Tag Archives: bracken

A Late Bracken Harvest

What to do if you’re running low on animal bedding? Go out and harvest more! The bracken on our farm needs controlling, but it is also an incredibly useful resource. Amongst other things, we use it for cattle bedding. When the autumn harvest began to run out, Phil and I took a late cut from a scrubby corner. Despite a winter of rain and wind, … Continue reading A Late Bracken Harvest »

In Praise of Bracken

 Bracken tends to get a pretty bad press, and with good reason. However, bracken can make a positive contribution to a habitat, garden or farm system. On our holding we have come to value rather then fear our stands of bracken. Bracken as part of Britain’s Ecology Bracken is natural part of the British flora. It provides valuable habitat for small mammals, birds and reptiles … Continue reading In Praise of Bracken »

The Austrian Scythe – a versatile tool

Cearing a path in the woods

People buy a scythe for lots of reasons – for managing everything from a smallholding to the edges of a heritage railway line. Looking at our site at this time of year it can appear that our scythe use is restricted to the hay meadow, but this is far from the truth. One of the delights of the scythe is that it can be used … Continue reading The Austrian Scythe – a versatile tool »

Autumn Harvest – Bracken

In autumn the scythe moves from harvesting grass to bracken, a task to which it is well suited. We harvest the bracken both to control it in the fields and to use it as a resource on the farm and garden. These two posts about the 2014 bracken harvest and the 2013 bracken harvest give more detail about how and why we harvest bracken. This … Continue reading Autumn Harvest – Bracken »

Harvesting and Using Bracken

We held our last scythe course of the year on 30th August. As well as cutting grass we cut a large patch of bracken that grows in the Quiet field. The participants got a lot of satisfaction from cutting the bracken. The stems are stiff and widely spaced and so cut easily, even if the cut material can be rather heavy and tangly to carry … Continue reading Harvesting and Using Bracken »

Harvesting Bracken

Bracken Mowing – cut bracken to the left, uncut to the right I have been using our trimming scythe to harvest bracken in one of the fields at the Trust. Mature bracken stalks are pretty tough, so I used a 65cm Styria blade, which is capable of cutting rougher stuff without sustaining unreasonable damage to the cutting edge. I say “harvesting” rather then “controlling” the … Continue reading Harvesting Bracken »