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Monday, June 11, 2012

Century Old Tree Planting Program


It is finished. In it's relentless quest to trim down spending our federal government has decided to eliminate this tree planting program
Most of the trees and hedges planted on this farm came from the Indian Head based shelterbelt program that supplied these seedling trees for free to landowners. My Dad and I planted hundreds of these trees around this yard over the years. There are even rows of ancient maple trees that my grandfather planted.  On a cold and windy morning like this those hedges provide much appreciated shelter.
When my grandfather came here in 03 there were no big trees. They actually had to have logs hauled in from further north to construct buildings. Frequent prairie fires prevented the poplar trees from getting too big. No fireguards or big fields of summerfallow to stop them. Have we come full circle back to those times? Summerfallow fields are rare now, only found on land owned by inefficient and obsolete farmers like myself.
Field hedges that were planted to break the relentless prairie winds are now a nuisance for gps and auto steer equipment . Plus the never ending application of glyphosate (roundup) to the fields on windy days like today will surely kill those hedges anyway.

2 comments:

  1. As a inefficient farmer myself, I was also disappointed to hear the indianhead shelter belt program was being cancelled. But I can understand when the demand is no longer there, i see all kinds of my neighbours pulling out hedgerows and tree lines planted by there parents and grandparents. I some times wonder if we arent moving backwards as well. Now if it would dry up I could go work my summerfallow, which around here is almost elusive as treelines

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  2. Those folks never lived through a dustbowl, but they may yet.

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