We felled 213 trees this spring – box elders, black cherries and ashes – to make way for apples, pears and plums that will be part of an edible savanna we’re planting next spring.
But taking them down was only the first part of a multi-stage process to get the site ready for fruit production.
The second stage was dealing with the wood. We’ve never seen so much! Many of the box elders went into mushroom production both at Draco Hill and Versaland Farm. The rest of the wood Paul hauled up from our three sites and thanks to the Internet, employed this method of drying and stacking it.
The third stage is dealing with the slash, which is almost all headed to soil retention efforts on a few sloped trails with dense canopy that keeps down the ground cover, thereby encouraging soil erosion. Box elder wood is known to rot quickly, so that quality will pay off on these trails.
We’ll take advantage of the best slash – cherry and ash – by chipping it and using it in our permaculture gardens around the house.
We want to keep the natural energy generated by the place on the place. So all the wood we harvest will go to good use, either as trails, for heat in our high efficiency fireplace, to produce mushrooms, and if the box elder rots, then into our gardens!