Tackling the thorny trees that were growing in a neglected fence line along the pasture at the winery, made me think of the Wicked Witch of the West from the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” We have had some warm days for winter, in the 50’s these last few weeks, so I spent some time enjoying the outdoors with my battery powered chainsaw and I cut them down.
As you can see in this picture, they are most wicked with 2-3″ thorns that cut through even insulated pants, but not
through the welding gloves I wear!
The fence row is clean now, but the thorny trees lay in the pasture waiting for me
to send them through the chipper on the tractor, which is in the first picture, and it does a fine job of turning these wicked branches into harmless wood!
So, as I chipped and the pile spread out on the ground and the pile of branches got smaller, it was then that I imagined the similarity between the small wet pile of clothes that was left of the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy threw the water on her, and my
sprawling pile of chipped thorny branches near the fence. Such a great sense of satisfaction! Unlike Dorothy, I didn’t regret turning the stack of branches into a harmless pile. I intentionally aimed to make the pile near the fence, because I don’t use these for making compost
for the garden and vineyard. Let them turn into organic matter for the pasture.
Here is a pile of good woody chips made from a diverse collection of trees and saplings that we have been collecting from the farm this fall and winter.
These will be left here to age over the winter and early spring and when we start
making compost, we will add green material and nitrogen so the piles will go through a
thermophilic process and produce a lot of heat and become BioComplete Compost with lots of microbes!
Here is some compost made last summer. It has a nice deep chocolate brown color and is full of microbes.
This will be used to make compost extract for the vineyard and gardens.
Harvesting the grapes, the fruit of the vine!
The wine, from the fruit of the vine, and the active microbes! Cheers!