When Trees Fall In The Forest

Before After

Every year trees fall in the forest.  And whether or not anyone is there to hear them fall, they DO cause a horrible mess.

And having been away from my farm for a few years, there were more than a few trees down.  And then there were the ones that had been cut into firewood and abandoned there.  The limbs of those lying around cluttering the scenery.  There was also an unfinished burn pile waiting to be cleaned up.  In June we had a work party to clear up some of the dead stuff around the house and the pile of wood and limbs sitting in the pasture were an eyesore.

before After 2


But the good part was that we had let the animals clean up the blackberries and graze around the piles until they were visible and accessible.  There is no saying how much pain and irritation that saved.

So after it had rained for a few days, but not enough to totally soak the wood, Katrina and I decided today we would be burning the waste and hauling out the useable firewood.  We began right after chores and started a couple of fires.  As Sam managed one, Katrina managed another and I split some of the rounds and hauled waste to whichever fire was closer.  Sam also hauled a pile of rough cut lumber that had sat for too long.

Later in the day a friend came with a chainsaw and bucked up the trees that were useable. And that brought more limbs to haul.  Then a couple of my sons came.  They wanted to drive the truck in the pasture so they had the “fun” of picking up the firewood, driving it to the woodshed, and unloading it.  .  We didn’t know that the radiator was clogged and the main hose blew up and left the truck stranded in the pasture.  It is a good thing really…..they were having too much fun spinning out and cutting cookies.  A boy with a 4X4, a friend, and a pasture is a dangerous thing.


It is amazing when friends are working together how much really gets done with no bossing.   By midafternoon Sam, Katrina and I were all exhausted and sore. None of us stopped.  We took a break for maybe 5 minutes for water, but no longer.  Sam made sandwiches and we all ate standing.  By nightfall the main part of the pasture was clean but the three of us were so tired we were staggering and limping.

There is something about watching a fire.  It not only warms the body it reaches a primal need in the mind someplace.  No matter how tired we were, we watched the fire until hunger finally drove us home.


The pain will soon be only a memory, but the clean pasture will be a joy for a long time.

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.

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