Monday, April 2, 2012

The Beginning of Week 2

We went to a managed forest today that had a Christmas tree farm. The farmer, Kevin, talked to us about how the land had been in his family for 7 generations. He sells many things from his farm but he does it in a very earth friendly way. While he does sell lumber, he sells it in a way that he can keep a certain amount of the forest growing all the time. He raises cattle and they are completely grass fed, which is the best way to feed cows and creates the healthiest meat for people to eat. At Christmas, he has a hay ride, hot chocolate, and cookies for people there to buy a Christmas tree directly from his farm. Visiting the Christmas tree farm was one of my favorite things so far.

After this, we went to another area and put our traps out again. It was hard work! We have to go back tomorrow to check them.

This is the Christmas tree farm. Kevin uses no pesticide at his farm, which is absolutely wonderful. He told us that by growing these trees in an area surrounded by forest, they have very little problems with bugs. He said that on the occasion that they do have problems, they bring in other bugs, such as ladybugs, to help control it so that they can take care of the problem naturally.

It's hard to believe it but this little tiny tree is about 2 years old.

This tree is about 4 years old. They will grow up to be Christmas trees. They are balsam firs. I asked Kevin if it was better to have an artificial tree or a real tree. He said that even though you cut down a real tree, the whole time it is growing, it is producing oxygen. After using a Christmas tree, you can grind it and put the remains out to add nutrients to the soil, you could lean it against your fence and put bird feeders in it, or you could simply create a habitat for animals. There are many good uses that can come from a Christmas tree.

Cows and their manure

Kevin is in the background explaining some cool forest facts. He was very interesting and a great farmer.

You may not be able to tell here but it started snowing again today.

Everyone is placing traps out again.

This is a small tree that has been pruned so it will grow to have the shape many people like for their Christmas trees. They do not naturally grow this way and have to be cut during different time periods so they will retain the Christmas tree shape and have the area at the bottom we put into a Christmas tree stand.

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