Sunday, September 1, 2013

Today's Field Report

Map of Farm Dover, created by Mary as part of her senior thesis branding project at MICA.
Ed and I have been working hard to get (keep) our fields in shape. Our goal is to get them all planted in native grasses and wildflowers and to keep on the defensive against invasive weeds and trees. It's a goal that is never-ending as the nature of nature is that it is always evolving. We want our farm to be a place where wildlife can thrive – and we can too.

Not all our field work is fun, but it is satisfying in so many ways. Most days, Ed and I work for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple more in the afternoon. When we get tired, we quit. Every day or so, we ride around the farm, taking mental notes of what has changed, what needs our attention.

Just this past week, we had two fields bush-hogged by a neighbor. We will plant them next month in winter wheat, just as a temporary measure until we can plant warm weather native grass and wildflowers next Spring.

Michael bush-hogging the sunflower field
After bush-hogging
Lately, we've been on the hunt for invasive Lespedeza, pulling up flowering Johnson Grass (considered to be one of the ten worst weeds in the world), cutting down small invasive Callery Pear trees that keep popping up in all our fields, and girdling Osage Oranges that are too big to tackle with a chainsaw.

Finding and destroying catepillar nest are also demanding our attention. Yuck.

On a happier front, our neighbor offered to build a bridge across a small creek that will allow us to more easily reach our top field. He placed a large pipe down in the creek bed and covered it in rock. Creek water can flow and we can drive our Polaris across. Our neighbor even bush-hogged a path down to the bridge for us. I have always loved this upper field and am thrilled to add it to my morning walks.

Our new bridge to the upper field. Thank you Bobby and Maria.
It is nice to think that we are making progress, or at least not going backwards.

Ed and I take the stewardship of our land seriously, always striving to use our land with respect and love. Wendell Berry, in one of his essays says, “...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” I couldn't agree more.

And that's my field report for today.

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