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Last week we collected close to 20 potted trees from a very kind customer who donated these plants to our crowdfunding campaign, they are a mix of native Irish trees. What a lovely thing to do, thank you so much.
We will be buying in another 250 trees in the next couple of weeks and a array of hedging plants to get this very important planting done before we miss the window of opportunity. We have a little time now on the farm to accomplish such tasks and the natural timing for planting bare root trees is coming to an end so now is the perfect time.
Trees are wonderful, apart from being the lungs for our planet they host a whole world of biodiversity and not only that but in the most progressive farming circles their benefit to growing food crops is now being realised. A whole new branch of agriculture using trees to assist in producing food is developing, agroforestry may represent a very real and viable alternative to conventional agriculture.
Trees are a long term investment. We planted 3000 trees in 2004 the and they are now 12 foot high but still babies in the tree world. We planted a further 300 a couple of years ago, and we will planting a another 300 in the next couple of weeks.
When we were building our new shed, there were was a "bush" a hawthorn bush that was in the way, the contractor thought it should be cleared, I didn't agree and it stayed where it was, that bush could have been 20 years old. That 20 years of slow growth would have been cleared in an instant needlessly.
Like so much in nature, ecosystems that have taken hundreds of thousands of years to develop can be and are being wiped out in an instant.
Trees and "bushes" play such an important role in moderating our climate, on a local level they provide homes for creatures, they anchor our soil, they provide oxygen and they are beautiful to look at. On a much deeper level they feed our souls, the feeling you get in an ancient forest, the sense of relaxation and peace connects us to this planet.
On a global level they absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen, they help tackle climate change.
In a shocking article in the Guardian today, 200,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan dropped dead in the space of a couple of days. There is little doubt that climate change is at the route of this sudden and horrendous occurrence.
Our native "bushes" provide a habitat for many creature and the conventional farming wisdom is to clear them from field borders. Not recognising the benefits that these havens of biodiversity bring to our landscape is a missed opportunity for many farmers.
Even the livestock benefit from the shelter they provide.
On our farm we have been trimming back briers, and we will be planting up new hedgegrows, sowing new trees and protecting old bushes! As I see it This is part of our job as farmers as I see it. Maybe these things we do here on our little organic farm will make a difference, maybe it will encourage others to follow suit.
As always thanks for taking the time!