Gathering up potted trees from around the house and outbuildings and taking them out to the Highway Hedgerow.
So how come trees along the highway fence line?
Trees are assets, like tools on a farm.
First off, trees drink a lot of water. We have a lot of water. We already had a good deal of water on the farm. Plus, remember the 2006 picture in the last post where it shows that the year we put in the original punkin patch that across the highway houses went in and next door our neighbor harvested his trees? Yeah, that all increased our water in the front by a little bit. Houses, driveways and streets where there weren’t any, that is the worst.
Don’t get me wrong, I like new neighbors and there is nothin’ cooler that cuttin’ trees for logs – or firewood – but like some physicist somewhere said, for every action there is a reaction.
Secondly, these trees will be a much needed barrier. There is a lot to be said about this barrier aspect of trees:
Trees absorb a lot of sound. It is funny how they do that. You expect it from trees in between the hearer and the noise, but you’d be surprised by how much they absorb even just being in the area. Like curtains and carpet in a house. Anyway, the trees we are putting in are for a sound barrier between the hearer and the noise. Us and the highway.
Not only do trees stop noise, they also stop bugs. Bugs like to travel but they do get a little ADD sometimes, so by putting up a variety of trees they will get distracted from heading into the Market Garden.
Trees stop wind. I know, our prevailing winds come from the southwest, but we get our cold winds from the north and northwest, those are the ones the tender things in the garden need the most protection from. Not to mention similar to the effect on sound waves –absorbing and calming or quieting them all around, trees effect the wind in front of them as well as behind them.
Trees trap heat. Gardens like heat, so even though we sweat and mutter, and drink lots of beer, and go sit in the shade, gardeners like heat too, and however we can trap and store heat, we do.
Trees also make shade and keep things cool. I know what I just said, but they do both. And I know that I just said gardens and gardeners like heat, but we also like shade. We like things to not be parched. Trees keep things from being parched. They are very handy that way.
Trees and shrubs are a creative outlet
Trees create mystery. What? Yep, it is part of why I decided to put trees out on the highway line. Mystery. I like being an open book. Ask folks who know me really well and they will tell you that I like to share what I’m doing, often I over share. But I also like a little mystery. I like folks to come and ask, what is going on, can they peek behind the curtain of flowers and leaves? I like creating secret gardens and secret places that surprise and delight. So I’m creating a living garden wall. Big boy sized.
Not to mention that the wall itself will have eye appeal. So as you drive down the highway past our place you might not be able to see the interesting crops or flower or the cute little lambs frolicking, but hopefully the beautiful colors and textures in our “garden wall” will brighten your day and lift your spirits.
We like that what we do can produce that for others. Just like the artist with a canvas or camera or the writer with pen and paper, we like to create with living things, scenes for your eyes and heart.
Trees add to the Farm’s product line
In a few years we will be harvesting cuttings from the conifers and evergreen broadleaf bushes and trees we are planting now for holiday trimmings. Winter is a slower producing season and every little bit helps, not to mention it is one of the many things I love to do. Cut things and bring them in the house. Or cut things for you to take into your house.
After the holidays, in the bleak winter and earliest of spring when it seems like so long a time for blooms to be coming on, the intensely colored branches of some of the deciduous trees and bushes will be cut for their color an/or forcing emerging catkins and flowers.
Health Benefits and Food
A lot of that benefit is the same as mentioned earlier in regards to the Market Garden.
But some of the trees we are planting in this hedgerow will actually have medicinal properties for humans, livestock and wildlife. Just a few examples:
Willows are a vermifuge (wormer) especially for sheep, and willow was the precursor to synthetic aspirin. We have a few different willows already and will be expanding.
Some plantings will produce food stuffs. Juniper berries are one of my very favorite flavorings for meats. We already have American Cranberry growing, tart little buggers, big seed but a good little berry.
In a few years we should have plenty of acorns for Bet’s piggies. and maybe for us as well.
And the wildlife, birds mostly, will find lots of seeds and nuts to eat plus places to hide.
Around this farm, because it is old, and was carefully tended in the past by folks who valued such things, there are plenty of margins. The space between wilderness and man, or between man and man. Those places are good, full of health and well being for man and animal. We thought we would add to the vital history of the land and create some more margins. Margins in which to hide a little bird or chipmunk or ourselves for an afternoon or two.