It's amazing to think about the days 100 years ago when farmers turned forest into fields with nothing more than hand saws and horses.
We knew before we bought the land that the surge of early summer storms and rain made the ground too damp to bring in the heavy machines and we would have to wait until winter to have it all clear cut, but that wasn't going to stop us from getting started. It wasn't more than an hour from the time we closed on the land that we fired up the chainsaws and started clearing a forest to make room for our tiny trees.
We were running chainsaws and dragging logs and brush for weeks on end. Needless to say it was a good summer workout and helped us all to shed a few pounds, and as 95% of the trees on the lot were too small to be worth anything of timber value, we decided to help the local community heat some homes this winter by giving away everything we cut as free firewood so it was not wasted and for a good cause.
We decided over a year ago when we decided to build the new nursery that we were going to build a house on the property. Maybe it's just us but, is there really any better place to live then a place surrounded by bonsai? It took us nearly a month of running chainsaws and dragging logs and brush out by hand to clear just under 2 acres where we're going to build the house so the sun could reach the ground and dry it out, but with persistence we got it done.
As soon as the area we cut the trees from was dry enough, we brought in the heavy machines and started to pull stumps to build a driveway and home pad. It took almost a week to get the stumps pulled from the driveway area and home site, but we managed. Finally we were able to get a septic engineer to come do the tests and get a septic system designed, and we have a place to park so we were not blocking parts of the road.
With the driveway and home site cleared and the heavy rain we got in late summer prohibiting us from moving forward we decided we were going to start clearing the north part of the property to get started on the 5+/- acre field we are going to use for field growing out some trees.
The above photo dosn't really do it justice. We spent nearly 3 weeks cutting dark forest (for those of you who don't know, dark forest means woods so thick the sun barley hits the ground). We got just over an acre of field cut, bucked and hauled out leaving us with the massive amounts of brush you see in the photo. Yet again the weather isn't cooperating and the heavy fall rain put a halt on progress, but we're still moving and stacking brush in between storms in hopes that maybe we can get the stumps pulled, loam and manure hauled in, and first acre of field tilled in before the snow flies.