Planting At The Sidmouth Community Food Forest Is Progressing With Jerusalem Artichokes, Rhubarb, Mint, Primroses & An Olive Tree Recently Planted.

The huge buddleia has now been curt back hard and a habit heap created from the branches. Buddleia cope extremely well with being cut back hard and there is already new growth. The trees we cut back were 12-14 ft high and had suffered in recent storms, and had started to blow over, which had resulted in damaged trunks. Now they have been cut back .. in a cross between coppicing and pollarding .. they will be far more healthy and we expect them to flower this summer and attract pollinators.

The pond, which was virtually dried out a few weeks ago, has refilled with rainwater. And, good news, the frog spawn has hatched. The pond is going to need serious work in the autumn as there is a lot of debris in it. Any work now would disturb a range of wildlife and can be carried out later.

The pond at Sidford community food Forest

One of the mature trees was rotted in the crown and very dangerous. It has now been felled and the trunk left on the ground. Over time it will rot and become a valuable habitat for beetles and other wildlife. Some might say it looks untidy. But the wildlife will love it, especially if we drill holes in ir for bees and other insects to live, breed and hibernate in.

Another “untidy” area area is a pile of old pruning and vegetation. But what we may find untidy was being closely examined by a queen bumble bee on Sunday. We need more bees and the food forest should provide shelter and nesting space for several.

A shrub that is now well into flower is Osmanthus fragrans .. we have two of them on site. They are an evergreen edible that we are lucky to have established on site. I’ll be sharing some information and edible ideas on this plant aka Sweet Olive etc on my gardening website. Watch this space for news of that post.

Osmanthus fragrans at The food Forest Sidbury, Sidford, Devon

Another delight at present are the celandines .. there are lots of them along the back of the site. Sadly they are not edible but they do look incredibly bright and cheerful. I say not edible, and I’m not going to try them, but Robin Harford mentions them as follows …

The plant’s roots swell up to form bulbs or tubers, which are reputedly delicious and can be eaten as a starchy vegetable. 

Robin Harford

Note he said reputedly delicious, but he clearly hadn’t tried them. Wise man!

A medical website says they are possibly highly toxic. My advice is don’t eat them!

Orchard Progress

The newly planted apple trees next to the food forest are settling in and breaking bud. Within. few years we could be picking apples!

Sidmouth Community Food Forest Next Work Party

The next work party is Sunday April 2nd at 10.30am

To Join The Sidford Community Food Forest Facebook Group.

Click the link above.

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