Oak framing and firewood

Next week is my Oak Timber Framing course in Sussex. How time spins by. As part of the journey, I’m bringing my bicycle so that I can visit a couple of distant relatives and the Brogdale Farm National Apple Library. At this last place, I’m hoping to identify a few special fruit trees that we can plant in the forest garden. I aim to be at the farm on Saturday afternoon to catch the 2.30 tour.

Monica has her gallstone scan on Monday so we hope that’ll be sorted soon. Other than that, it’s a quiet time here apart from occasional tree-planting visits. After I return, it’s full speed ahead with the workshop. It’s been very frustrating, waiting to get the place operational; it’ll be wonderful to be able to set up the machines for a production run or to work at the bench with the stove on and the hand tools close by.

All the firewood is cut and stacked so we’re mostly ready for hibernation. About a quarter of the meadow got mowed but the hay hasn’t dried, of course. I may carry on cutting into winter, just to move the seed about. The hay will get piled up and probably used as mulch. With my “ditch” blade, I’ll knock back the weeds on the headlands, too. The technique is coming to me, slowly. It’s one of those skills that takes little time to get started but a lifetime to perfect but I think it should be compulsory for everyone to learn, along with sharpening, whittling, brewing, fire-lighting etc. In fact, I should start a camp-out course right here for anyone and everyone to learn some basic post-apocalypse tips. Shooting marauding squirrels and rabbits would be a fine use of their time. I wonder what slug soup tastes like?

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