Using horses to work and manage the land means that we can eliminate compaction by machinery, get onto bits of ground that are just inaccessible to machines, and also as you are walking behind the horse, you get to know the land really intimately, and spot things that you could never notice when driving a tractor. Plus of course you are producing no pollution and noise.
The spring equinox has arrived, and with it, thankfully, some signs that life is returning to the gardens. It also marks the start of the volunteer season, and we’ve been delighted to welcome Tasha to the farm for the past few weeks. Visitors have also started arriving at Birch Eco Cottage, and the calendar is starting to fill up. It is time to get busy.
We had a surprise grape harvest this year – it is only the second year we’ve had grapes at all, and it was incredible to part the undergrowth and find so many. Very tasty they were too, but we realised that we’d have to do something with them as there were far too many to eat. Luckily our friend Ingrid had lent us her steamer-juicer. This incredible thing basically juices most things without a load of messing around removing stalks and stems.
Well this weekend was the All Ireland Permaculture Gathering, held at Cloughjordan Eco Village in Tipperary. The whole thing was really interesting, and despite almost continuous rain for the entire weekend, I had a great time and now that I’m back am itching to get on with all sorts of projects.