We first planted a willow hedge in 2009. Since then we’ve taken cuttings almost every year to plant around the farm. These cuttings are known as ‘rods’. Coppicing the willow makes it sprout multiple stems from the base, meaning that the next year you have a bushier hedge and even more rods to plant. Willow roots very easily thanks to high levels of rooting hormones in the bark. A willow rod stuck in the ground overwinter will soon root and after just a couple of years you’ll be able to harvest rods from it. You can even make your own ‘rooting tea’ using chopped up willow twigs (no leaves or older branches) soaked in water. This tea can be used to stimulate root development in other plants. Read more

We’ve wanted to build a clay oven for a number of years, and finally got around to it in October. We enlisted the services of Sam Makumba, a local potter who has built dozens of clay ovens over the years, and press-ganged 20 friends into a weekend’s service! Despite choosing the weekend when the St Jude storm hit, the build went very well. Read on for a fairly thorough description of our method, which I hope will help others construct clay ovens. If you have any questions or would like to suggest improvements then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Read more