What happens in Cornwall in February? The saying goes that when fishermen can’t go to sea they repair their nets, but what does a smallholder do? Well, we seem to be chopping a lot of wood these days, then stacking it in our fantastic new bays made of pallets, according to the type of wood and the year it should be burned. Plenty of light hazel for 2015, while the dense and heavy oak will be good in 2016. This means we are having long, warm evenings by the fire, on the sofa with the pups, catching up on reading and planning for the growing and holiday season to come. Of course, this new and organised system also means some good firewood for our yurt and barn guests who will start to arrive in only 6 weeks time!
It is also a time for pruning. We are cutting our brightly coloured basket willow to replant around the pond and in the yurt field. The thinner cuttings will be kept back for basket weaving – we have a Basket Weaving Course on 29th March with the highly talented Sian from Ways with Willow. Then there are all the apple trees to prune. Dave has been getting busy on our trees, teaching our wwoof volunteers Charlotte and Doug as well as going out to prune other apple local orchards.It’s also hedgelaying time. Tom Kemp is coming to Cotna to run a Hedgelaying Course on March 22nd – have a look at our events page & do mail us if you are interested! And of course, there are the ever-present brambles to cut back on our banks and in the pond!
So there is plenty going on in the garden as well as building-based projects like building Dave’s fantastic new man-shed, repairing the yurt crown wheels, re-covering the recycling bins, lime washing the walls of the straw bale studio shower and the soon-to-be wwoofer bedroom in the barn. Seems to me fishermen have it easy if all they have to repair is their nets!