There’s always a project on at the farm. We put in the garden, expanded the garden, did the renovation, expanded the garden, had the berm built… Part of the appeal of the farm is the endless possibility of things to add, improve or create.
This year we’re busy adding to our tree count. The local conservation authority has a program to sell tree seedlings very inexpensively as long as you can prove a good reason for planting them and are willing to take a lot at once. We’d been meaning to do this for a few years but it sneaks up on us and we’ve missed the deadline in the past. This year we got organized and did our first order of 50 maples, 25 pine, 50 cedar, 25 serviceberries and 25 dogwoods. The WorkHorse put his tree planting high school summer job experience to good use as he got busy planting them. It took a full 2 days to get them all in – the ground at the farm being a little more pliable than concrete – but with his team of helpers (the kids) he got them in. At one point they were digging holes near the neighbour’s property and their chickens came by and kept eating the worms out of the WorkHorse’s shovel. The chickens at least were big fans of the tree planting effort.
Besides looking to fill in some gaps for a bit more privacy (that’s what the conifers are for), we’re worried about our aging maples. There are probably a hundred around the perimeter of the farm and down the driveway and they are probably a hundred years old. Hopefully we’re getting ahead of the tree decline.
The kids couldn’t understand why we were planting all of these baby trees since it will be decades before they’ll mature. I guess our vantage point is different. We explained that we’re planting these trees for their children. Makes sense to me, someone planted them for ours.
Besides the big tree plant, we also added more fruit trees. Two more plums, two pears and two more apples. The beautiful old apple tree is on its last legs unfortunately and we like our applesauce at Northbrook. The WorkHorse planted the new trees near some apples we’d planted last year and the year before and it’s turning into a lovely little orchard space. I’m thrilled with it and I have visions of setting a table in the middle of the these trees for a special occasion one day.
I’ve always thought that our job is to protect and add to the natural beauty of the farm. Investing in a whole pile of trees seems like one of the best ways to accomplish that.