Lifeboat Farm

Sorting Firewood
May 8, 2009, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Energy, The House, Trees

We are lucky to have neighbours with large properties (and trees). There always seem to be trees around to put away for winter firewood. This is one small piece of a tree I was able to get to. Luckily, most of the wood we collect has been down for some time so is well on the way to being well seasoned.

And here is the same tree a few hours later. It’s amazing how much wood you can get split in a morning! Those that know the size our float will appreciate just how much wood is there.



Tree lucerne nursery
February 23, 2009, 4:25 pm
Filed under: Garden, Trees

With another burst of planting out seedlings today we are up to over 500 tree lucerne potted up. With the plans we have for native bush re-planting we’ll need a couple of thousand of these little guys as a nursery crop for the natives. I’ll post more on growing tree lucerne soon.

Tree Lucerne Nursery
November 6, 2008, 9:19 am
Filed under: Garden, Trees

We’ve been collecting tree lucerne seedlings as we find them around the farm and assemnling a bit of a nursery. For many reasons, Tree Lucerne is the perfect tree for farms (or small blocks). So far we’re up to about 60 trees in the nursery but I think we’ll need 100’s over the coming years. We’ve got lots of seed too and have had mixed success germinating them – I guess there’s a reason why each tree produces 100’s of 1000’s of seeds each, and yet the world hasn’t yet been taken over by them.

Reasons for planting Tree Lucerne (Tagasaste)

  • Wind breaks – very wind tolerant
  • Sun shelter – always has foliage
  • Fast growing – ideal nurse crop for native trees
  • Animal fodder – protein value as high as the best pasture
  • Erosion control – very deep taproots
  • Soil improvement – fixes nitrogen in the soil
  • Pollen for bees – flowers winter/spring
  • Firewood – more BTUs per Kg than Manuka

The Poplars are Taking Off
October 16, 2008, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Garden, Trees

The poplar poles we planted a few weeks back have started to sprout. It was a bit of a leap of faith to hammer a stick into the ground, hoping it would turn into a tree but sure enough, sprout they did. The poles extend about 70cm above ground level so this new growth is out of the reach of our local hares.

Planting Poplars
September 26, 2008, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Trees

We planted the first 40 poplar stakes today along the (almost complete) fence line beside the large house gardens. The ground is still soft enough to plant in and we still seem to be having enough weekly rain to keep them happy. This line will be kept trimmed to about 2m to encourage them to hedge (hence the close spacing) to provide wind shelter for all the veges.

Here’s helper Marissa with another bundle of stakes to go in. This next shot shows me on the pogo stick device that makes the holes just the right depth. We make our own fun in the country.

300 Poplars to plant
September 15, 2008, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Environment, Trees

This is what 300 poplar stakes look like. We’ll be planting these around the farm over the next couple of weeks to provide shelter from wind and sun to the animals and pasture.