Sunday, October 11, 2015
Sunday Reading - Clear Space Around the Homestead
Another wood cutting day under my belt. I was hoping this would be the last trip I had to make way down that there but I couldn't get all the trunks cut. For some reason as I was cutting one of the last large trunks the old slab of wood dulled the chain on each of my three chain saws in nothing flat. I know there wasn't anything in it. I saw no wire or other stuff in the tree but it was like sawing through iron it was so hard.
I finally got it cut up but the chains were so dull and I was so close to full I just decided to call it a day. There's maybe half a load left and I think I can get it all with just the truck and no trailer next time after I sharpen all the chains this week. I had the sharpener in the truck but with the time it would have taken and as full as I was already I decided one more trip was the better option.
I also messed up my lower back loading one of the large chunks of Oak. Not enough to make me have to rest but enough that I am taking it easy the rest of today and waiting to see what tomorrow brings. I plan on pulling all the surplus supers off the bee hives tomorrow as long as the cursed wind doesn't blow too bad. I had planned on doing it the week before last but the wind stopped me then too. The last month has been just like the Summer of 2012 with an almost constant dry Southern wind blowing.
While I was down there the owner of the house was complaining about the vermin eating her garden. In fact several people have complained about high vermin damage this year and they always ask me how I keep the deer out of mine. I have always told them the outside dog keeps pretty much everything away but most who suffer vermin damage have dogs as well. So why I am out here cutting these trunks up and remembering some of the other places I been cutting trunks over the last few years something occurred to me.
It seems the people I know who complain the most about vermin damage all live in relatively new homes and in every case they have left as many trees near the house as they could and cut back the forest only a minimal distance at best. Yet every old farmstead I can think of that seems to never suffer from vermin damage has large open areas between the house and barns and the forest areas.
Just as a little exercise in observation I began really looking at all the older farms v. the newer ones and as a general rule all the older places were situated in very wide open areas. The one or two that weren't were obviously because some one had let them grow up within the last decade or so because what was growing there were not old growth stage trees.
I am sure there is a regional quality to this as I know from reading other blogs that some garden munching critters (like Moose and Elk) probably don't care about wide open spaces but around here I think it maybe an important aspect of Homesteading that has been forgotten. Perhaps at one time it was just common knowledge that you wanted a wide open band around the homestead with only a very few trees to keep the forest vermin as far back as possible. These days everyone seems bent on hiding their homes in the very trees that house the vermin they complain about.
Just a theory I had while musing over the situation. Other opinions may vary.
I know all the local growers that never seem to complain about large vermin losses are all on older farms with some wide open spaces for whatever that's worth.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!