Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Every Day is Earth Day

I was walking around the farm Sunday with a friend. As we walked, I pointed out the tree line to the west of the sheep barn. It includes highbush cranberries, button bushes and assorted spruce trees. Nice cover for wildlife, including the robin which had built her nest in one of the trees. She flew off and we were able to see one perfect, lovely egg.

We talked about how our farm straddles two watersheds. Half the farm drains into a watershed to the south, the other half drains to the north. While we believe it's important for everyone to be good land stewards, we realize that we need to be especially careful.

I showed her how we've planted filter strips (they look like grass pathways) along the ditches on our property. She asked why, and I told her the grass catches any runoff--fertilizer runoff, pesticide runoff and soil runoff. Keeps the waterways clean. Then I laughed and said since we are transitioning to organic, it might not be as necessary to have the filter strips.

Part of the reason I've neglected the blog recently is because the weather's been nice. Summer-like, even. There are fences to fix and trees to plant. Every spring and fall we continue to try to establish windbreaks to prevent soil erosion on some of our more vulnerable ground. It's definitely 2 steps forward, 1 step back with the tree-planting. They don't get much care after we plant them--it's every tree for itself. So we lose a bunch and have to replant. But we are making progress.

And last week we loaded out the winter's crop of compost. Six or seven truckloads (it's down on paper, but we can't quite remember right now) of premium poultry compost made from chicken manure and sawdust from a local furniture manufacturer left our farm heading for other farms. This is an alternative to the synthetic fertilizers that have recently spiked in price, following the rocketing petroleum prices.

Please forgive me if I don't get all "het up" about a once-a-year festival celebrating recycling or educating people about pollution. We drink the water and eat the food from our land. So for us, every day is Earth Day.

This is a reposting from the archives--originally posted in 2008...

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