Monday, January 27, 2014

January Cold

 It has been amazingly cold this year. So far we have had 3 "polar vortexes". The nights have been bitter. It has caused us as a family to stamp our fossil fuel feet to drive away the chill leaving big dirty carbon footprints. We have managed to burn a lot of gas in the furnace. The ductless heat pumps have struggled to create warmth.

My hope and prayer is that the cold is killing some of the emerald ash borers that have been killing the ash trees. That it might have knocked some other pests too.

The frozen ponds ave allowed me to chop down some of the European Alders around the pond. They are weeds in many parts of North America and in New Zealand. They are weeds here on the farm. They are very useful trees though. To understand them better I read about them and found that in Europe they had many traditional uses. They have great herbal properties, their leaves can be used to catch fleas and flies, used as fodder for all types of livestock, the wood was used for smoking food and making charcoal. The wood was also used for forms and foundations in Venice. I hope to find time experiment with some of these uses over the next year.

I felled these trees with an ax and have developed a small passion for ax work. There is something very satisfying about it. Exploring the idea of doing some more "traditional" forestry work.