We all feel better for a bit of a spruce up now and again, and we thought it was about time that the field off Coldhams Common we are going to transform into a community farm had a good haircut!
Over the past couple of years, the site has become quite overgrown with tall thistles and shrubs. To tackle 7-acres of thistles with scythes and loppers would have been quite an undertaking - and taken us well into the nesting season for ground nesting birds - so we contracted the City Council to help with ‘topping’ the thistles with tractor-mounted mowers.
Our intention is to invest in a two-wheeled tractor with different attachments for different jobs on the farm, which should be more than enough from now on to help prepare the land for growing and keep on top the thistles that will, of course, be back. As the project starts to gather some momentum and more people get involved, we will also be able to tackle the weeds together by holding regular work parties - good fun as well as good exercise!
The rest that the field has had over the past couple of years will have done the soil some good, as it hasn’t been disturbed at all. It also hasn’t had any chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertlilisers sprayed on it and this is how we intend to keep it.