November

Coppicing weekend! It’s an annual event where we host 10 to 15 visitors and teach traditional coppicing skills – how to healthily (for the person and the tree) fell a coppice stool and protect it from deer nibbling which hinders straight growth that is much more useful. The materials we harvest get used in a variety of ways: gads for thatching spars, poles and weavers for hurdles, bean supports, wigwams for sale and of course firewood. We had a great team over the weekend! Finishing over 35 stools, thanks to everyone who made it a great weekend 🙂 For more info or to book on for next year visit our Events page.

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To protect the new hazel shoots primarily in their first and second year of growth we weave ‘baskets’ or ‘fairy rings’ using stakes and weavers from the material we have just cut.

coppice stool first year

The steam powered bandsaw mill has been running twice a week this month (more than our general once-weekly rhythm), lots of wood being cut for building the sparkling new apple press building! Other current millings go towards the new Harness shed and wood cladding of the Badger house. A lot of this has been made possible with extra energy from the Badger Boys – Alex, Rich and Fred who are here for the winter and devoting time to land craft including various structural work (and yes, they’re living in the Badger house, so called because of the beautiful road kill badger skin that covers the door). In addition to timber for the community, we mill for orders outside the community so if anyone local would like some quality and lovingly produced timber then get in touch.

Our wonderful cob horses Charlie and Jim extract logs (mostly our Douglas fir and Larch fir) using a logging arch down to the mill where the logs are maneuvered with a Cant Hook and a heavy iron bar onto runners that lead onto the mill bench. Our steam engine is from the 1930s and is powered from off-cuts from the mill, the band saw dates back to the 1940s. No built-in obsolescence back then!

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Coordinated by Pedro, the apple press building will be online for housing the existing cider in the spring and ready for pressing our apples into cider and apple juice in the autumn – the last 10 years or so we’ve pressed apple juice off site so this is a momentous point! In keeping with the rest of the Bubble’s ethos, the juice pasturiser will be wood fired and the apple scratter will be either hand- or bike-powered. The health and hygiene certified building will be a multi functional building for selling other produce such as preserves and cake.

The harness shed is coming along! (Below)

TNK_1770
Fred safely wielding a hatchet

November and December are times for Christmas stalls, along with summer festival stalls they’re important times for the ongoing publicity of Tinkers Bubble and what we stand for in the movement towards voluntary simplicity,  low impact living and the promotion of traditional, heritage land management skills. And of course any wisdom we can offer in the beautiful complexity that is community living!

And to finish, has anyone been following this last series of Blue Planet II, looking at our magnificent oceans? The final episode, Our Blue Planet has some beautiful, encouraging and potent messages. It finishes with a couple of ecologists’ thoughts:

“I still think we have the capability to change the manner in which we’re wasting resources and we can look to a future with healthy oceans. It comes down to us each taking responsibility for the personal choices in our everyday lives, and it is those everyday choices that add up.

“We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before have we had such a power to do something about that.”

Love from the forest x

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