How things change in a year!

Today is my blog’s first birthday and the 12 months since I sat with Jennie in her sitting room setting up the blog seem to have flown by. So much so, that it’s only by looking back at the photos from the past year that I’m reminded of how much has happened and changed in the last year.

As you’d expect (I hope!), for me, those changes are best illustrated by the impact that the pigs and I have had on the field.

This is how it looked when I drove down to south Wales one rainy day last August to build the pig arks before moving the herd down:

Jo (and Snipe!) hard at work building a pig ark - 22 August 2008

Jo (and Snipe!) hard at work building a pig ark - 22 August 2008

Now, that part of the field looks like this:

The field - 27 August 2009

The field - 27 August 2009

I know I haven’t completely eradicated the Himalayam Balsam or the bracken, but we’re getting there!

I just can’t get over the difference a year makes. Well, one year and an immeasurable amount of hard work… It feels good 🙂

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5 responses to this post.

  1. It’s a big improvement, especially when I think about getting lost in the jungle of himalayan balsam last year. I was thinking of you the other day when I was driving down the M4 or the A48 – can’t remember which – and seeing the himalayan balsam taking over the ground on the sides of the road. Not good.

  2. I saw that as well when I drove that way the other day. Bloody stuff is everywhere. And it stinks!

  3. How have you got rid of the bracken? We have rather a lot in one field and want to eradicate it. No Himalayan Balsam thank goodness and although there are patches of Japanese Knotweed, none are too close to us.

  4. Siege warfare! Seriously, because bracken grows and spreads through its rhizomes, the trick is to wear them out.

    Keep cutting it down so instead of spreading, its energy has to go into regrowing.

    But the most important bit is to plough or dig up the area, or at least to clear away all the dead bracken once it dies away in the autumn. What normally happens is that the dead bracken acts as a duvet in winter, keeping the rhizomes warm and protected from the frost. But if you can expose the rhizomes through ploughing, or at least remove their protection, the frost will kill the rhizomes.

    The pigs are great as they eat the bracken and dig up the rhizomes – it’s toxic and could kill them but I make sure they get enough hard food to counterbalance the Vitamin B deficiency.

    Cut and dig, cut and dig… I recommend a scythe, it makes easy work of the cutting!

  5. Sadly the pigs aren’t in the field where the bracken grows or they could “help” and ploughing isn’t an option so we are going for the repeated cutting and raking approach.

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