We have been picking daffodils at Treragin Wood for over two weeks now, the earliest start in twenty years, and so far we have kept up with the rate of production. So we do not yet have a field of yellow flowers for you to see yet. The picking season usually lasts about 10 to 12 weeks, with a series of different varieties providing a sequence of different blooms. The earliest variety we have is Jules Verne, but more recently Kathryn has been picking Hollywood, California, and Dutch Master. We also have a number of double varieties, including Golden Duckett and White Lions. Not old traditional Cornish varieties I’m afraid, but we inherited them when we bought an “empty” field for tree planting. Two miles down the road, the National Trust’s Cotehele House has around 300 different types, many of them traditional local varieties, and has an open weekend on 23rd and 24th March. Normal admission charges apply, but there will be organised displays, walks and talks, so an interesting trip out if you are local. The picture below shows Kathryn picking for selling from our gate, with a bit of help from Cloud and Rowan, our two collie dogs.
Meanwhile I have been pulling out some of last year’s firewood thinnings, for (very) local sale. The current Small Woods Association quarterly newsletter has an article about moving timber and logs around small woods; there is an eclectic mix ranging from 10 people and a lot of rope, through a horse and donkey, up to some quite fancy quad bikes. My own system, used only at Treragin now, has been to have a metal frame made for the front of my Massey Ferguson 135. It is fixed to the safety cab frame, and where the front weights would be attached. It was first made for me when I was having problems moving firewood out of Golitha Wood, a National Nature Reserve. On some quite steep slopes, and with a full link box, any boulder or change in contour left the tractor wanted to rear up, due to a lack of front weight. The frame (see below), allowed me to double carrying capacity, and provides extra front weight at the same time. Now it’s a bit of a low tech solution, and not something I would recommend for a commercial set-up, but it works at Treragin.
Firewood is hard work, but it is rather fun to see a crop coming from trees I planted. A good job I started young!