Emmet Van Driesche

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since Jul 14, 2015
massachusetts
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Recent posts by Emmet Van Driesche

This Sunday, August 30th, from 2-5 pm, the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield, MA will be holding the last of this summer's gardening workshops: Soil Fertility will be an in-depth look at the molecular basis of fertility, including such topics as mycorrhizal relationships, ramial chipped wood, compost, mulches, cover-crops and other strategies to manage soil health. We will delve into remineralization, how to use a soil analysis to make a custom blend of amendments for your soil, and how to manage fluctuations in fertility over time.



The workshop is free for members of the Trustees of Reservations, and $5 for non-members. It will happen RAIN OR SHINE, and take place at the Bullitt Reservation, 332 Bullitt Rd, Ashfield, MA 01330. There is no need to register, but call Emmet at 413 628-4485 x1 with any questions.



Following the workshop, there will also be a brief scything demonstration, along with a tutorial on sharpening, peening, blade repair and making your own scythe handle. If you want to bring your own scythe, that's great, and we can get a line of people mowing.
3 years ago
I would like to add that it is quite possible to mount certain types of European blades on an American or English snath. There is a variety of blade called TOPS sold by Scytheworks that has a tapered tang allowing it to fit into the ring bolts of American and English snaths. I have one just like this, and find it a good fit. HOWEVER, I have adjusted it over the years, first switching to a very thin handle, then raising the nibs as far as they would go and changing the left hand nib so it points backwards, giving me a better snath angle and more comfort and control.

This is a good setup, but still a little too short for me, so I have just made a wildwood snath that allows me to have a more upright stance.
Don't let the orthodoxy stop you from innovating!
3 years ago
This Sunday, July 26th, from 2-5 pm, the Bullitt Reservation (a property of the Trustees of Reservations) will be hosting the second in its summer series of gardening workshops: Integrating Chickens and Gardens. While there are no resident chickens at Bullitt, I have been raising chickens for years, and have tried many of the strategies we will be discussing for taking advantage of the symbiosis of a flock of chickens and a landscape.

We will discuss what chickens can do for a garden, what a garden can do for chickens, and how you can harness both to achieve a result greater than the sum of its parts. Whether you are new to chickens or have had flocks for years, you will get something from this workshop. There have been new (yet surprisingly old) developments in the accepted wisdom of chicken health, bedding management, and other topics, and we can get into detail about all of them. There is no one solution, but instead a range of options, each one best suited for certain situations.

So come share what you do, and leave with new ideas for how to manage your landscape as holistically as possible.

The workshop is, as always, free for members of the Trustees of Reservations, and $5 for nonmembers. There is no need to register, just show up! The Bullitt Reservation is located at 332 Bullitt Rd., Ashfield, Massachusetts, 01330. Call Emmet Van Driesche (413)628-4485 x1 with questions. It will be held RAIN OR SHINE. I hope to see you there.

Emmet
3 years ago
A scythe will work fine on raised beds, uneven ground, anything like that. The trick is to know how to use it, and how to keep it very sharp. Check out Scythe Connection and any videos of the Vido family scything to see proper technique and learn how to properly use and maintain a blade. A good scythe (closest to you in NJ would probably be Scythe Supply up in Maine. A scythe blade, handle, and the tools for sharpening it should cost all told $160, or $200 including shipping. There are no operating costs, and it should last the rest of your life, if you take care of it. I brush out trails in my Christmas tree farm, hay a meadow and MOW MY LAWN with the very same tool. The scythe is one tool where it pays to do your homework and learn to use it well. Do not assume you can take it out of the box and away you go. That being said, it is one of the most efficient, elegantly simple tools out there.

Good luck!
3 years ago