Thursday, May 7, 2009

Working in the Woods II

Working in the woods after a spring rain is one of my favorite things to do. Yesterday, I cut firewood at Edwards Family Farm in Colfax. After receiving more than 4 inches of rain over the last 5 days, the woods were spectacular. Even though this has been a relatively dry year, the rains have come at just the right time for the wildflowers, which were incredible yesterday. Stay posted for photos!

Our work in the woods serves several purposes. Allen and Nancy are working to make their land more firesafe and more productive. This means thinning the trees so that the remaining trees get a larger portion of nutrients, water and sunlight (thus enabling them to grow faster). This thinning process also removes the excess fuels that create dangerous fire conditions - removing these fuels will help keep a future fire on the ground and out of the trees.

This thinning process creates a product for us - firewood. We're currently processing live oak and Douglas fir for firewood and Ponderosa pine for kindling. Allen falls and limbs the trees, and we work together to move the logs to our processing sites. I then cut the wood to length, while my interns help with the splitting. Our goal is to begin selling wood this month.

Being in the forest is a nice balance in a week that is spent mostly in more open country. I like the different variety of bird life that live in the forest, and as I said earlier, this year's crop of wildflowers is amazing!

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