One of the realities of our homestead is the fact that we are living in a forest. There are some cleared areas of rolling pasture land, but the majority of our 34 acres consists of Douglas Firs, deciduous Oaks, and Maples. Around 2004 – 2005, the previous owners logged the front 12 acres of the property, the back 22 were logged back in the 1980’s sometime. Thankfully, they chose not to clear-cut which left young, mature trees and an ecosystem that would more easily maintain, and regenerate itself. It did create a mess that nature could naturally take care of, or we could help with. Eight years later, the forest is thriving. The Douglas Firs are popping up above the Oak trees, which in turn will create a natural reforestation of conifers. As you walk the property, there are baby firs everywhere. It has taken a lot of sweat equity in cleaning up piles of logs, limbs, and branches, and years for the land to heal. This fall, actually, this weekend, marks our first attempt at phase two for our forest management plan…tree planting.
We planted a grove of 10 baby, Giant Sequoia trees that we can see from our main windows, as well as, a line of them down along the fence line toward the pond. If you know of our ties to the SF Bay Area, and northern California, you may be able to understand our camaraderie with these beautiful trees. Apparently, these young trees are like candy to deer so protecting them is crucial to their survival.
Beyond this, in terms of conifers…we will be planting much smaller Douglas Firs around many different areas.
We’ve also designated an open area as an orchard with the hopes of having a little “Fruit Stand” set up in the front pasture….that’s a different story!! However, being mindful of this, the trees waiting to be planted this week are Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Fuji, and Melrose Apple trees; Bartlett, and Comice Pear trees; Bing, Lepin, and Stella Cherry trees; and Chestnut trees. From the time we bought the property, Tony’s dad, Joe, wanted to plant Chestnut trees on the property…he never got a chance to do that…our Chestnut grove will be in his honor. BTW…he also wanted to put a couple of beef cows out there…..UHHH OHHHH!!!