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24th January

With me needing to get home, for around 10 am each morning to start my second job as a teacher, my mornings are spent on maintenance and repairs, and planning the weeks work for Rab and Nick, after they have finished the harvesting.

Although the harvesting at the moment is taking a lot longer than usual, with all the hard frost and snow we have been having.

One job I have been tackling is making new doors for all the tunnels, each tunnel has two doors at each end, so I have had to make, sixteen doors, each door is around 2 meters wide by around one meter in hight, the top door, is hinged using old lorry straps, this week we can just pull it up using a pully system, made from rope, this gives us plenty clearance to get the tractor in, the bottom door we lift of, and put at the side if we need to get the tractor in.

The doors are all made from wood, and this year I have used the old windbreak material instead of polythene, which we have always used in the past.

The thought behind this is that, in the summer months, the tunnels won’t turn into a sauna, if we aren’t around for any reason, and when we do need to leave the doors on at the start of the year, they can get a wee but stuffy after watering, but with the nett there will be a wee bit of ventilation, but the nett is fine enough to stop the wind blowing in and cooling them down too much.

One job Rab and Nick have been getting on with, is preparing an area of ground that we have our twelve apple trees in.

This area had willow trees in it so we have cut them down and pulled out the roots.

It also had an old tunnel in there so there are a lot of old metal legs that are needing lifted.

Then there is just stuff lying around.

This is all getting cleared out, and it should give us around an acre of ground.

When this is done, we will be planting three hundred new Raspberry canes, three hundred Rhubarb crowns and another twelve apple trees.

We have all these planted in a tunnel at the moment, just to protect them from the elements.

But they will be needing to get planted in the ground pretty soon, and we need to start blocking the first of this year’s seeds, as they are all in now and the blocking season is away to start.

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