Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Growing Deer": Planting a Food Plot

The hard work of prepping the site is only now a memory. All the sore muscles from bouncing around on the tractor have returned to normal.

The photo shows a piece of equipment called a Seed-N-Pack. It is a drop seeder that works on disked seedbeds. The hopper on the top, with the logo, can be filled with seed. As you drive along seed would drop out from the hopper and be spread.

However, I don't plan on filling the hopper with seed. I want to use it for the bottom part, the cultipacker. In the picture you might be able to notice circular rollers with grooves. That's the cultipacker and it works great to even out seedbeds. Notice the differences of the soil surface from using the cultipacker in the photo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


World, meet Princess!

She is Arington Tree Farm's mascot. She is only a few years old so she has a lot of activities she likes to participate in. Princess enjoys long walks on the beach, napping, eating free food, smelling fresh roses in the meadow, and more napping. Princess is a farm cat so she does have the freedom to explore the outdoors, which she is happy to do as long as the outdoor temperature is between 65 - 75 degrees F.

"Growing Deer": Before you plant, think about this!

As mentioned in Arik’s post last week, we recently started a food plot here on the farm. Our goal in this project is to attract deer and provide an early, middle and hopefully late season food source for them. This food plot will also become a central hunting location, as recently we moved Fort Buck to this area (more on that in the future!).

Arik covered the basics of preparing the soil for planting, but he didn’t get into the why’s and how’s this particular site was chosen.

No, it wasn’t chosen just because it’s one of the few places where trees (or some other type of crop) aren’t growing! Many things were considered before choosing that particular place, and if you are thinking about putting in your own food plot, you’ll want to consider these things too:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Growing Deer": Starting a Food Plot

(We're starting a food plot on the farm! This post is the first of a series that will appear about the progress of this project. Stay tuned...) 

A food plot is an area set aside that is planted solely to act as a food source for wildlife. Food plots often consist of legumes, like clover, alfalfa and beans, and/or grasses.

In an earlier post I made reference to lazy hunters. It might be suggested by some that only a lazy hunter would hunt over a food plot. I would argue that installing a food plot properly is not an act any "lazy" hunter would dare undertake. And to find my self hunting over that same food plot seems like a just reward for a whole bunch of hard work.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunrise at Arington Tree Farm

With the speed of life I know it is sometimes hard to stop and take in what is. It would be easy to miss nature's beauty by allowing the common annoyances of everyday life overtake our attention. I think we all need to take some time to give our attention to the things that really deserve it, and less to those that don't. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

What is a "cord of wood"?

"The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood. A cord is the amount of wood that, when 'ranked and well stowed' (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet." (From our good friends at Wikipedia.)

In case you didn't get that the first time around, how about a visual?

This picture is the woodpile at the Husker Barn here on Arington Tree Farm. The red diagram shows the dimensions of a full cord of wood, or 128 cubic feet (click the photo to enlarge it). Let's do some math!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the footsteps of Aldo Leopold

“Nothing so important as an ethic is ever ‘written’… It evolves in the minds of a thinking community.” – Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic (1949).

Last week I was challenged to delve deeper into my personal land ethic and reconsider the value of the natural world and my relationship with it.

Along with about 25 others, I participated in the AldoLeopold Foundation’s Land Ethic Leaders Program. It was a two-day program held at the Foundation, focusing on using observation, participation and reflection as methods to explore and deepen our connections to the land.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! Although I grew up on a farm and have worked on the tree farm and with woodland organizations for two years now, I still feel pretty “green.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

A carnivorous tree?

It does look like this poplar tree is slowly consuming an old tree stand. We will make it a point to keep this tree out of the sawmill. The lazy hunter who neglected his or her responsibility of removing their tree stand sure left a footprint on the land for all to see.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Benefits of Mulch

A protective covering, usually of organic matter such as leaves, straw, or peat, placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture, the freezing of roots, and the growth of weeds.

Putting mulch underneath your trees can be very benifitial, however, if done improperly it can also harm your trees. By following a few simple steps, you can mulch your way to a happy healthy tree.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A sunrise with dew!

As most of us will remember for years to follow, the summer of 2012 was hot and dry. Most mornings we have had little to no dew or fog. Today proved to be an exception and the cobweb found on a dead buckthorn shrub is the proof.

"A Taste of Wisconsin" for American Forest Foundation

Earlier this month, Arington Tree Farm hosted the American Forest Foundation Board of Trustees. They met at the farm on July 9 for their Board meeting and afterwards, we gave them a “Taste of Wisconsin.” We had a delicious spread of Wisconsin cheese and beer waiting for them when they returned from a farm tour, while Chef (and Joe’s son-in-law) Joel Chesebro cooked up a delicious feast of chicken, pulled pork, salads and cherry pie – yum!

Fresh Wisconsin cheese. 

AFF Board members taking in the view of Arksarben Pond.