Another group of working holiday volunteers are staying here this week. The main focus of their week is on our two small orchards, but they are also helping our with a few jobs on the Speckled Wood building as well.
Now the third coat of lime plaster has been applied to the outside of the building its time to start on the limewashing. This is a traditional form of paint, made of limestone which has been crushed, burnt and slaked with water to make lime putty. The putty is matured for several months before being thinned with water to make the limewash.
It has insecticidal and anti bacterial properties as well as being breathable, the perfect finish for our timber and straw bale walls.
At least four coats will be needed, with each one adding greater protection to the surface of the building. We have also been busy cleaning off any excess lime plaster which was spilled on the timbers. I have really enjoyed the effect on the appearance of the building as the coats of limewash go on and the timbers are cleaned up, escpecially when the morning sun shines on it.
The guys have also been out in the orchard collecting apples and pears.
The aim of this weeks holiday is partly to help with management of our orchards, but also to show people what can be achieved with their produce. We will be pressing apples with them later in the week, as well as teaching them how to make cider and perry.
As well as picking there was a fair bit of tasting going on.
Many of the varieties of tree in our orchard are pretty rare these days, and they have flavours the like of which you simply wouldn’t ever come across on a supermarket shelf. This year our Worcester Pearmain was particularly good, it was perfectly ripe and really sweet.
Don’t forget we have a public apple pressing event on October 1st from 10.30 till 3, you can bring along your apples and apple or orchard related questions and learn the secrets of apple pressing and cidermaking.