Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Bramble ("don't you mean a ramble") In The Irish Countryside Next To the Sea.

Went for a stroll with my loppers yesterday.  Cutting the brambles that seem to be growing a foot a week at the moment.  There always seems to be some weed problem on our smallholding.  If its not rushes its the brambles.  The cattle eat the blackberry leaves sometimes.  They are supposed to be a fine tonic for them.   

 The Fuchsia grows wild in West Cork.  It's said to originate from Chile.  Some say travellers brought it and sold it.  Others say the Ice Age brought it. A lot of smallholders have Fuchsia hedges for field boundaries.  There are also quite a lot of Gorse ("Furze") hedges.  I believe that they used to grow fields of "Furze" for firewood and sell it it the towns and cities.



 Domino our resident smallholder ratter and mouser followed me round the boreen.  He just watched though and rested now and again.  Makes me think of that "Only Fools and Horses" theme song: "Only fools and horses work."

12 comments:

  1. Brambles are a problem as they grow up everywhere, lovingly e black berries but disliking the bushes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The brambles seem to be everywhere this year. If it wasn't for the cattle grazing, they would soon take over. I saw two rats eating blackberries in one of my fields last year.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The brambles seem to be everywhere this year. If it wasn't for the cattle grazing, they would soon take over. I saw two rats eating blackberries in one of my fields last year.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, there's a good crop of brambles here this year, an even better one of hawthorn berries, the hedgerows are red with them. And rose hips, just about right for picking but nobody bothers any more; we used to collect them and weigh them in at the village school, 4d per lb was the reward, handy pocket money in those days, a Milky Way was 3d and a packet of Smiths crisps with a little blue paper twist of salt in was 2d.

    Picked a few lbs of brambles, to make bramble gin and bramble vodka, might pick another lb to try bramble whisky. Only seen 2 other pickers, not many people seem to be bothered with them now, everybody used to be out collecting them to make tarts and bramble jelly. One young lady who needed a few to make up quantity for jam and my No 2 son collecting to make crumbles.

    Biggest weed problem now seems to be Japanese knotweed, it's even taking over from the brambles in some places, terribly invasive stuff, almost impossible to eradicate, I've seen it completely choking small streams. seemingly it can be eaten stewed like rhubarb, but I've never fancied trying it.

    Lovely summer day here, a touch of ground frost this morning, blue sky, light airs, sunny and hit 20 deg this afternoon. Sitting on the decking with a jug of Smugglers ale, it was that nice.

    Domino looking well, he's grown into a very handsome chap.
    Raggy cat spending more time outside, just pops in when it's hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Cumbrian, Think Smiths crisps relaunched their plain crisps with the blue bag in the eighties or nineties. I remember when we use to come to Ireland on holiday. My mum and dad would take us in in a pub for a bottle of coke (with a straw) and a packet of cheese and onion 'Tayto' crisps. Happy days.

    Windberries or Bilberries used to be picked when I lived in Lancashire. They were great when they were made into a windberry and apple pie.

    I have a recipe for Japanese(Fallopia Japonica) Knotweed wine. It's in a book called 'Booze for free'. Apparently it cost the British Olympics 70 million to get rid of the weed. Think it was brought over in the 19th century to be an ornamental plant. Rhododendrons were planted on big country estates to give pheasant cover. I adore the Rhodies in flower. But they are very invasive.

    Back to the rain here. Hoping to bring cattle in this week to fatten on the Barley.

    Doimno is a character. He's a great mouser and he killed a blackbird the other day. Wish he just caught the rodents.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Cumbrian, Think Smiths crisps relaunched their plain crisps with the blue bag in the eighties or nineties. I remember when we use to come to Ireland on holiday. My mum and dad would take us in in a pub for a bottle of coke (with a straw) and a packet of cheese and onion 'Tayto' crisps. Happy days.

    Windberries or Bilberries used to be picked when I lived in Lancashire. They were great when they were made into a windberry and apple pie.

    I have a recipe for Japanese(Fallopia Japonica) Knotweed wine. It's in a book called 'Booze for free'. Apparently it cost the British Olympics 70 million to get rid of the weed. Think it was brought over in the 19th century to be an ornamental plant. Rhododendrons were planted on big country estates to give pheasant cover. I adore the Rhodies in flower. But they are very invasive.

    Back to the rain here. Hoping to bring cattle in this week to fatten on the Barley.

    Doimno is a character. He's a great mouser and he killed a blackbird the other day. Wish he just caught the rodents.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Cumbrian, Think Smiths crisps relaunched their plain crisps with the blue bag in the eighties or nineties. I remember when we use to come to Ireland on holiday. My mum and dad would take us in in a pub for a bottle of coke (with a straw) and a packet of cheese and onion 'Tayto' crisps. Happy days.

    Windberries or Bilberries used to be picked when I lived in Lancashire. They were great when they were made into a windberry and apple pie.

