going to pack the logs which are on the trailer and try to sell them at the farm gate, along with some kindling.

With the help of a friend I am on top of the kindling now, he has been doing a lot for me recently with his machine. It doesn't do the kindling as well as hand done, but it chops in 2 hours as much as I can do in a week. All I have to do is get a trailer load together every 2 or 3 weeks and potter over, and the kids do the work and I collect the following week, or that day if they have a mind to do it straight away. I go through each bag of wood and throw what I don't want, and correct what I do if too large or too much rubbish attached. People are paying good money and want a good product-and don't expect splinters or ironmongery attached. I also only put in 'clean' wood. I have developed a market fo the offcuts and miss shaped pieces that fall from the chopping process-the sort of bits you would use at home, but not think of selling-well I used to give them to the couple opposite, but she mentioned that I did chopped wood to a friend and so she wanted some and then another joined the gang and it is snowballing without any effort on my part and they now all want the offcut rubbish! Saves me the bother of having a bonfire. There is a standard-the bit of wood must have some "meat" in it and be at least 3 inches long. I tend to put a few slithers in the proper bags as this aids starting, my excuse for them being there.

Cassandra would be interested in the lectures about the dyes, Jam Lady, as last time we heard from her she was well committed to the job and if I remember she won a prize in a show with her dyed wool products. I will be interested in the wooden products. I hope all well at home for you and the neighbours are getting on with the new building project.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 18 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Will be interested to hear about the brushes and brooms and the dyeing Jam Lady. You have different types of brooms to the ones we traditionally use, which is probably why someone tried to order a besom from us for the US a while ago. We said no as there could have been problems as the birch is 'bark on'.

Yes, Gregotyn, if Jam Lady does a post on it, I will tell Cassandra about it as she may well be interested.

You seem to be doing well with your kindling. Good luck with the firewood too.

It is getting a bit colder here overnight, but today is really lovely. We had our volunteer group this morning, and while the 'active' group were burning up some brash, the 'less active' group went for a walk to see if we could find some fungi. Not very much, but it was warm enough to take off my jacket. Sunny and very little wind, so really pleasant in the woods. Some colour to the leaves, but the top ones have been blown off over the last few weeks unfortunately.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1957
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 18 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Today was squally and damp. Had a contractor here to discuss some work we are thinking of doing. By the time he left it was getting on for lunch so I decided to stay home. So no baskets or brooms.

Yesterday I brought poke weed berries and black walnut cambium bark over to the yarn shop, for her use in the program next Wednesday.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 18 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh, what a shame, Still look forward to hearing about the dyeing.

I have now gone down with the cold I got from husband, who probably got it from son. Could have done without them sharing that.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 18 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have picked up loads of quinces from the garden which seem to have come down over the last few days. Now hoping to give some away and have to start making jelly, wine and brandy. Sadly also have a cold which isn't encouraging any of the above.

Went to Wisley yesterday, which is currently heavily infested with children as it is half term. Trees starting to turn, but the liquidamber needs a little bit longer yet.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1735
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 18 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well after all the giving you, MR, have done for your son he is now returning a gift to you and husband; what rotten luck. It does happen and as I was once told, that by the time you have the obvious symptoms you have already probably passed the cold on without even knowing that you had a cold-not sure if I believe that, but potentially a useful statement! I hope it clears up quickly-keep warm.

The kindling has just started to 'go' now, I am pleased. I am up to speed and expect to get to Christmas with what I have already with ease having had a big push over the last couple of weeks I have stock ready at around 250, and in the box-un netted yet-about a further 60-70 nets worth' so I can go away to my friends' for the holiday with a clear mind that there is no panic-famous last words!

I too am sorry about the baskets and brooms Jam Lady. I am always interested in such things even though it is unlikely I would ever get down to making them myself. I have too many trees to come down in the near future as they are starting to interfere with some of my guttering, and 5 at least will have to come down, 2 immediately; one in particular has its roots close to the footings and through a drain. I am lucky in that I am going away for a couple of nights in the near future to my Bridgnorth friends so the trees will get a stay of execution till I get back and a friend is there to help, in case of a disaster. We are well in the throws of defoliation up here MR. Opposite to my holding's gateway is a small walkway-very overgrown, and it is where I throw bits for birds and wildlife generally, normally all is hidden in there by foliage but that has almost disappeared. I also found a slug in my kitchen, but that could have come in on my boots.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 18 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad your kindling is going now. Things have slowed a bit on the log ordering front, although I am having to turn away new customers. If anything we want to decrease the amount of firewood we sell and go for other things. We still have enough orders to keep us busy for several weeks, so no shortage at the moment.

There are quite a lot of leaves down in the woods. With the high winds we have had over the last few weeks the lovely colours we were hoping for are mainly on the ground. It is at this time of year we notice the branches that are down, and have often been down for several years, but we haven't seen them since last winter.

Managed to make a couple more besom heads yesterday and sorted most of the birch for the next one, then ran out of energy.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34295
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 18 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

do broom makers still use the plant known as broom?

it was a family tradition to have a few broom bushes in the garden to make a new one as required.

quite a pretty bush as i recall

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10047

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 18 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not in this area, but people tended to use what was available to them. Heather is used as the head in some places, but I haven't ever heard of broom being used these days, although it must have been in the past because of the name.

The tradition here is for birch heads and birch or hazel handles, depending on exactly where you live.

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