Appropriate technology is a word that can cover a lot of tools from scythes to computers, portable electric fences to grain grinders, generally an item that creates a big difference with minimal energetic cost and footprint. I consider chainsaws to be appropriate technology in many ways and we’ve just acquired a second hand Stihl 192t pruning chainsaw. This saw, capable of being used one handed, is absolutely amazing and fits this property so well. I got the saw in non working order and after an hour or two in the workshop I was off and away.
After getting used to the saw pruning an Acacia that was hanging over a garden bed from a ladder I quickly moved on to some long awaited willow pruning. 3 of the biggest willow trees on the property needed their tops taken off and/or or major limbs removed, some to allow easterly light into the new building and one to free up light to some nut trees. This job will also keep new growth shoots within closer reach and make it easier to cut animal fodder during the growing season with loppers or a pole saw. The 2 things I didn’t have right the first time up that have made a huge difference are: 1. getting the Idle set right so that the saw can be started from a comfortable and safe position with the chain brake on, then move to sawing position and turn lock off with engine still running and 2. getting a carabiner attached to my belt with some rope so that a tree can be climbed with saw hanging from belt and then easily unhooked and re hooked when needed.
These saws are very useful on established properties with existing trees, especially capable of making a huge difference in modern suberbs, where huge trees tower over houses and gardens, taking away any ability for solar gain from houses or the ability to grow food in an environment with so much potential.
In other news, the root vegies and brassicas in the garden are ticking along (at a very slow pace) and the broad beans (favas) are just starting to shoot up after a weed with a hoe and quick complimentary hand weed at the base of the plants (handweed done after picture was taken) . Lots of big salads at the moment from a combination of planted greens and weeds and self sown cultivars. A few sunny days and about a week with little rain gave us some good time with dry enough soil to hoe in some green manure crops and do a lot of weeding, giving us a little head start on spring planting.