A Farmer’s Earth Day Story

  Today is Earth Day.  A day that since 1970 has been celebrated as a day to recognize efforts to reduce waste.  While it started as a movement against water waste and improved air quality, it has turned into a day when everyone can take the time to plant a tree, pick up some litter, and make more of an effort to recycle. So what does a farmer like me think about on Earth day…the phrase “Every day is Earth Day for Farmers & Ranchers” tends to come to mind.  So here is this farmer’s Earth Day story…

If you ask me to plant a tree, I would smile, because last year I planted 500.

If you asked me to just wait until they get bigger and think of all the oxygen they will produce.  I would smile again and point to the 10,000 trees that this farm has planted in the past 20 years.

If you asked me to help with soil erosion, I would smile and point to the crops we have growing on hillsides to keep the soil where it’s meant to be.

If you ask me what I’m doing to help our precious bees.  I would smile and mention the acres and acres of food that I create for bees every year.

If you asked me to help keep our water clean, I would smile and point to the grass that we grow, which filters not only soil but pesticides and fertilizer.

If you asked me to decrease emissions, I would smile and point to our GPS equipment that helps us do more with less. 

If you asked me how I know our farm is sustainable, I would smile and introduce you to the 4th generation on our farm.  A small boy who is already learning what it means to take care of the land.If you asked me to celebrate just one day where we took care of the earth, I would smile because quite frankly as farmers we have been doing that forever.

The legacy of helping the earth didn’t start for my family on this land in 1970 along with Earth Day.  It started the day that my grandpa took a handful of soil and decided to start growing food and fiber for people all over the world.  And it continues now, decades of knowledge of how to take care of what God has given us, along with technology to continue improving on that legacy for generations.  So yes today on Earth Day I’m smiling, because when I look around, it’s true that this land is our office and our home.  This land is where we sweat, cry, and rejoice.  We are here to protect this land on Earth day and every day!

To read another blog from another farmer check out this one! 

Earth Day Thoughts from a “Modern” Farmer. https://daughterofatrucker.com/2016/04/18/earth-day-thoughts-from-a-modern-farmer/

Tree Sunscreen

There are a number of new plantings of filbert (hazelnut) orchards around. Our latest planting was 3 years ago. And it was time to remove the tree guards, which makes them all look very, well, naked!
  This is a tree with a protector. The white tube protects from the hot sun, the cold freeze, herbicide applications, mice and other pests. It’s an important part of a trees life when it gets planted out in “real world” fields.  

 So once they get old enough, usually around year three, it’s time to start the process of hardening the tree bark. To do this however the trees aren’t naked for long. We slowly get them ready for life without a protector by painting the trunk of the tree. Which looks like the photo below.  

 This paint will not protect against as much as the physical barrier provided by the original protector. But it will act as sunscreen and allow for the bark to harden. 

Many times you see painted trees and it’s a very common practice to paint the bark for protection from the sun, just like we put on sunscreen, same for many trees. Which brings me to the reminder to wear your sunscreen today…it’s a sunny day here in Oregon! Happy Friday folks!!

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