Monday, 9 April 2018

Fuel For The Future

Our log supply may be looking very healthy at the moment as we have been doing a lot of clearing of hedgerows, but we are aware it wont last forever, we have enough logs perhaps for 3 years.

A bit of forward planning is needed if we don't want to be buying in logs. We are dependent on logs, for heating hot water and cooking. 
Last year I had a day out at Llamas Eco Village and was impressed with the willow copse grown for bio fuel on the smallholding I toured.

 Later in the year I went to an open day at West Wales Willows
I know Justine and Alan and they are neighbours.
Had a good look at the willow growing for bio fuel and ordered a start up package delivery when they do there cutting in the winter.
The willow was delayed the winter freezing conditions delayed things, any way Alan brought my packaged over, the black plastic for planting through, pegs and 180 willow cuttings. 
3 variety's of willow A9 Viminalis, Surge and Nini 60 of each



plastic sheeting down, it is going to be covered with wood chip something else we have an abundance of 
 It did involve lots of crawling around and measuring out, the willow is planted 1m apart.
We now have it all planted up another big project ticked off the list.


The willow will be cut back to three stems, the whips we take off can be used for cuttings for the next section to be planted, the process will be repeated the following year, in total we will have 3 lots of willow planted up all at various stages of growing, the third year we should have  our first lot of willow ready to cut for fuel, left to season for a year ready to use as the second area is ready cutting and on it goes cutting on rotation for as many years as we want.  We can also cut the thinning's in leaf and use them for goat feed.
Now we wait for it to grow.
 

13 comments:

  1. So much hard work, but later the benefits will sustain your lifestyle. How are all the livestock doing?

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    1. Everyone is doing fine, lots of swelling bellies full of babies.

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  2. A good fuel solution and Willow is perfect for boggy areas. Is it expensive to purchase?

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    1. It cost £175 for the initial set up, we will need to buy the plastic sheeting next year and the year after I believe its cost £40

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  3. I have the greatest admiration for your forward planning and determination Dawn. Well done with this as the preparation looks like a lot of hard work. Martin is earning his keep!! Well done.

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    1. planting willow is not too labor intensive, they like to be planted in firm soil

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  4. That's a heck of a big job Dawn. You must be glad it's done.
    Hugs-x-

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  5. You are so smart to prepare like that. Wonderful ideas and action.

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    Replies
    1. if we dont grow fuel we would have to buy it in a big expense

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  6. It's amazing the work you undertake. your knowledge base must be extensive now.

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    Replies
    1. Knowledge is free and I love learning and researching new things and working out how we can adapt it all to our lifestyle.

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  7. Wow fabulous thank you for sharing this wonderful information definitely worth checking out and planning for x

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