This morning I was knee-deep in grass and nettles picking red currants from the bushes at the end of the orchard. My Czech friends suggest I get a pair of goats or a few sheep to keep the grass down, but that all seems a little too much responsibility to me – for starters I would need to ensure a supply of water and then I would need to check that the fence is without holes. All too much work.
The orchard doesn't entirely belong to us, part of it we rent and part - well I am not sure what to make of it - the land registry map bears so little resemblance to what is on the ground and the fence is there and has been for years with everyone respecting it.
The orchard is a joy. It is old and full of hidden treasures, a large cherry tree of great height, apple trees of summer and winter varieties, plum trees with lovely sweet small fruit and now red currants. We share the fruit with the wildlife of the area – wasps of course, but other larger beasts as well. Today I found a defined deer track through the grass leading from the plum tree to where windfall apples were on the ground, their droppings clearly showed they had first feasted on plums. They are welcome to them, we have more than enough.