The really environmental purists frown on using diesel to get work done on a sustainable farm, but sometimes, it’s just too practical. The site where we’re going to plant the orchard is in pretty rough shape; it was logged several years ago, and is now covered with stumps and deadfall hidden under snarls of wild grasses. It’s not as bad as the blackberries on the field where we’re going to plant the vegetables, but it’s still a bunch of work. I spent a few days last week cutting the grass back and hauling out sticks, branches, and logs so we can get in there to plant the trees (the stumps are staying). Some of the wood will actually be useful for fence posts or as cordwood, but the majority of it is so far gone that it’s not good for anything, and must be burned. I threw much of it on the deadwood pile, for a big bonfire at a later date. Using my axe and machete, I cut several 8-12 inch diameter logs into poles about 8 feet long, and set them aside.
The really big logs, though, were beyond my ability. That’s when I called in reinforcements: Farmer Ryan and his trusty bobcat. The bobcat isn’t great because it does a job human muscles can’t do; it’s great because it does it 10 times faster and 10 times stronger. I don’t plan on calling for this heavy equipment often, but when it’s need, it’s a huge help. Look at that massive tree bole he’s moving! This is Oregon, home of Big Wood.