Tilling For Early Veggies

Last fall when I wanted to work up the soil around the strawberries I could not get the rototiller running. All winter I fretted over the weeds and buttercups that threaten to strangle the life out of the strawberry plants. Once winter set in there was little I could do with the soil until spring. Continue reading

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The Wicked Witch Is Dead

If the walk down off the hill wasn’t so treacherous with melting snow and slick mud, I would have been singing the old show tune at the top of my voice.

The project of seedling planted had been expected to take a very busy two weeks to complete. Nature stepped in and thwarted us at every attempt. There was at times too much snow or way too frozen to dig in the ground. Just when the weather looked like it would cooperate another weather front would roll in and it would be several days before another attempt could be made. The whole project became a weighty problem and we were all antsy to get it completed before the seedlings came out of dormancy or the ground became too dry. The short project stretched from two weeks to two months . Continue reading

Because Of

Heckled, no. Chided, possibly. Forced, certainly not. I have been getting some flack about the lack of me in my photos of work, play and nonsense on the farm.

It is not because I am camera shy, although it is not my favorite past time. It is more because I am running the camera on most occasions and turning the lens on myself gives outcomes that are… well, simply gruesome.

So for those who have gently reminded me, here is a picture.

Woman and dog in snow.This is after the day of backpacking loads of trees from the drop off sight to the area where the seedlings will be planted.

Here you see me in my glory. Cold feet, drenched with sweat beneath rain gear, gloves soaked from melting snow and Butler the dog being a media hound.

It felt good to get off the hill and into a hot shower after a successful romp in the woods.

Delayed Seedlings

The February snow delayed our conifer seedling delivery by about a week. The seedlings had been lifted (dug up) and packaged for delivery from the southwest Washington nursery on the scheduled day and was awaiting to be picked up near Rainier when the snow stopped schools and clogged rural roads. As it was, the steep driveway to the barn where the seedlings were stacked in designated lots, needed a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to the trees.

Bags of seedlings in bed of pickup.The bags of Douglas Fir are packed 120 seedlings to a bag and the Western Red Cedar are packed 100 to a bag. We had ordered the 1040 seedlings last June for this planting.

The bags that they are in are lined so that they are water and wind proof. The plants are dormant so being tucked in the bags protects them as they are trucked and backpacked to the planting site.

The green seedlings in the back of the truck were picked up on the way back to the farm after picking up the bags. They are planted in pots and are for the conservation planting along the riparian area.

A Group Of Helpers

Two cars filled with 3 adults and 5 teenagers came out to the farm to get a dose of exercise and nature. They became our planting crew for the day. We outfitted several of them with backpacks filled with trees and made the trek up the hill to the planting site.

A group of 8 helping to plant trees.After a few planting instructions, the crew worked to get the trees that we packed up the hill into the ground. While they were planting, Mike a few yards away, was digging seedlings that were growing too thick and needed to be transplanted.

Once we had the initial trees tucked safely into the ground, we began working on the full bags that Mike had ready.

It was a mild day and the rain that was forecasted held off until we were long off the hill. Two cars of mud-balls left the farm tired but happy from a good day out in the woods and we were off the hill in time to do the evening chores. It was a great muddy time and we are thankful for all the help.

Fitting It In

It’s time, it’s time. We should be up on the hill transplanting seedlings from the spots that are overcrowded to the areas that are sparse. The trees are dormant, the ground is wet and the time is fleeting.

So what is the problem? Daylight, chores, firewood project, my energy level, etc., etc. I simply have not been able to drag myself up the hill. Mike was so cheerful the other day when he stated that all we had to do was one day a week for a couple of hours, he used the term ‘just fit it in to the schedule.’ Continue reading

Blade Work

Scarafy blade on dozer.The teeth have now been added to the blade of the dozer to assist with the cleanup (scarifying)  of the debris left from the logging job.

The blade is made out of heavy metal just like the blade and can rake across the ground as the limbs are scraped into piles.

The limbs have dried considerably since the processor worked in the woods and are dry and would be hot burning fuel if a fire were to come through the area. By cleaning up the limbs and scarifying the surface with the blade, we are creating natural firebreaks and cleaning up the area to be replanted.

Cleaned up clearing.

All the stumps will be left to decompose naturally since we did not find any root rot or any other diseases that can spread to other trees.

We are nearly done with this small clearing with only a few more wood logs left after scarifying and debris moved away. The logs will be hauled down the hill to the landing where they will be made into firewood.