Knowledge without wisdom is a loaded gun... - HEARTFELT
Knowledge without wisdom is a loaded gun... -
3rd November 2017
The questions of the day, electric fence.  We've wired it up and hopefully we have got it right.

Electric Fence
Electric Fence
Well it looks right... It is like it was up at the old place and it is happily ticking away. We have a solar panel to keep it topped up but the tester comes when Ebay sends it. It is supposed to be a mega wallop so we aren't testing it!
THE WIRING PROCESS
Well it seems we have the power. The circuits are done...
THE WIRING PROCESS
Solar Powered Pig Fencing
Solar Powered Pig Fencing
We've wired it and now it is on test.
Power Set UP
Set up and good to go... It is on test.
Power Set UP
Pigs in Waiting
Pigs in Waiting
The little cross breed pigs are waiting for the Members of the Shared Community Smallholding
Piggies
The piggies are awaiting liberation. We have to make sure that the fence is working ok first.
Piggies
Arc of the Pig
Arc of the Pig
Warm and cosy but they would rather be rootling up the field. Not long now and the fence will be tested and they will be good to go out.









































































































4th November 2017

BRACKEN!  Hidden Valley has a lot of it.  Demon or Angel?  The jury is out... but...

On the cover of Farmers Guardian there is a piece about the price of bedding straw going up and the possibility of looking for alternatives.  One alternative is bracken for bedding.  Of course my ears pricked up and I've been trawling the web sites this morning to look it all up.

Well it could be very exciting.  We have to find ways to make money here or at least cut down costs so finding that we have something that in some places people are fighting over is great.  

It can be used as bedding for kennels, stables and for cattle.  That is good news as next year we will most likely have cattle in one of the barns over winter.  So their bedding will be cheap.

The bi-product of course is compost so is bracken compost any use?  The answer is very much so.  It is widely used as horticultural compost as there is a higher ratio of nitrogen than farmyard manure.  It has a higher ratio than with straw bedding too. The high heat of composting breaks down the carcinogen ptaquiloside. 

Apparently the new fronds were a delicacy in Japan until they stopped when they found out it was carcinogenic. Now restaurants in the UK are using it.  Don't order it, don't eat it, it is not good!

Apparently we can mow it, leave it to dry and then bale it.  The field is sloping so it will probably mean some kind of attachment for the quad but why not?

A company called Brackenburn www.brackenburn.co.uk are making brackettes which apparently burn hotter than oak.  They have been doing that since 2008 and in testing it has a clean bill of health.  On the list for making some of these then as we have one of those paper briquette makers somewhere.... better go and find it.

It is used for bedding, thatching (Dafydd Williams used it in the Roundhouse Project in Wales - used as underthatch, lasted five years), tannins are used in leather production, potash can be used for soap and it can be used to plug walls or ditches.  Useful stuff then.
















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