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"Worms are the unsung heroes of our food chain. Their burrows allow oxygen and water to penetrate the soil, they add fertility and prevent flooding."
- Farming Today, BBC Radio
MOF&G Cover Summer 2009
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  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerSummer 2009LIF   
 Low-Impact Forestry Harvest at MOFGA: Safe and Profitable Minimize

Jason Glick leaves the MOFGA wood yard
Jason Glick leaves the MOFGA wood yard as Sam Brown sorts logs. Photo by Jonathan Lipkin.

The 2009 Low-Impact Forestry harvest at the MOFGA woodlot was a great success. At its height over 20 people participated in the logging event along with 14 horses, two oxen and assorted, appropriate, low-impact machinery.

One of the biggest challenges was utilizing so many people in an efficient and safe manner. We broke into groups working in three basic areas of the woodlot. For the first time we utilized the new wooden bridge to cross a wetland and work a portion of the woodlot that had previously been inaccessible. In another area we salvaged blow downs from a severe windstorm in December.

All logging roads led to a central yard where a tractor-powered forwarder sorted and piled logs. It was impressive to see so many teamsters arriving at one place and departing with so few complications. We agreed, however, that we needed better coordination, especially in such deep snow, between those felling trees and those hauling to the wood yard.

The net income from the sale of pulpwood and some logs was just over $2,000. The estimated value of the logs remaining at the mill yard at MOFGA is about $4,400 (before sawing), and the cost to MOFGA for paid logging labor was about $6,600. Volunteers put in an additional 250 human hours ($6,250) of labor and about 150 horse/ox hours ($1,500).

The food was great, the esprit de corps was at its normal superlative level, and no one got hurt. The deep snow challenged both two- and four-legged, but patient heads and a dose of humor prevailed.

If you look around the woods now, you can really start to see the change that is taking place. With the “worst first” harvest agenda, more light is shining on the forest floor, and younger trees now have room to spread their branches and grow.

Thank you to all who participated.

    

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