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Sow The Seed follows the ups and downs of me, Helen and my husband, Simon - a couple trying to live a simpler life in south-west Wales.

I hope this blog will not only be a good reference and diary for us over the coming years, but will give helpful advice and tips for people trying to do the same thing, or dreaming of doing the same thing.

Find out more on how we got here.

What’s Happening Today

Tasks: Sowing; pruning; weeding; pottering

Harvesting: Cucumber, lettuce, radishes, strawberries, broad beans, potatoes

Eggs this year: 394 (hens) 317 (ducks)

Precious cherries (already under attack)

Precious cherries (already under attack)

This is the first year we’ve really had any fruit on our cherry trees, and we’re determined to get to try at least a few. Already the blackbirds have been having a good go at stopping us, so we’ve decided to take action. There are all kinds of ways of trying to stop birds getting to your fruit before you do, but I think the only real method is to net the fruit (and even this is not 100% bird proof, especially if they find a hole). I’d seen various YouTube videos showing how commercial orchards net their cherry trees, and most of them involve encasing the whole tree in a net. This is easier said than done when the tree is above head height. Luckily we’ve got some very large nets which should be adequate to get most of the branches covered on our still relatively small trees. So armed with a couple of long poles, Simon and I carefully manoeuvred the net over the tree and wrapped the bottom securely. It’s made some of the branches bend back a bit, but the net is light enough that it shouldn’t break the branches. There are also a few cherries pressing against the net, but hopefully the birds can’t land safely and start pecking at the fruit through the holes.

Fingers crossed this is enough to defend our precious cherries, which should be ready in a few weeks, if we get some summer sun!

After netting

After netting

Before netting

Before netting

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