This year we decided there were not enough projects going on so we purchased an additional 20 acre farm. We are project oriented people. 20 acres allows for lots of farm fun and follies. Plus more goats. You can never have enough goats.
One of our many farm projects involves planting a new orchard. We currently only have about 25 fruit trees and everyone knows that 100 fruit trees is better than 25 fruit trees. So 100 fruit trees it is!
After careful consideration we found an awesome site for a new orchard. It will be close to our house so we can keep an eye on it, in full sun, on a gentle slope and is covered in scrub, brush and trees that are not fruit bearing. Other than that last detail it was practically perfect!
Pre clearing, the future orchard looked something like this.
This is an area of our land that was previously logged. Lots of scrub trees pop up after logging. They are generally alder and large leaf maple, both trees that tend to grow fast and blow over in a storm. There were plenty of blackberries, scotch broom, blackberries and…blackberries. We set off to clear this area using a chainsaw, chainsaw on a pole, tractor and big boots.
After 8 tractor hours, many days of waving our hands and chainsaws around we managed to make it look like this:
Don’t ask what that crazy thing is on the right. All farms cough up weird stuff when you start clearing. There were also a fair amount of rocks. We kept at it, hard work and mind numbing but the weather held so we just kept clearing. Eventually it looked like this:
As we kept clearing we started to run into stumps. Stumps, Stumps and more Stumps. We also hit old slash piles that had never been burned or removed. These proved too much for our tractor, Big Orange. While waving my arms around in defeat when I found my umpteenth slash pile, my driveway contractor (who had been working close by with a large piece of heavy equipment) was roped into the project.
What took days and days and more days of tedious work took just a couple of hours with a bull dozer.
Stay tuned for part 2