As I know nothing about farming, one of the things that I’m really keen to make is a farming calendar. This is a list of things that need to be done at certain times of the year like when to empty the manure from the barn catchment and when the last frost is in the soil for planting. There are so many ‘know-when’ things to do, family knowledge passed down from farmer to farmer, that a city girl like me would have no clue about. For example, I know that we need a good store of firewood for the Winter season but I didn’t know that there was a system and timing of chopping and collecting the trees.
Our farm uses nature to help us with everything and chopping down trees is no different. Not everyone does it this way but Farfar knows how to look after the land. Apparently, first we select the trees we want to chop. We just don’t pick any old tree or even the biggest and tallest. The main goal is to thin out the forrest so trees are selected according to health (unhealthiness or old), size (scrawny and crooked), and position (by fences or sheds or water holes). I would have thought the trees were chopped in Autumn for the Winter but there is a longer plan. The trees are actually chopped down in the Winter. This is because this is the time the trees are dorment and their fluids have withdrawn into its roots. This makes the tree easier to chop. The trees are left there in the snow until Spring to help them dry out and they are much easier to collect (than in five feet of snow). Any little branches usually fall off or are stripped and left to fertilize the ground. The trees are then collected by a tractor, piled up standing and left to dry out more during the Summer. The trees are chopped into firewood when there is time but are usually left for the Autumn weather as it is cooler and perfect for hot work. The wood is then stacked near the house in a dry area away from moisture. Then it is ready to be used for the Winter wood-fires.
Breaking up the work like this works perfectly with nature and is also much easier on the back. There is no need for seeding as the forrest area is healthy and seeds itself. I’d say that this is one of the times that man is creating a naturally healthy environment.