The Earth Stood Hard as Iron
A heavy frost made for a stunning morning as 11 volunteers gathered at our collaboration site at Home Farm in Aylmerton on January 18th. However, this did make tree planting a bit of a challenge, with a hard crust to break through before we reached the soft soil where we could plant the delicate roots of the saplings. Fortunately, the task was made easier by the fact that the surface had been stripped of its turf so we were planting into bare soil. This will also make life easier for the young trees as they establish their roots, since they won’t have to compete with the grass.
Despite the rock-hard ground, everyone was determined to get the job done, and after a couple of hours (and of course a coffee break), we had succeeded in planting another 500 whips to extend the hedge that had been begun by our corporate volunteers from Marsh, and to add to an existing hedge to the west of the site, as well as creating a broader area of scrub.
As time wore on the sun had warmed us up so that layers of clothing gradually came off! It also melted the frost, softening the soil, enabling us to finish off by treading the trees in firmly to prevent them from rocking in the wind or being damaged by frost penetrating the ground round their roots.