A Tidy up working bee

May 16th we had a working bee of just a few of our regulars, for a bit of a tidy up. With all our previous hard work of sheet mulching the weeds don’t get much of a look in so really it’s a matter of picking up any rubbish that has blown in, making sure the trees are secure on their stakes and are not outgrowing their ties and clearing away any old wildflower debris. Lots of these have reseeded themselves, it’s great to see the calendula and nasturtiums thriving and multiplying so well and the tansy is trying hard to take over.

These companion plants are there to attract beneficial insects to protect our fruit trees from the destructive insects that may want to chomp on our trees for themselves. Nasturtiums are great sacrificial plants – we like to see the insects enjoying them and keeping away from our fruit trees. They are also edible, both flower and leaf and their red and yellow colours are keeping the orchard bright even as we head towards winter solstice on June 21st.

 This affects our orchard because it is the time it gets the least sunshine. Our permaculture guys Dan and Finn who helped with planning our orchard, had us put mainly deciduous trees in the shadiest spots because they are dormant in winter anyway. However, having said that Finn did place a banana in the shadiest corner of all and though it is not as big as its friend in the opposite corner, it is doing remarkably well. The site is very sheltered and by a warm stone wall which helps all the trees and protects them from the wind. Anyway, enough rambling for this post, time for some photos of late Autumn in the Edendale Orchard.

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