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A rare visitor to our polytunnel

A solitary Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) spotted on the chives. I counted another 30 on the same bed all Buff-tailed or possibly White-tailed I think.

Bombus lapidarius

All Apple Trees Now in the Ground

We are delighted to have now completed the task of planting all 231 trees into our orchard.

9 cider varieties, 2 cooker varieties, 2 dessert varieties
and some crabs to encourage pollinators.

Our next task is to build guards round the young trees to protect them from our small flock of blackface ewes who manage the grass far more effectively (and less costly) than a mechanised solution.  Thankfully we have until November this year to complete the job.

A Molesome Approach to Farming.

Messrs Mole, Mole & Mole have set up residence in some areas within and just outside the orchard, pushing up a couple of hedge whips that didn't fit in with the decor. No worries. Foragers works with nature, not against it! Once the mole has created his underground abode, he'll defend it fiercely keeping other moles away, therefore no new molehills should appear. We'll just rake the hills, fix the hedge whips, and leave Mr Mole to enjoy his brand new basement apartment.


Hedge Planting

1200 bareroot hedge whips planted this week throughout the site, mostly Hornbeam but also some other bird friendly varieties including Hawthorn, Wild Privet, Hazel, Guelder Rose and Blackthorn.   We were blessed with ideal weather for planting; no heavy rain and temperatures above freezing.  Hoping that the Rootgrow gel as recommended by RHS with help the young plants thrive in order to provide some good wildlife habitat and shelter for the orchard once they mature.


Knapweed (Centaurea)

Knapweed (Centaurea)
The Foragers farm is situated on an old wildflower meadow. Because biodiversity is paramount to the success of our culinary herb crops, we are protecting and further establishing the diverse flora and fauna found here. One of our favourites is Knapweed (Centaurea). It looks like a thistle and is most loved by pollinating insects, especially bees, flies, butterflies and beetles. The seed heads attract goldfinches and other seed-feeding birds. Anyone can grow this from seed at anytime of the year. Great for any garden.

A beautiful day for verge cutting.

I took the opportunity (before the severe weather arrives tomorrow) to improve our sight lines by cutting down lots of bushes, brambles and scrub from the road side verge. In addition to planting a 2 acre orchard we will be encouraging biodiversity by planting new hedging, shrubs and trees over the next few years.

Looking east on A811

I reckon this oak was about 50 years old. A casualty of the 5th December storm.
Will need to invest in a larger chain saw!

Looking west on A811

Looking east on A811

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The McAlpine Partnership t/a Foragers Foods
Trading address: Wester Balfunning Farm,
Balfron Station, Glasgow, G63 0NF,
VAT Registration No: GB 743 0642 54
Tel: 01360 449248 | ObscureMyEmail |