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Cherry trees and thistles
Sat 12-Jun-10
3:04 pm
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SandyC
Turkey

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We need help with advice on organic products for our cherry trees.We live in a valley that is famous for cherries but all the local Turkish farmers use chemicals to spray.We have refused to allow spraying this season and as a result will not have a good enough crop to sell but I am planning on making kilos of jam!!!

This is our first year on this land and it is covered with huge thistles. I am losing the battle with trying to hack them down despite having developed arms like popeye in the attempt. Does anybody know of an organic herbicide bearing in mind that the lambs and poultry graze freely?

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Sat 12-Jun-10
3:43 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Hi Sandy, welcome to the forum.  Wave         

I'm not able to help you but I'm pretty sure that someone will be able to help you at some point.  Just off to read your site...RunAway

I'll try that again!

Sat 12-Jun-10
6:47 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Hi SandyC, welcome from a fellow ex-pat, I am just a little further north than you, okay a lot further north in Latvia.Wave

Have you thought about getting goats? Manure for the cherry trees and they eat just about anything , if your cherry trees are low then you might want to get pygmy goats so they don't eat the cherries too.

According to the soil association you are best cutting them back just before flowering, any other time just encourages them to develop more roots. Cheers

Sat 12-Jun-10
7:42 pm
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SandyC
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Thanks to you both for your prompt replies.Our site does not relate to our smallholding but to the holiday homes we renovated and led to us retiring permanently here and finding our little paradise.

As we are growing alot of fruit and vegetables goats would be a problemat the moment. Every villager has goats but they all seem to ignore these thistles...they are huge...at least a metre across the rosette.I shall certainly try leaving them a while but I am getting paranoid about missing one and then it seeds and starts the next onslaught.

I would love to find pygmy goats in Turkey but they seem to like everything large. I wanted dexters and some bantams but have failed locally so far.I will have goats once the veggie plot is isolated as I want to make cheese.

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Sat 12-Jun-10
9:30 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I was looking at your site earlier (VERY IMPRESSIVE) and I wondered where you live.  Is your home close to the holiday homes?  I must say that you've put a lot of effort into the renovations, as evidenced by the plaque.

I'll try that again!

Sun 13-Jun-10
6:52 am
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SandyC
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Our cottages are 5 kms from the south coast near Fethiye but the house is an hour up into the mountains towards Denizli in the Nif valley, miles from nowhere! It is a farming valley,they still plough with a mule, hence they are set in their traditional ways. Alot of the traditions are organic but the have learnt that chemicals will produce bumper crops and so they mix the two.....maybe they are right on some issues?

As the land has been untouched for 5 years I am keen to maintain an organic sheme but am struggling.We have supplies of Neem oil but I have not applied it at the right times, hopefully next season I can get it right.This year has been devoted to moving in and settling.

Whereabouts in North Bucks are you? I come from Amersham originally.

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Sun 13-Jun-10
7:25 am
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ep
Bulgaria

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Welcome Sandy C....I'm just a little bit more northern than you in southern Bulgaria but am surrounded by Turkish people.  Beautiful place.  As for cherries, I've just stripped and cropped my two trees and try something new with the cherries.....I've got cherry vodka, cherry gin, cherry brandy on the go and now have 20 litres of cherry wine.  Believe me theres only so much jam that you can go through and the liver dictates that there's only so much of the other..Cheers Big_Laugh

As for the thistles...there are some very pretty yellow and brown birds that love them so maybe you wouldn't have such a problem if you left them....otherwise..just get your grim reaper scythe out and jig it about a bit. 

Who lives long sees much : The diary of my life in Bulgaria

Sun 13-Jun-10
10:49 am
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SandyC
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Mmmm..I like the sound of those alternatives.Do you have the recipes or a link so that I can get myself prepared in advance of the harvest which should be in 2 weeks. I guess the liquers are just a case of steeping them and being patient (not one of my strong points) but the wine would need a bit of forethought.

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Mon 14-Jun-10
4:16 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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SandyC said:

Whereabouts in North Bucks are you? I come from Amersham originally.


Between Stony Stratford and Wolverton (the old Railway town).  I know Amersham, there used to be a lovely dress shop there that I frequented  (might it have been called Peaches?).

I'll try that again!

Wed 16-Jun-10
2:38 pm
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SandyC
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There are lots of lovely shops in the Old town, rather like Stony Stratford. We go there for outdoor gear when we are home.

Am I being dim about the maths at the end to post reply, is it a computer thing or just a test to see if it's time for a drink.

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Wed 16-Jun-10
2:53 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Big_Laugh  I think it's a computer generated thing, but you can use it for calculating if it's time for an aperitif.

We have a great outdoor shop in Stony, expensive though.

I'll try that again!

Wed 16-Jun-10
8:17 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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I think it is to stop spam not generated by a human being. Human beings still spam but they have to work harder Doh

Thu 17-Jun-10
9:43 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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Hey Sandy,

I found this site for your thistle control problems-

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/thistlecontrol.html

This one also may be helpful too-

http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/VinegarKillsWeeds.html

 

As a teenager, I would have a summer job hoeing fields, removing thistles, so I share your loathing of them!MonsterSteamThumbs_Down

Good luck!

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 19-Jun-10
1:09 pm
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SandyC
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Thanks for the links...I will try the vinegar...I hope the lambs do not eat the grass around as they are marinading themselves with wild sage and oregano at the minute and vinegar may spoil the mix !!

The more people I meet, the more I love my animals!

Sat 19-Jun-10
1:22 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Wave Oh I like your style Sandy.Big_Laugh

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

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