    I have a recipe for Japanese(Fallopia Japonica) Knotweed wine. It's in a book called 'Booze for free'. Apparently it cost the British Olympics 70 million to get rid of the weed. Think it was brought over in the 19th century to be an ornamental plant. Rhododendrons were planted on big country estates to give pheasant cover. I adore the Rhodies in flower. But they are very invasive.

    Back to the rain here. Hoping to bring cattle in this week to fatten on the Barley.

    Doimno is a character. He's a great mouser and he killed a blackbird the other day. Wish he just caught the rodents.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bramble-picking over for the year again, I'm told the devil spits on them on 1 October so they're no longer any good. Also means if people stop picking them there's plenty left for the birds, they don't understand about the devil.

    Windberries or bilberries not common in West Cumbria, just plenty of brambles.

    Didn't know they'd put the salt twist back in crisps, it was fun opening it and shaking the bag of crisps to get them all covered.
    Never heard of Japanese knotweed wine, there's any Gods amount of the stuff appearing locally, it takes over really quickly, never saw it until about 3-4 years ago, now it seems to be everywhere there's water and spreading fast, I can't see it ever being eradicated.
    I know it's a big problem, mortgages have been refused because of this weed, it can lift concrete and crack buildings.

    Had a couple of nice days, still pleasant and dry today but rain been threatened later.

    Yeah, I don't like to see the cats killing the birds either, but it's mature, usually Raggy cat fetches sparrows, there's plenty of them. Our resident robin put an appearance in yesterday, haven't seen him for a bit, though we'd lost him, and a lot of the little blue tits in evidence.
    Raggy cat spending a bit more time outside now the weather's a bit milder, still waiting every morning for breakfast.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Cumbrian, There are some good videos about Japanese Knotweed on You Tube. Watched a feature about on last Sunday's Country File show. Apparently it was introduced in the UK for ornamental purposes. Fly tipping also spreads the plant. Quite worrying really. Ragwort is another noxious weed. The councils seem to be the worst culprits for leeting it go to seed.

    Had some very heavy down pours here over the last few days. Fine now though: "Rain before seven, fine by eleven."

    Domino waits on the kitchen windowsill for breakfast.

    Purchased a Grey Fergie 20 for restoration the other week. What Fergie did you drive?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ragwort seems to be getting more prevalent as well, I've just about got rid of it from my garden, fortunately it isn't very deep-rooted. But there's a lot in the hedgerows.

    Been a lot colder today, North wind as well, rain came about 7:00 pm, luckily No 2 son came and got the back grass cut, it was a bit damp, but managed to get it done before the rain started.

    Don't know the specific model, they all seemed to be the same, with the metal seat, starter on the gear stick forward from reverse, and brass button to push in with your right leg to start. Four-speed box with clutch on left foot and brakes on right. PTO at the back and lifting arms. Some had a front lifting fork as well, but not many.
    Don't they look so small beside the modern monsters?

    Domino seems to be the same as Raggy cat, they soon learn where the trough is.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I believe people used to get prosecuted for noxious weeds growing on their land. County councils seem to be the worst culprits for not pulling the Ragwort. Don't see much Rose Bay Willow Herb weeds in Ireland. They always seemed to grow besides railway lines. I believe these also used to be grown for ornamental purposes.

    Another night of heavy rain and wind. Cattle are coming in tonight for the winter. Will try to let them in the fields on nice days.

    Harry Ferguson is another one of my farming heroes. He revolutionized farming with his grey Fergie and his 3 point system.

    Our 20 is the same model that you describe. The engine number is 1954. They do look so tiny next to the modern monsters. Even my Ford's are uncomplicated and so easy to get parts. That's why so many of these old ladies are being exported to the the developing world. Micro-chip technology are not important and life seemed far less complicated when they made the old tractors. They are especially keen on the 4 cylinder models like the Ford 5000. They are also not plagued with rust like us.

    Said it before. There should be a tractor, allotment and farming channel on the television. Every week they would go round and visit a smallholding and interview some one with their little tractor.

    Terrier prefers cat food instead of dog food these days. Domino isn't happy about that.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I believe people used to get prosecuted for noxious weeds growing on their land. County councils seem to be the worst culprits for not pulling the Ragwort. Don't see much Rose Bay Willow Herb weeds in Ireland. They always seemed to grow besides railway lines. I believe these also used to be grown for ornamental purposes.

    Another night of heavy rain and wind. Cattle are coming in tonight for the winter. Will try to let them in the fields on nice days.

    Harry Ferguson is another one of my farming heroes. He revolutionized farming with his grey Fergie and his 3 point system.

    Our 20 is the same model that you describe. The engine number is 1954. They do look so tiny next to the modern monsters. Even my Ford's are uncomplicated and so easy to get parts. That's why so many of these old ladies are being exported to the the developing world. Micro-chip technology are not important and life seemed far less complicated when they made the old tractors. They are especially keen on the 4 cylinder models like the Ford 5000. They are also not plagued with rust like us.

    Said it before. There should be a tractor, allotment and farming channel on the television. Every week they would go round and visit a smallholding and interview some one with their little tractor.

    Terrier prefers cat food instead of dog food these days. Domino isn't happy about that.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete