Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mill Road, Marcham, 26th July 2014

It was back to Marcham this Saturday, for the second session of the summer at Mill Lane.  The plan was to continue the Himalayan Balsam clearance.  Fortunately, there was a much larger turn-out than the previous session, which had seen only five Green Gymmers rather overwhelmed with the extent of the balsam growth.  Fifteen-strong this time, the task ahead was still fairly daunting given the ideal growing conditions that the previous months have presented for this invasive plant.

Upon arrival at the site, we assembled outside the farm shop and made our way to the bottom of the adjacent field to commence operations.  Along the field boundary and around the lake area, we were greeted with a bumper crop of balsam, up to 10 foot tall and with stems of considerable girth.  It was a matter of getting stuck in and working flat-out to get as much done as possible.

This we did, working on through the heat of the sunny July morning.  Soon enough, large piles of pulled balsam began to accumulate along the field margins, beside the stream and around the edge of the lake.  Breaking through to the banks of the lake and thus affording a view across it provided some motivation to persist.  Indeed the 11am refreshment break was taken a little late due to us somewhat loosing track of time.

Tea and coffee were taken in the barn, back up at the farmyard.  A variety of cakes were kindly provided by Dieuwke, while Eleanor entertained us all with a poetry reading.

We were a little late returning to the work site, especially since some of us took time out to peruse the produce in the farm shop.  Time well spent.  Once we did resume, significant progress was made, however a depressingly large amount of balsam remained.  Another ten sessions here and we might begin to eliminate this year's growth!
-Andrew


Petra with a large Himalayan Balsam plant

The scale of the problem is evident!

Along the stream

Progress!

Himalayan Balsam in bloom

A view of the lake

Time for tea

Taking refuge from the heat of the day

Eleanor during her poetry reading


The farmyard/heading to the farm shop

A large pile of balsam

The final push

Through to the lake

Session's end

Cumbers' Farm





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