In addition to regular maintenance of the field trees, again this year I sprouted some some pecan seed nuts and Chinese chestnut seed nuts and grew them in pots. In November I transferred the potted trees to a straw bale fort and covered them with mulch to protect them during the cold winter months. I should have taken better care of them because some died during the hot weather.
Although I did not get around to putting up new fencing along the road, I did paint the roof of the metal building again. And, of course the weeds had to be mowed a few times.
During October and November I planted 52 trees and bushes into the fields as follows:
18 black walnut trees(4 grafted)
8 Chinese chestnut trees(4 grafted)
3 shellbark hickory trees
13 pecan trees(2 grafted)
2 persimmon trees
2 paw paw trees
2 chokecherry bushes
2 hazelnut bushes
2 nanking cherry bushes
During the last couple of years I have planted various types of seeds in an effort to learn more about cover crops. The cereal rye that I planted in the Fall of 2016 grew up to six feet tall and produced very large amounts of bio-mass that when rolled down blocked out weeds for many weeks and some straw still remains on the soil surface. The vines of hairy vetch were very thick but they decompose more quickly after dying. During last Summer I also planted some test strips of buckwheat, pearl millet, sunflowers, sudangrass, and flax just to see what they look like and how they grow. One of my goals is to improve the soil by trying to generate six feet of topsoil around the growing trees.
Also during the Summer I planted some mixes of covers composed of a grass, a legume, a broad leaf. The grasses were sudangrass and pearl millet, the legumes were cow peas and black soybeans, and the broad leaves were sunflowers and buckwheat. I did not get very good stands. I need to do a better job of uprooting any fescue before planting. In August I sowed some Daikon radish seeds close in around the pecan trees. Interestingly, around the young pecan trees the radish grew well and produced one to two inch diameter roots, but, around the older pecan trees the seeds barely sprouted.
In the Spring twin fauns were apparently born on my property. Over the Summer as I was out and about, I would often rouse them from their daytime hiding places. This Fall while I would be planting trees in one rather isolated field, they would come out of the adjacent woods and browse the Winter rye that that I had planted there. One time when I looked up from digging, one of the was about 60 feet away. While I rested, it walked up to about 30 feet from me. Although I saw them in mid-December, I wonder if they will survive through January.