Part 3 in starting for our food forest

The last big poplers to go

Before we start planting our new trees we need to take down these last 2 big poplers. These poplers are standing beside the road and outside of our fence. As we mentioned before we need to be careful how we chop them down. We need to look out for traffic and have to make sure that the main gas pipeline and our building will not be damaged. This mend that we had to take the trees down in parts. Luckily we have a telehandler with a 9 meter reach and a basket to go on the end.

We started off by cutting off the limbs. After reaching the 9 meter height we had to cut the top off and pulled it over with a rob.

Next thing we cleared all the branches out of the way, so that we can move freely with the telehandler. And now comes the exciting part. We secured the main trunk to the basket on the front of the telehandler and then we cut the tree near the ground. We lifted the trunk over our fence and laid it down on the ground.

For the second tree we did the same.

We were surprised about the small amount of branches coming of these 2 trees.

Cleaning up did not take much time.

Our suspicion that these trees were dangerous has been confirmed by the substantial damage done by the willow borer visible in the tree stumps.

Now we are ready to plant our new trees, but this will be for a different blogpost.

Part 2 in starting for our food forest

The first of the 3 poplers to go.

In part 1 in starting our food forest we cleared a part of our property from some smaller poplers. Now it is time to take out a bigger tree standing within our fencing. Luckily this tree was in a position where we could just cut it down. No danger for the underground main gas pipeline and space for falling over and putting the tractor with our winch in position to secure the tree.

We expect the tree to be rotten in its core, so we attached the line of the winch high in the tree and put the line on tension. After that I cut the tree for ¾ and pulled over the tree to snap of the last bit with the winch. This made the falling very controllable.

All that is left to do, some cleaning up.

First we start by removing the branches, which will be chopped. The trunk is cut into manageable peace’s, of which the bigger one will be put on our sawmill. Popler wood is used for bee hives. The smaller trunk parts are going into our dead wood hedge.

The next thing to do is cutting down the last 2 bigger poples beside the road, but this is for a next time.

Saving my to many seedlings

A last minute extra plant bed

After dividing our compost soil for hill beds and high beds there was a little left on the ground where we stored it. The ground was very uneven and had lots of debris in it. So what to do if we don’t want to leave the rest of the compost soil unused? Of course we just straitened out the compost soil and divided straw as mulch on top. And all of a sudden I had another nice sized plant bed to fill.

Covered with straw plant bed

Luckily this solved another problem I had. Since I had sown too much seed early spring I had a lot of small plants I did not know where to plant. The straw mulched bed is now dedicated for the red cabbage, kale, broccoli and celery root. To keep de dogs from ripping out the plants and protecting the plants against the cabbage white butterfly, we put a cover over them.

Red cabbage and kale under cover

The cover we had unfortunately was a bit small and not very sturdy. So over time there were some holes and also late summer the kale became too big for the size cover we had. We decided to remove the covers, check for caterpillars on a regular basis and just hope for the best, so the kale could grow on without being pressed down by the cover.

Red cabbage, kale and broccoli in the back
A row of celery roots

By this time the broccoli was ready to be harvested and provided us with some nice broccoli heads.


With some broccoli I missed out on the right harvest time, so these went to bloom. The broccoli flowers are nice yellow and attracted lots of butterflies. Of course mainly the cabbage white butterflies came. Not very good for the other crops standing beside the broccoli. But we love nature with all its aspects and are a strong believer in live and let live, so we collect all of the caterpillars from the crops we want to eat and put them on the blooming broccoli.

Blooming broccoli with caterpillars

A number of the red cabbages were getting to a nice size as well.

A nice size red cabbage head

After the first night frost we took out all of the red cabbage that had a decent size. All of the smaller ones we left for the caterpillars to eat.

Before harvesting the red cabbage

We had a wheelbarrow full of red cabbages.

Red cabbage harvest
After harvesting the red cabbage
A sacrificed red cabbage with caterpillars

Some went into a kimchi I have made. This is something new for me and I hope it will turn out to our taste. The rest of the red cabbage will be turned into sauerkraut, which we love.


The kale has grown well after we took of the cover and we harvest as needed. Since we have a nice autumn with some sunny, even warm, days the kale still grows.

Nice harvest ripe kale

The straw mulched bed wasn’t even full after planting the mentioned crops, so there was place for zucchini plants as well. But that is for another time.

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