When weeds win

strimmings to rakeThis is an absurd task. And every year, twice or three times a year I have to do something about it.

These are our lower terraces. A few acres – five perhaps. A hectare or two.  We see them from our house, but don’t often walk or go here.

So the real point of this part of the farm is the privacy it affords us.  We do not have neighbours below us. And we do have a fantastic forest of oak trees quite lower down.

Useful crops of trees.

But if you neglect the rest of these hand built terraces with dry stone walls then they will be overwhelmed with brambles in about three seasons.

They grow out of the walls. Out of the slopes, and their impressive arching branches are forever reaching to the next bit of ground to conquer. loads of strimming 1

So we have to fend off the inevitable.  And that means mowing and strimming. And dreaming of voracious sheep. Or goats. I could do with a dozen goats.

This solitary goat does all the work right now.  I decided that today was raking all the strimmed bits day.

terrace rakedAnd it took most of the day.

Some years I just strim and leave the bits behind. But I need the mulch for the garden. So toil I do.

I had hoped to cram the bits into bags, but actually I just had to stack the wheelbarrow as high as it would go and then attach a bungee chord to keep the whole lot from tipping over on the slope.

And every now and then I would take a break from raking to nip down to the next terraces and cut back brambles.

I was well armed with gautlets but still sport some interesting lacerations.

I like to do some pre-strimming preparation by hacking back at the thickest of the brambles and cutting down the self seeded elderflower trees. It saves on strimmer wire. loads of strimmings

But I suspect it’s going to be an all winter task to slowly remove the brambles from all the terraces and return it to a beautiful pristine state.

And just when I stand back and admire my handiwork, all the brambles will spring into growth again. And so it goes.