We were talking about truffles today. I think we watched a TV programme and it has turned Monica on to the idea. I looked at it last year: the trees are about £50 each but, given we have a hazel coppice underway already, we may only need a few to start the (fungus) balls rolling. Not only that but, while we were considering whether we’d get another dog if dear old Bandit woofs off, the Lagotto Romagnolo came out in the top three. I strongly believe that the fates speak to us like this so I’d best order those trees. Mind you, the woods are probably full of trubbs anyway because no-one has been harvesting them for a hundred years. Some people have a good nose for the wee beasties so maybe I should get out and look myself.
I discovered this picture, taken in May, on my screen saver today. It clearly shows this year’s woodland plantings: Sweet chestnut on the left, then ash and oak coppices, then sparser mixed woodland up behind the house. Look closely and you can see last year’s plantings, too. The white line around the buildings is the edible hedgerow which passes some of the forest garden trees up near the wall. In front of the barns, there’s the orchard in neat rows; over the wall is Monica’s allotment with the apple arbour at its corner. Invisible are 500 ash trees that were spare but couldn’t be taken off site: I bunged them in as short hedges and clumps in that very top field which we have designated as a heath. Looked at like this, there does seem to have been a lot of work! Thankfully, that big-looking burn at the far right didn’t affect many trees though we’ll have to deal with the threat next spring. The shot was taken on a knoll below the hill opposite, where you’re as close as possible and still able to see all of the farm.
The barn, above us; one of the flats to the right; and the house below are all for sale at the moment as some elderly residents move on. Our immediate neighbours are starting to have romantic dreams of living in the Yorkshire Dales so lots could change around us in Warland.
Today, the canal folk drained our pound so that they could bung loads of expanding styrene foam into the lock approach walls. Not sure how environmentally- or canal wall-friendly that solution could be. I grabbed the opportunity to extend my fence, by the side of the aqueduct, out into the water so that the sheep are less able to sneak into the orchard through the mud if someone leaves the pound water level low.
Monica has established that DEFRA do not own the marshy field at the front of us, over the canal, and that it has no special environmental status despite the information we have from the Calderdale Wildlife Association. We’ve asked for a search to establish who owns it so that we can ask what their intentions are. The pub’s conversion into a house is in full swing: nice to observe because it’s an important element in our view.