RicelandMeadows


Time to Harvest

ralphtulip2020

August 23, 2020

Recently, I was involved in a tree harvest in a woodlot that I had thinned and improved over ten years ago. The light and space created by my thinning and removing undesirable trees, allowed many trees to grow like mad. This Tulip Poplar that I am standing in front of, was only 18 to 20 inches in diameter ten years ago. It is a beautiful timber tree and has reached its time for cutting.

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It is a very sound and healthy tree. One of the main reasons for harvesting this tree was due to a recent clear cutting on the next door neighbor’s property. The absence of trees next door, caused these beauties to start blowing over. The selection method we used this time, was to take down the tallest, most vulnerable trees that were prone to blow over.

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This was a very tall tree. In her understory were several nice hard maple saplings. The next harvest in this woodlot will be that of mostly hard maple. In the meantime, the land owner can tap those trees for maple syrup. This sort of planning, preparing and good stewardship, will make a pay day several times before the next trees need harvested.

As sad as it was to see these giants come down, the promise of sweet things to come made it worth it. Horses pulled the logs out of the woods. Directional felling protected the growing young trees and good environmental stewardship protected the streams and wetlands found in the woodlot.

I am pleased to have been part of this harvest, but even more delighted to see my earlier efforts have such a positive effect on this forest. Now, I will guide the landowner in matters of maple syrup. What a wonderful life!



Training and Working

Bree1haircut

August 1, 2020

Bree, our young filly got her first haircut with the noisy clippers. She is just over 3 months old. She was not impressed by the noise, but in just a couple of minutes, she let me trim her bridle path, without even flinching. I ran the clippers all over her body so she could hear the noise and feel the vibration. I talked to her the whole time in a calm voice. She took it all in stride, knowing that no harm was in store.

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Last week I spent time in a woods that I had worked in ten years ago. I did a timber stand improvement project using a worst first, crop tree release approach. This current harvest is a selective cut. We are removing large trees crowding the under story of growing trees, mostly hard maples. These bigger trees are mature and now prone to blowing over due to the next door neighbor clear cutting his forest.

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We are using logging carts and even a winch cart in this open woodlot. The winch cart handles heavy, long logs with ease.

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The horses enjoyed the cooler temperatures, worked steady and made it look easy!

I was very pleased to see the progression of the forest. This harvest is a big one, but in 15 years this woodlot will be ready to harvest again. Sustainable, restorative logging is the way to go. This woodlot owner also has the potential to become an Ohio maple syrup producer. He will have an outstanding sugarbush in 2 to 3 years. Just the right time frame to tap a few trees and work out the growing pains of the industry. In no time this woodlot will contain 500 plus maple taps with more coming into production every year.

If it turns out that maple syrup isn’t his, “thing”, then the hard maple lumber harvest in his future is promising too. All of the standing trees will have some clear, very desirable furniture grade lumber in them. In the meantime, he can enjoy nature, birdsong and the peace found in a woodland holding. I know I sure do!



The Pages of My Life
Cultivating Memories...Hot off the Press

Cultivating Memories…Hot off the Press

November 15, 2015

It’s here! My book is finally done. This project of putting together a collection of short stories, to warm the heart and soul, Is done. I have been putting my memories and life experiences down on paper for over twenty years. This past January, I began to select┬ástories and get them in order for this book. I write a column for Rural Heritage magazine and a few of these articles have been printed, but most of these 63 stories are original to this book.

My friend and mentor, Gene Logsdon, was kind enough to write the forward for this Reflection of my life. Bethany Caskey, from Iowa, illustrated the pages and cover. This work of mine is 235 pages of easy reading that will make you laugh and make you cry, as I tug at your heart strings. There are stories about love and life, farming, logging, horses and children. They are assembled from the pages of my life.

This book is available through the Rural Heritage website WWW.ruralheritage.com , here at the farm, or in Jefferson Ohio at The Jefferson Milling Company, J.R.Hoffestter Jeweler and the 4-H Extension Office….for the bargain price of $14.95 I invite you to come along, share a story, a laugh or a tear.

It is the simple things in life that matter. I will take you away from the stresses in your life, as you relax and take a mental vacation to my farm. I am not responsible for coffee or tea sprayed on your favorite chair as you bust out laughing, but I will take credit for the warm feelings that will be stirred in your heart.