Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


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Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Tough Weekend

Wasn't it a lovely weekend? Quite humid, I grant you, but more than our fair share of sunshine, lovely warm temperatures and blue skies. Well, we would have paid good money for a stiff breeze, temperatures in the low to mid teens and even a bit of drizzle. What, I hear you say? Why on Earth?

We have spend the weekend doing every version of heavy exercise that is possible in an English Garden. We've lifted, strained, pulled, levered, hammered, chainsawed, bonfired, rolled and carried. I'm sure I've missed out another half-dozen verbs as well.

The (only) good thing to come from this intense activity is that we are now ready for our ground workers to start.

Here is a slightly grainy pic taken with the GoPro as I started on the cherry tree - the orange paint is to make sure I got the angle and direction of the wedge correct, as this determines which way the tree will fall. I had a fairly narrow target, between the phone line into the house and our eucalyptus tree. Fortunately, I managed pretty well. The small orange spots marked where nails had been hammered onto the trunk - these would wreck the chain so are best avoided...


This is the tool-of-the-trade, my marvellous Stihl MS180. It needs a new bar pretty soon - I've turned this one over which extends it's life a little, but it's starting to cut off line now. Only a 14 inch bar, but that's plenty for a small saw like this - any more and the engine would struggle. I've considered a larger saw but this little chap is so light that I can use it all day and not struggle with the weight.




And finally, a before-and-after shot of the land that we've cleared over the last three days. All the wood over wrist thickness has been logged, and the rest has gone on a huge bonfire that has been burning for 36 hours.

Before...



And after....

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