Floods of February 2020

My thoughts go out to all families and businesses affected by the recent flooding. I hope that times like these bring about an increase of community spirit and fellowship in adversity. Babbling brooks running at the bottom of gardens were once deemed a natural asset to any gardener and a beautiful selling point of many properties but have in late become a hated enemy threatening the comfort of many homes. Many ideas are being forwarded to prevent more flooding in the future, but expert...

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Trees Indoors: for the WOW factor

Living trees make the most beautiful of decorations for events and parties. With the added advantage of being replanted rather than thrown on the compost heap or worse into the bin after the event. Below are some photos of our trees being used at wedding last year. I think you will agree that they look very elegant. Please do email us if you would like to hire any for a Spring or Summer function Our taller trees make very striking features and are often a...

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Sea Buckthorn

My favourite weekly programme has once again taught me something new. Last week Countryfile visited an entrepreneurial farm in Cornwall where Sea Buckthorn is being grown as a field crop. It is claimed that it can be used for many health purposes. Whilst I am by no means suggesting eating the berries straight from the tree they can be bought as a supplement, as an oil and the Countryfile presenters were certainly sampling the juice. Clearly some health and dietary experts believe that the...

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Storm Ciara

So in the midst of Storm Ciara we began our sowing. Unlike my experience of vegetable and salad crops where planting takes place from Spring and through into Summer, tree planting can begin in mid Winter but thankfully can be undertaken under cover! So over the weekend, and obviously in-between watching the Six Nations Rugby matches, I battened down the hatches and made a start using our specially formulated no peat seed growing compost. I have been very excited to see our first Acorn shoots...

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Fields without Borders

100+ acre fields stretch across the English countryside appearing symmetrical, orderly and often quite formidable in their vastness. The growing crops mirror each field’s regularity with long tracks appearing equally parallel to one another. The huge machinery used during the harvesting being able to carry out the job seemingly effortlessly. Woodland and hedging that once divided fields was lost during the post war years in a bid to meet the then Government’s policy objectives of more yield...

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Sloe Gin and Conkers

Here in Staffordshire the wet weather has thankfully given way and we have had a few frosty mornings this week. Our tree nursery robin is singing away, I guess he is hoping for someone to disturb some old compost for an easy meal. The big news topic for the nursery this week has not been Megxit but rather the Agriculture Bill introduced to Parliament on 16th January. The environment and organic regulation feature extensively in the document. I am ploughing my way through it (no farming pun...

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The Drinks Party

I was fortunate enough to be invited to several drinks parties over the festive period, luckier still as each was within walking distance from our house.  At one of these occasions while enjoying a small glass of bubbly, I was asked to explain why organic farming is better for us than using chemicals in crop production methods. I sensed immediately that this fellow guest was far more knowledgeable than I about the value of chemically produced food for the world population, and predicted...

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Fresh Energy

The season is already moving on quickly which is more than can be said for me and my newly acquired bionic hip (similarities to Sir Andy Murray end there). From command centre headquarters I can see the team lifting the remainder of our one-year old whips from propagation trays and nursery beds. Most will be sold as whips but any remaining will be planted into our field nursery to grow on for a further season. Our customers are free to buy any number of whips at a time. In the last week,...

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Happy New Year

A short post to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year. Work at the nursery has been minimal over Christmas. I have had a few quiet walks through the field nursery to check our squirrel and rabbit population are not up to too much mischief amongst our young trees (and to walk off the Christmas chocolates!) I have been thrilled to see a hare on more than one occasion. Although they can cause catastrophic damage to a newly planted whip, hares are so rare around our farm it is a real treat to...

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National Newspaper Free Tree Offer

A couple of weeks ago I told you I had taken up a National Newspaper’s offer of a free oak tree. I promised I would update you on planting. The tree arrived in exceptional condition. It was packed in a cardboard tube similar to those used by Molton Brown (causing much excitement in my house 🙄). The roots were kept moist in a small red polythene bag tied with string. It was not clear if the root bag was degradable, recyclable or single use. Planting paraphernalia! I understand that trees being...

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