We haven’t said much about the farm land thus far, given our focus on the move and the house etc. But we are farmers-to-be after all, and we have been enjoying the beauty of the land. And I have been working hard keeping the main trail which runs down the middle of the land about 2,000 feet from our new house site on the south to Andrew and Colleen’s cottage. It is surrounded by pastures but is lined on both sides for most of its length by trees and bushes. It is an old, overgrown tractor lane and perhaps someday a tractor will be able to travel its length.
The pastures have been abandoned for many years and weeds, bushes and trees have been moving in. Most common in our pastures and throughout the County is Virginia Juniper, which is called “Red Cedar” out here. It was tempting to be offended by their calling these rather unattractive little trees by the same name as BC’s majestic Red Cedar but then I remembered that the BC Red Cedar also are not a true cedar but actually is a thuja. I have read that goats like eating these red cedar and that the foliage has good anti-parasite properties for them so we shall see if we can control their spread with goats. We don’t want our pastures to become thickly covered with these as are some in the area. We call those areas the ‘red cedar barrens’ and you can see nothing but these dark little trees crowded together in those areas. One redeeming quality of the tree is the wood, which is a beautiful purplish red and which is used in hope chests and, traditionally, making pencils. Andrew hopes to do some wood work with our abundant red cedar.
In addition, the pastures have abundant clover in some places, Queen Anne’s lace, golden rod (which Andrew says is great for bees – it should be in bloom soon) and milk weed. We have seen some Monarch butterflies around the milkweed. We also have some alfalfa, trefoil and Timothy and Orchard grass. I am trying to learn all of their names.