RicelandMeadows


The Beginning…Not The End.
May 19, 2017, 1:15 pm
Filed under: May 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

babywyonia

May 19, 2017

This small seedling is a little white oak tree. I planted it in the center of the old tree that took me two years to harvest. The stump crater measures almost nine feet across. The old woodchips has composted over time, inside the hollow tree. The dirt is soft and friable. My hope is that this seedling from a nursery in Pennsylvania, grows to become a giant in its own right.

This tree, if the deer don’t eat it, the beavers don’t chew it and it doesn’t simply die, should bear acorns in about fifteen years. The forest critters will benefit from my efforts. The farm will be graced with a deciduous focal point, a stately tree standing tall on our east borderline. I take no credit for its success, but I will sure appreciate the shade and the beauty it will provide.

Spring on the farm is a very busy time. Planting has been delayed by the weather. We got a very nice surprise with a stretch of great, drying weather. I jumped at the chance to get our corn field prepared and planted. I stayed at it, worked steady and by nightfall on Wednesday, the corn was in the ground. What a relief! I used a new innovation for small farmers. I will blog about it more in day or two.

We were able to put a new roof on our house. The old roof hadn’t started leaking, but I didn’t want to have to install a new roof on a fixed income after I retire. It was a little planning, a lot of saving, but worth every penny!

newroof

So today I am a bit under the weather, but at the same time, very satisfied with the accomplishments of the last few days.



The work is finally done
October 30, 2016, 7:24 pm
Filed under: October 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

wyoniaalmostgone

October 30,2016

After almost three years of work, the old tree has been all turned into firewood. The fence, smashed beyond repair has been replaced and the area around the old tree has been cleaned up. The last job that remains is a tribute to this aged white oak tree. I will plant a nice sapling in the remains of the stump. I will fill the crater with topsoil and compost and plant what I hope will be a legacy for this old tree.

oaktreefence

A few brambles hide the massive stump, all that is left of the old tree. It was a long, worthwhile project. The work was difficult at times due to the size of the old tree’s trunk. Some folks thought that I was crazy to work that hard on wood to burn. I didn’t do it to show off. I didn’t really need a job of that scope. I did it out of respect for that giant old tree.

She gave her life feeding wild creatures for decades, in fact centuries! So, for me utilizing as much of the wood as possible seemed like the right thing to do. My sugarhouse woodshed is full to the brim. I even have a good start on next year. So this old oak will help supply the heat needed to boil our maple sap for four years in all. The wood also heated four different households too!

Having reached the end of this project, I feel a little bittersweet. I’m glad the work is all done, but I will sure miss that old tree, her shade, her acorns and the peace that was found sitting under her giant limbs. Goodbye and thank you, my old friend.



It’s as easy as 1,2,3!
December 8, 2014, 10:29 am
Filed under: December 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,
Hitching the boys to the sled

Hitching the boys to the sled

December 8, 2014

In my quest for wood, as many of you know, I am working on a large white oak tree that blew down a year ago. She landed in a sort of bad spot, crushing my fence when she fell. My time is getting short as winter looms, soon much of that tree will be frozen to the ground.

The fact that I will get this wood out until the winter weather puts it on hold, has me scampering like a squirrel gathering acorns. I am cutting and splitting almost every day. The horses and I try to haul some every day too. I am using all three geldings. They, like me, are a little “soft” so having plenty of help allows us to work faster and longer.

I like to show up with plenty of horsepower and believe me…three Percheron horses supply plenty of horsepower! The time it takes to get the third horse harnessed up, is nothing compared to the amount of work we can do. They stand while I hitch, load and unload, so, it’s as easy as 1,2,3!!



Wish You Were Here
November 30, 2014, 9:35 pm
Filed under: November 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,
Plenty of horse power

Plenty of horse power

November 30, 2014

Today, the horses and I went for a load of sugarwood. My buddy and I have been cutting a large white oak that fell down a year ago. The tree was huge. The limbs are so large that I am having to block them in two foot pieces, split them into chunks, then finally, split the chunks into sugarwood pieces. The pieces I use for sugarwood are about four inches by four inches by two to three feet.

My son Jake helped me load a load today. I didn’t unload it, cause I need something to do after work this week…. The tree project will take all winter perhaps more to get her all worked up using my days off that have decent weather. I can say for sure,┬áit is a big job. The abundance in the old tree is remarkable. Even in her death, she is giving back to our farm…. It humbles me and fills my heart with gratitude.

Jake and I tossed the wood chunks up onto the wagon. The horses stood quiet waiting for us to finish. I thought they might have a little trouble getting the wagon from the tree to the sugarhouse. I was wrong. The horses pulled that wagon like it was empty. The wheels cut in to the mud, but the horses paid it no mind. They are awesome and their power never fails to impress me.

If I could speed this job up at all, it would be to have loaders and unloaders. I am thinking of the two-legged variety, perhaps two on each end. The job would go faster, jokes could fly like snowflakes and we could finally answer that age-old question…How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

me and the big white oak

me and the big white oak