When I arrived Friday afternoon, peaks were on the trusses, stairways were in, and I could walk through the garage, the storm cellar, the workshop and room above, and the storage area to feel how big they are. It was great—it’s sturdy and quickly becoming our place.
As Jeff filled me in on next week’s plans, Joe Deden arrived to help us get a start removing honeysuckle, buckthorn and boxelders from our tree lines. The goal is to make way for food-bearing trees and shrubs near the perimeter of the woods, where they’ll capture moisture and other benefits of the “productive edge.” Joe’s a trained forester and has done wonders managing the forest, restoring prairie, and integrating local foods into life at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, where he’s director. He’s also incredibly generous with friends, like us, who are just learning to tackle bigger-scale management projects.
Joe pulled his EZ-Ject lance from the trunk of the car and we filled it with brass “bullets.” The lance is a metal tube with a spring-loaded head that was easy to use as we walked the whole tree line, jabbing at the base of shrubs to inject shells filled with herbicide that will kill roots, trunk, and foliage without harming anything else. In a few weeks we’ll be able to cut the dead wood out, knowing new growth won’t come back with a vengeance from the roots.