Fruit pruning and lostt sheep | Fern Verrow

Fruit pruning and lostt sheep

A biodynamic fruit day on Tuesday gave us an opportunity to start pruning the fruit bushes and trees. Everything had a major overhaul last year so not so much of a gigantic task this year. Started with the gooseberry bushes on Tuesday morning,g a prickly plant, but as nice one as no ladder required and the opportunity to create a good form… our favourite winter job. We snip new growth i.e last seasons by about half to an outward bud. Any dead or diseased wood is removed, and it is important to keep the centre ball open to allow air circulation, which helps to prevent disease and aphids from making their homes inside. It takes about twenty minutes a plant, but one tends to be a bit dreamy, seeing the beginings of new growth takes you back to the summer months, picturing the plant with all its foliage and in time groaning with fruit… snip this branch, that branch, remember how the weight of the fruit can make the branches rest on the ground (not good) or even break… be ruthless, give that branch a chance, but please try and remain focused. And so on. Many more to go but we are underway.

Lost some sheep this morning, six down, where are they? Well they had managed to push themselves through a hole in the hedge (been meaning to sort that) Jane squeezes through same hole and low and behold comes face to face with about 200 or so ewes belonging to our neighbouring farmer! Sorry, but they all look the same them sheep. However I know by experience that sheep take time to become a flock and it was likely that ours would be in some corner or other of the field. Were they in the barn gorging themselves on non -organic hay? No just another thirty or forty belonging to the neighbour. I had  thought before to take a bucket with me, as ours follow a bucket with the promise of a treat, which turned out to be a good idea, as I entered another annex field there they were! Straight away I knew they were ours, more woolly than Ivor’s and happy to see me….. banging the bucket and a cheery “come on girls” brought them running to me . I walked quickly towards the gap in the hedge. They followed looking forward to the treat, little did they know my bucket was empty, never mind I’ll make it up to them with some cabbages later.  So potential disaster averted and all back to normal in no time.


By the way at Spa again this Saturday as usual.

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