I love going out into the forest. It is my calming spot even when there is a grueling, eight hour workday ahead (for the sake of honesty here, I rarely, RARELY work or play at ANYTHING for eight hours at a time. My tasks are simply too dis-jointed to have one job last that long in a single day, but I do love to go into the forest for work, play, or meditation).
I was kind of hoping that after all the hustle of trying to fill the garage with cribs of firewood and kindling that I would have a day off before heading away from the farm. My kind of hoping did not work. As I was down to one last day of splitting and stacking firewood for the garage, and one day to change gears from farm to session, our neighbor showed up with the seedlings we had ordered from the Columbia County Small Woodlands Association.
The seedlings are grown at the Lewis River nursery in Washington State with seed that was purchased over two years ago by the Association. The members of the Association get to order trees when they have been grown first in small plugs for one year then transplanted into the ground for a second year of growth before digging or ‘lifting’.
A lot can go wrong along the way. Seeds do not always germinate well, or small seedlings can have die off from extreme weather or soil disturbances. Lifting can’t occur if snow is on the ground or the fields are too wet to dig. Last year, because of a nursery issue, the seedlings for Western Red Cedar were only one year old and very tiny from the trees we normally plant. This year the nursery was not able to supply any Western Red Cedar at all. The Association was able to get enough trees to fill orders of the native Western Red Cedar stock from Scholls Valley nursery located in the Willamette Valley.
With all the ifs, maybes and possibilities surrounding the delivery of the seedlings to the farm, I was hoping that I would be away to the REALOregon class in Salem and miss all but the tail-end of the planting for the year. As luck (however you describe it) would have it, the seedlings arrived two days before my departure.
The family switched gears from splitting and stacking, to planting. And now the race is on to complete this round of forest re-planting before I get to take off for Salem.
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