I still can’t believe it, but we got the rest of the trees planted this past weekend and we were even able to leave early on Sunday so M could rest up before hitting the terrible grind that is his day job on Monday. But we hardly spoke the whole way home. That is 109 trees in a day and a half! We should have been jumping with joy, but we were just too damned wet and tired. and grumpy.
Most of the plants were woodlot trees which meant we had to haul buckets of water, shovels and plants uphill and through fallen trees and branches without breaking our ankles or necks. No time for clearing, we just moved what we needed to as we picked spots to plant the new trees. The woods look like a war zone, especially with the neighboring clearcut and slash piles as the back drop. But spring is in the air and things will start growing and filling out in no time.
We planted 9 Grand Firs, 10 Red Western Cedar, 9 Oregon Ash, 2 Douglas Fir, 10 Vine Maples, 20 Red Osier Dogwoods, 1 Indian Plum, 10 Mock Orange, 10 Tall Mahonia, 8 Port Orford Cedar, 10 Noble Fir and 10 Red Currant. Don’t tell M, but I’m already thinking about the plants I want to get at next year’s Conservation District Native plant sale, and then there’s the orchard to plant and we really need to get the perennial vegetables going soon.
The next big project is to haul the fallen trees out and get them cut up for firewood before they start to rot, but we need to stick around the house this weekend, so it will have to wait. We also need to get our shitaki mushroom plugs “planted” – probably should have done that already, but hopefully another week or two won’t hurt. And we really need to cage up the most vulnerable plants so the deer don’t eat them after all that hard work.
While we are home, there’s plenty of wood from the storm a year ago last Thanksgiving still to be cut up, hauled, split and stacked. The chicken coop needs a little remodeling too. Now that we’ve had our flock for almost a year, we’ve learned a few things, like the chickens want to roost in the highest spot which happens to be the edging in front of the nest boxes. Unfortunately, they poop all night and it falls right into the nests, requiring me to clean them every morning so they don’t lay eggs in their poo! When we are gone on the weekends working on the farm this doesn’t happen, so egg cleaning on Sunday night involves a little more elbow grease than usual, not to mention it’s a little disgusting.
I’d also like to get a better set up for protection from raptors than we have now, especially because we are gone a lot of the weekends. We lost one of the Buff Orpington hens about a month ago to an eagle. I was home when it happened but I am still uneasy about it happening again especially when we are gone. Right now I have the pen rigged up with deer netting as a temporary measure, but it makes it hard for me to get in and out of the pen to cleanup, collect eggs and feed them.
Too many things on our plates – especially M’s. Work is exceptionally taxing right now and he has been putting in a lot longer hours for the past month. I hope there’s a break for him soon or I fear he might break. and we’ve only just begun… Gee, I hope he doesn’t read this – he might just stay at work!
No pics as we were so focused on getting all of the trees in the ground.