Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flatbed Work: Scout the Ox


Scout the Ox pulls a flatbed trailer for work around the farm.  Notice, at about the middle of the video, I have tied one rein to the trailer to prevent Scout from walking off with the dog.

8 comments:

Trish Short Lewis said...

Yer learnin'! (tieing the rein!) lol

Trish Short Lewis said...

Pardon my ignorance, but does this brush stuff being hauled indicate you are clearing an area, or...?

Trish Short Lewis said...

Wow! At the end, I saw all those cords of wood. Just...WOW! You must have to be daily doing some sort of work related to wood to compile all this. Does this indicate you heat with wood, I assume? We wish we could, but our place only has a limited supply, a small woods and that's all. If we went to wood, we'd use it up fast. We have a biofuel stove that can burn corn, hulls, or pellets. We usually burn pellets It's sure not cheap, but it's better than when we were depending on an ancient propane furnance. Our house is very small, so with a fan or two, it keeps every room warm...

LTD said...

A large acreage of farmland around our small acreage was planted to hybrid poplar by a large corporation several years ago, presumably to produce biomass for energy production. And then they abandoned the project and the land was sold back to a local farmer (my wife's cousin.) He began having the trees harvested and they were being chipped and burned for the production of electricity. For reasons unknown to me that market dried up and he, and a lot of other landowners around Oklee, are left with a lot of trees that at present have no market value. At present the trees are being removed, chipped, and turned back into the soil as a soil amendment. The land, which is well suited for traditional crops, is being turned back into (annual)cropland at considerable expense to the landowners.

We had the opportunity to buy a small portion of this land, right around us. The hybrid trees are not a desirable species, in some regards, but they do provide a much needed windbreak for our farmstead. As you've seen in previous videos, I have cut these trees out of an acre or so of cattails, which I would like to see restored back to open wetland (this will require repeated re-cutting or burning.) Elsewhere, around the edges of the trees, wherever the sunlight gets in, a lot of other more desirable species of trees are volunteering. I've been trimming the lower branches of the hybrids to release the volunteers for more growth. That's where all the branches in the latest video are coming from. (Simply cutting the hybrids down is not an option as they only re-sprout a-hundred-fold!)

Trish Short Lewis said...
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Trish Short Lewis said...

Interesting. Too bad more people couldn't use the rest of the trees like you are. Is this anywhere near Two Fools Winery? We visited there last summer and saw these big tracts of trees planted like a crop in perfectly straight rows on our way to the winery...

LTD said...

We heat almost entirely with wood. We do have a few small portable electric heaters such as the one here under our computer table that helps keep my feet warm!

I try to stay a year or two ahead on wood. Last winter I got a permit to cut on state forest land as part of a forest management plan for poplar regrowth --- which is desirable for wildlife. This winter I've had the opportunity to cut out of a windbreak that is slated for removal. I have 10-days off from my day job around Christmas, which is when I try to cut most of our firewood.

LTD said...

What I have cut on my own land I will use for firewood --- I think it will be poor fuel for stove-wood, however. It tends to be lightweight and punky.

The trees you saw would likely be part of the Oklee Tree Project which was started as a pilot program --- maybe twenty years ago? There are thousands of acres of these hybrid poplar trees scattered around the countryside.

Unexpected market forces seem to have put a nix on this project, as well as the fact that the trees haven't grown as rapidly as hoped. I understand the demand for pulpwood is down because there is much less paper being made --- due to computers and the internet. Energy prices are down, from what was expected, due to natural gas production being up, due to new extraction technologies. And land values are up, due to strong prices being paid for farm commodities. Who knew?