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Around the Farm

Starting as an attempt to replace many of the trees that had died out over time and to help preserve and stabilize erosion on the farm, our tree program has expanded and grown in new and exciting ways each year since its inception.

The Farmstead's first Farm Manager, Delbert Keir, was responsible for planting hundreds of walnuts, butternuts, and hickory nuts into the said area.

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He did this by dropping these nuts on the ground and stepping on them with his heel. Soon there were young saplings sprouting up everywhere. Over the years this stand of trees has matured into a beautiful area where a variety of plants and wildlife find sanctuary.

In the past this area was routinely mowed on an annual basis to control the spread of vines and multiflora rose. However, this stood to defeat the regeneration of many valuable young trees that might have spread throughout the area. In recent years the area has been put on a biennial mowing plan so that young trees have a chance to sprout and grow.

One might ask why it is important to allow young trees to compete with already established trees. When a large tree dies near a creek bank, not only do the upper trunk and branches start to rot, but so do the roots. These roots serve a very important purpose in the fight against erosion and stream bank conservation.

By mowing the area every other year, we leave young saplings to grow in areas where trees have died out, increasing ecological variety and helping with the stream bank conservation.

The main problem with the Nut Grove is that the variety of trees is limited. In order to increase this ecological diversity, we hope to institute a "conservation donation" to the tree program this year. A conservation donation will provide for the purchase of bundles of trees that range from four to eight inches tall. Each tree will be outfitted with a tree tube, which will serve to protect the trees from deer and other local wildlife.

In the future, we hope to add sycamores, oaks, gums, hornbeams, poplars, and redbuds to the list of trees already growing in the Nut Grove.

	

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