It needs some coping stones, but the wall in the bottom field is done. We have been working on it for the past couple of weeks. We have been using the opportunity to use up some of the stone left over from the renovation and although we have used 4-5 dumpers worth of stone, there still seems to be a lot of stone still left.
We aren’t sure what we are going to with this area, but now that it has been tidied up, it is a lot more accessible. The loose stones need sorting out, but we can’t make up our minds about whether we should do this by hand or hire a machine. The ground is still too wet to get a machine in here.
You can see where we have used new stone from our pile, but give it 12-18 months and it will looks as if this wall will have been here for years. We are constantly amazed as we look back at other bits of wall that we have repaired about how quickly they seem to age (just like me).
Just needs a bit of clearing up and the ground needs a bit of levelling, but when we first bought the property this was completely overgrown.
Well, almost done. Just needed some coping stones along the top.
We are still “raiding” this pile of stone left over from the renovation to rebuild and repair different bits of our dry stone walls.
Some of the bigger pieces here are going to require a machine to lift them.
Well, this is a sure sign that summer is on the way – trays of seedlings that are going to be ready to go into the polytunnel in the next few weeks. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, mange tout, and lots of flowers (including geraniums and sunflowers).
We put up an 8ft x 20ft polytunnel in May 2013. We put two 8ft x 4ft raised beds down one side and then racking on the other side – it was only 8ft wide so we couldn’t put raised beds on both sides. While it worked, it was the most efficient use of space and the raised beds were a little too wide to reach the back (while not standing in the raised bed itself).
We decided to make the existing raised beds slightly narrower (by cutting down the existing raised beds) and to put them on both sides of the polytunnel. While this gives us slightly less growing area, it is a better use of the overall space and it is much easier to reach the back of the beds (particularly if you have short arms!).
We (actually I mean Jo!) also seem to be a bit more organised this year in terms of sorting out what we want to grow and when it needs to be planted. Rather than deciding on what we want to grow about 2 months after it should have been sown.
This is the original layout for the polytunnel. Unfortunately, two raised beds side by side wouldn’t have left enough space for a walkway.
And here’s the new layout. Rather than 4 wide beds, there are now 5 narrower beds. This leaves room in the middle for a path and means that you can reach the back of the beds without having to stand on them. The workbench now runs across the polytunnel rather than down all of one side.
Well, it has been a while since we have posted on the blog. It doesn’t mean that we haven’t been busy, in fact, quite the opposite. I’ll try and post some more updates this week.
The rain has eased up for the past week or so and the fields have started to dry out a bit. This has meant that we have been able to restart working in the bottom field repairing the last of the dry stone walls. We had to clear a reasonable amount of undergrowth before we could get to this area. When we first bought the property, you couldn’t get in here at all.
We had to take a 3-4 medium sized trees to get access to this area, but it looks a lot better now that the area has been cleared. It is amazing how many logs that we seem to get from so few trees. They’ll need to dry out over the summer before we will be able to use them on the log stoves. The main issue now is where to store them.
We believe that this is the boundary wall between the old quarry that was in the bottom field and Hagg Wood. According to the old maps, this quarry was no longer used from about 1899. Most of the stone for the wall was under the piles of leafs.
The area to the left of the wall was a small quarry in the mid 1800’s. I suspect that much of the stone that was used to build the house came from here. A number of the guys in the local pub remember playing in the quarry as kids. I believe that it was filled in during the 1960’s when a modern property was built next door and the quarry was used for landfill.
Rather than starting the wall from scratch we have taken it back down to where we could find the foundation stones. It makes repairing the wall a lot quicker!
The dumper holds about 3/4 ton and this was just about on it’s limit (considering that the brakes aren’t all that good!). There is probably amount the same amount again to be collected. It’ll take about a year before these are dry enough to burn, but they should be ready for next Winter.