1 Located on one of the back fields of the farm is my compost yard - one of the most important areas on the property. These compost piles are in various stages of decay.
2 This is where we also store trunks and logs from felled trees, most of which were lost during storms, or taken down purposely because of poor growth.
3 We either mill the logs, put them through the tub grinder or the chipper, or split and stack them for firewood. If I cannot save a tree, it is comforting to know I can reuse the wood left behind.
4 When milling larger trunks and logs, they are placed within the arms of the Wood-Mizer LT35 sawmill. Most mills are designed to hold logs at least eight feet long. http://woodmizer.com/us/
5 All the wooden stakes around the farm were made using the sawmill. Making the lumber ourselves allows us to repurpose trees and save on milling expenses.
6 A tub grinder is able to grind logs and stumps into fine mulch.
7 The chipper takes good sized wood as well as smaller branches.
8 My compost piles include this dark organic matter made up of manure and biodegradable materials. It will be ready to use after it is turned and sieved.
9 This is one of our piles of mulch - ready for use as top-dressing around the farm.
10 Here's another pile of mulch. I am so pleased we can use our organic debris in so many different ways.
11 We also store piles of leaves. Called leaf mold after cold composting, it is produced by the fungal breakdown of shrub and tree leaves. Leaves are collected and left to age for a couple of years before it is reused.
12 This is horse manure under a compost protection Gore-Tex tarp, which keeps the rain away, and allows excess moisture to evaporate and breathe. We purchased it and other composting supplies from Compost Werks. http://www.compostwerks.com
13 This is my pile of wood chips - we chip wood after every large pruning project or when we do any maintenance in the woodlands.
14 A pile of wood chips was recently collected and brought down to the Maple Woodland for use as cover around my young locust tree saplings.
15 Smaller piles of wood chips were carried by wheelbarrow to various sections of the area.
16 And then a good layer of wood chips is spread out evenly. Wood chips decompose quickly, and add nutrients back to the soil.
17 Phurba manually shovels the wood chips around the trees. Like mulch, using wood chips insulates the soil around the saplings and provides a buffer from the cold temperatures.
18 As the crew works in the woodlands, more branches and underbrush are collected for the chipper - everything is returned to the earth, organically and efficiently.
19 The wood chips look great. Each of the stakes supports a locust tree sapling. These stakes are about one and a half inch by one and a half inch, and remember - made right here at the farm.
20 I like to stake young trees in early winter after the leaves have fallen, but before the ground freezes. Then, they are tied carefully to the saplings using jute twine.
21 Across the carriage road, I have more locust tree saplings, as well as Japanese maples. Leaves from the larger trees fell from above creating a nice, natural layer of insulation for the younger trees in this location.
22 The outdoor grounds crew dressed many of the ornamental garden beds with composted manure. The vegetable and flower cutting gardens will also be done in spring.
23 The composted manure was placed in clumps and then a two to three inch layer was spread evenly throughout the beds. It's best to do this in winter when flowers are not in bloom and the crew can gingerly walk through without disturbing any growth.
24 Covering the garden beds will also help deter weeds come spring.
25 Composted manure was placed in all the ornamental beds surrounding the houses.
26 Here's a fresh layer of composted manure outside the Tenant House.
27 Wood chips were used for the tree pits in my pinetum.
28 More wood chips in this tree grove behind the chicken coops. Depending on the size of the tree, tree pits can be three to six feet in diameter or even larger for very old, very large trunked specimens.
29 The Linden Tree Allee is also treated regularly with a fresh layer of nutrient rich composted matter.