Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bank holiday weekend - Sunday

On Sunday afternoon lots of our friends from church came up to the wood. We split roughly into two groups - the boys making a cleaving break, the girls making blackberry jam:
As you might expect, jam making requires lots of boiling of water for sterilising, and also boiling the fruit and sugar mixture for quite a while, so doing it over a wood fire seemed a nice low-carbon alternative to making it at home using an electric or gas cooker. The end result was several jars of tasty blackberry and pear jam (a bit of pear juice was added), enough for each family to take one home.
Meanwhile the boys we're getting started on the cleaving break. There are apparently many ways to make one, here's the one that Paul had seen done before. First, we cleaved a short thick pole into two pieces, using the side axe to straighten the ends out so they were perpendicular:
Then make two thick stakes, long enough to go a fair way into the ground and still leave 4ft or so above. Here's Jason and Dave using the side axe to put a point on the stakes:
Next, stand around chatting about where to put the stakes...
Then bash them into the ground with the post driver:
After that, nail or screw the two cleaved rails across the stakes:
If it helps, stick your tongue out while drilling holes ;-)
The last step is to put one more stake in, to the side of the break, then it's ready to use:
As you can see, the break can grip poles of various sizes, and they are lifted up onto the third stake, which puts them under some tension. They are then steady and at a good height for cleaving.

Many thanks to Paul, Dave and Jason for their help with the break, and to Joy, Penny, Emily, Charlotte and Lauren for working on the jam!


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