We can’t believe it’s the end of Summer already. Sorry for keeping a little quiet over the last months. We have been so busy,…. just couldn’t find time to post about the jobs we did.
Greening together The Ealing rangers have been invaluable in supporting us with advise on creating and maintaining our orchards. It is great to see that this is recognised by the Council. A big thank you to ‘Around Ealing’ for using one of our flagship orchards ‘The Piggeries’ in a lovely article on greening together. The video, accompanying the article, can be watched here !
Pictures below show 1) Aerial view Piggeries site 1951 2) Piggeries map 1960 with current situation combined 3) Winter 2016/2017 4) Summer 2022
Summer Cut Over the summer months, we give all our orchards a summer cut. Most years we had to do quite a bit of weeding before it was time to cut all the grass, but this years drought stopped the weeds from getting in the way too much. So during our work-evenings we cleared around trees, watered our younger trees and did some litter picking when necessary. In August, when most wildflowers had set seed -or when the fire-risk became too high-, we cut the whole meadow in one go and removed the cuttings. This practice, which is common in wildflower meadow management, enhances bio diversity by creating a habitat less favourable for grasses, brambles and nettles. To connect more with other local nature conservation groups, we helped cutting Perivale Wood wildflower meadow and the cuttings were feed for the cows on Horsenden Farm.
Dates for the diary
Saturday work morning: 10th September 10:30 at the allotment next to The Piggeries. We’ll split the group, depending on numbers. If you want to get familiar with our most Western part of the trail (30 min walk from the allotment) this is your chance.
Monday work evening:12th September 6:30 at the allotment next to The Piggeries. -Tasks to be announced-.
Upcoming Saturday work mornings 8th October and 12th November
We’ll be scything the piggeries, rake, gather and remove the cuttings for local composting. There’s plenty to do for people of all strength, fitness and general ability.
We’ll start at 11 o’clock and will finish in the early afternoon, just in time for refreshments at a nearby public house. All you need bring is yourself, but please make sure to wear sturdy shoes and long trousers. A long sleeved top or strong insect repellent is recommended and a pair of gardening gloves will protect your delicate hands and future career as a concert pianist.
All done. The Piggeries were cut in 3 hours flat, raked and collected into an astonishing mounting of biomass. Also note the fascinating wasp spider which we found, although some of the men in our party look at it only with suspicion…
Three hours, six volunteers, two rangers, one noisy bastard of a chipping machine, and one huge pile of dead wood and brambles dating all the way back to the initial clearing at The Piggeries Orchard produced a larger than anticipated pile of premium quality artisan woodchip for mulching within the same orchard. Self-sustained an all.
A Saturday well spent.
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped to get this done as swiftly as possible, and our thanks to neighbours who didn’t quite have their usual peaceful Saturday morning on this occasion.
What’s going on at the Piggeries Orchard today, I hear you ask. I am glad you asked.
The park rangers will bring their wood chipper on site and help us to chip the pile of tree branches into our very own artisan woodchip used for local self-sustained mulching.
Join us from 10:30 today, Saturday 14-July-2018, at the Piggeries Orchard and help getting this done in the shortest time possible. There’ll be opportunities to feed branches into the chipper, to deploy the woodchip along the hedges and around the trees on site. For those who favour lighter duties, there’s no shortage of nettles, brambles or horsetail to pull, snip, squish and bash. We hope to retire to the Fox for refreshments in the early afternoon.
Long trousers and sturdy shoes are highly recommended. Please bring ear defenders, safety glasses and thick gloves if you have them.
Richard “Scissors” H cut the ribbon and really officially opened it on June 2nd, 2018: Time to Celebrate.
I do now declare it truly and officially and complete opened, as open as can be, and I promise it shall not be any more open: the noticeboard is in!
The noticeboard was the last remaining item from our list of deliverables. The sign, albeit not the one made from locally grown oak envisioned, was installed this past week. The installation was complete just in time before the London in Bloom inspection. Such is the way of miracles and wonders!
From the bottom of our watering buckets, wheelbarrows, wellies and from the bottom of our hearts: Thank you so much for supporting this project! It has been the most delightful journey so far.
We appreciate loads of positive feedback whenever we work within the Piggeries Orchard. Many people stop by and share their appreciation. Thank you! It keeps is going. It really does, and it will keep us going well beyond this official completion of the projects. Plans are flying high and wild. Always.
Saturday 9-June, 11:00 at The Piggeries Orchard (map)
to finish the spring clean in time for the London in Bloom
There’ll be something to do for everyone. You can dig or snip bramble roots, pull horsetail, cut bindweed, collect rubble, rake grass. Or just come along to take a look, have a chat, or join us for a drink at the end.
Please dress appropriately; long trousers, closed shoes and gloves are highly recommended due to the mixed vegetation and uneven ground.
We expect to be done within two hours, and we are counting on you to do it!
Dignitaries have been invited, fine weather has been requested, the speech is prepared. All that is missing is you!
Bring a friend, bring a smile, bring yourself. Bring some food or drink to the sharing table if you like, but please bring no more than your party would consume and be prepared to take packaging and leftovers back so that we can keep waste to a minimum.
The Piggeries Orchard is wheelchair accessible from Studley Grange Road.
Please be aware of the proximity to the Grand Union Canal when you bring young children, dogs or ducks.