Farm Beginnings: Clearing the land of trees

Farm Beginnings is the chronicle of a city girl pulled into farming. Last installment Corinna spoke of the why that brought her to farming. Today she speaks to clearing the land of trees.

The oak, cherry, and hickory logs are piled high in front of the brush piles and the stumps.

“I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees... which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.” That is how I am feeling this week.

It is difficult to watch majestic sturdy creations crashing down and portioned up. I am disturbing the habitat of birds, furry nocturnal creatures, and the soil - all so I can indulge in my self-sufficient quest and live more in “harmony” with the land. Beautiful bird nests used to swaying 55 feet in the air are catapulted into brush piles.

To this I answer - the trees must be repurposed to good use. That is my pledge to the dryads of the forest.

Dryads, I promise to turn your former oaken homes into floors. Not as dramatic as feeling the sun and moving in the wind, creaking against the bark and striving against the pull of gravity, but at least you will be useful and still on the same land.

(The willowy maidens seem nonplussed...) But what about the pink hued cedars, the clover shaped shaggy barked cousins nearby?

How about closets for the milled large ones and fence posts for the smaller ones?

And the smaller oaks, those too adolescent for flooring?

We can inoculate you with fungus plugs, you will house shitake or oyster mushrooms. That way we can start farming this spring. Those that are too big we will split into logs to keep our new home warm in the winter.

What about the brush that is too small for even mushrooms?

That we shall mulch.

But you have no idea how to use a chainsaw or a wood chipper.

I will learn.

The dryads flit away - perhaps mulch is an unwelcome word to tree nymphs. However to me, mulch is the crux of beginning this farm on the right foot. Every farming conference I have attended lately has been dorking about the importance of soil health.

Mulch is my first step.

Pondering, Corinna

Here is the post on Real Time Farms.

Armed with a chainsaw and a small excavator - the clearing commences.

I can imagine dryads weeping as they see the stumps.

Over the next few days the brush is piled up and more and more trees are felled.

A birds nest in an ?hickory" tree (still working on my tree identification skills).

A tangled mass of heavy wood = brush pile.

Cedar trees have the most remarkable clover patter to the rich pink (almost purple when freshly cut).

A friend has a portable mill, which makes the process relatively easy. The boards will be kiln dried before being laid on the floor.

Perhaps I can use the ends from milling for cutting boards for gifts? So many possibilities!!