The Wee ‘Un at work removing limbs from a felled spruce tree. I’m thinning the windbreak above the vegetable patch, which brought him out kitted up and raring to go as forestry is one of his favourite jobs around the croft. Once I’d felled a tree, he’d move in with his pruning saw to tidy up the trunk, which will be left to season and used for poles, posts or firewood. (He can’t wait until he’s old enough to use the hatchet or, better still, the felling axe but in the meantime the saw will do.)
Once he’d finished limbing the trunks, the Wee ‘Un dragged the brash around to the fire pile. We burn it and spread the ash to counter the acidity of our soil, especially when growing kale and cabbage. Brash can also be spread as thick mat in the chicken area, where it provides a habitat for bugs, gives the chickens places to hide and forage, and eventually rots down to provide more nutrients for the soil. The Wee ‘Un’s reward for such a cracking job was some extra pocket money and a scone with jam and cream.