Well that’s that then. The eyesore tree that dominated our view is now gone. Funnily enough it was two trees grown so tightly together (See inset) that it looked like one. The tree guys were at their wits end trying to get the metre diameter stump up. I did tease them that Leprechauns were hanging onto the roots so’s they couldn’t pull it up.
Even after I’d paid them, they were giving the remaining roots dark looks and promising, Schwarzenegger like, that “They’d be back” I love people who have that much pride in their work. Whether they will be back is moot, but there you go.
Now for those of you tree huggers having a conniptive fit over the loss of a mature, albeit diseased arboreal specimen, fear not. I may have had a couple of trees removed, but in it’s place I am planting dozens. Willow, Birch, Hazel, Blackthorn and Maythorn. Maybe a few Beech and Perchance an Oak as windbreaks. All native species. Then I have more heather to plant and wildflowers to sow.
That’s without the half dozen apple trees, all Bramleys, that I’ve baggsied from the local agricultural suppliers. I have a recipe for a red hot barbecue sauce (Organic, mais bien sur) with an apple and tomato base, for which nothing but Bramleys will do. No added preservatives, no tricks, no unpleasant bending, but dynamite for barbecues.
The hives go in next week too. Only three, but that will be enough to start test batches of Mead, Honey Wine and Midus by the end of the year. I have been recruiting taste testers, and do you know? Not one has refused? Either I’m a bloody good judge of character (Not true) or they’re all keen on free samples. What do you think?
As most of my neighbours are livestock farmers, I foresee a lively barter market with my Mead products, honey and chickens changing hands for beef, lamb, pork and venison (Yes, one of my neighbours has a herd of deer). A pound of organic honey might trade for a couple of good steaks or other meats.
Seeing as the real McCoy of filtered organic honey retails for around ten euros a pound, never mind the extortionate amounts asked for Manuka, local opinion is that heather and wildflower honey is best, ten euros a pound is a fairly low midrange price. Heather and wildflower is what I’m going to try and produce. I know one guy in County Clare who sells his at eight euros for eight ounces. And that was when some of his hives were producing over a hundred pounds of liquid gold each in 2021. His apiary runs into over a hundred of hives. I’m strictly small beer by comparison, but I do intend to grow.
I don’t care about the radical vegans who want us all to eschew animal protein for an entirely plant based diet, all I’ve got to say about them is that they simply don’t understand agriculture or how to get food out of land unsuitable for arable crops, of which Ireland and the UK have a great deal. These radicals don’t understand that the ‘Food pyramid’, long held as the ‘ideal’ dietary model, was a 1960’s political construct. Any ‘science’ behind it is flaky at best.
There is also the corollary that the ‘food pyramid’ has been dietary gospel for over sixty years, and during that period the rates of Diabetes II and heart disease have skyrocketed. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me. The stats are all out there.
Said groups also think sufficient electricity can be produced by those big silly whirly things that stop producing their usual trickle of power when the wind stops blowing.
Like yesterday. Lovely sunny day, hardly a breath of wind. South of us in Galway are some of said silly whirly boondoggles, and not a blade was stirring. As for bonehead Boris in the UK wanting to smother the land in solar panels, perhaps he should cast his eyes over to Germany, where such schemes have failed big time. Fracking and Nuclear are the only reliable ‘green’ solutions to the British Isles energy needs. Only the French have it half way right and they have 10% ‘renewables’.
But then these ‘Green’ groups are anti anything that works. In the fluff that passes for their prefrontal lobes, the pollution from mining poisonous elements like Cobalt that are needed to produce sparky cars, solar panels and wind turbines get a free pass, but for a technology with a much lower mortality than Wind Farm maintenance, they get up in arms and attach themselves to major arterial routes as well as other objects. No one in any place of political power should be paying them any mind at all. Same for those who can’t tell a biological male from a female, then wonder why a six foot plus biological male is scooping up all the girls medals. Well duh.
As far as an antidote to the current insanity is concerned, getting close to the soil and turning off the TV is always a good move. It settles you. Puts your mind back on track. Allows you to think. Even if the only green things you have to tend are a couple of window boxes, or some potted tomato plants. Growing things teaches patience and brings much needed quietude to the soul.