Friday, July 30, 2010

July 28, Ash Spread on Wagner's Second plot, Two Mile Site

In this first photo, ash is being carried from the large pile of ash in the background

Dave Borman evenly spreads the proportions through out the field. Don't ask me how he can get it so evenly covered!

A formula is determined how much ash needs to cover the soil to reach a ph of 6. This number is needed to grow the grains and legumes that are being seeded.

This week has been super busy getting Wagner's plots ready for seeding. Dave Borman, Club board member, and his trusty mascot, "The Kabota", spread the nine tons of ash over an acre. You can note from the photos how he finesses the ash as it falls out of his shovel! Thanks goes to the volunteers who assisted Dave: Reggie and Sheila Cyr, and Lyn Hewey with canine companion Corey. Rick Baker in his ATV, not seen here, dragged the spread ash so that it mixed in the ground. Now all we need is some rain!

Reggie and Sheila Cyr sitting shotgun

Lyn Hewey, Board Member and companion Corey.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Technique for soil preparation on a Private Land-Owners Plot

This photo of Tower Site was taken in late May. Full of boulders and weeds, but it has great potential nontheless.

It will be the "control site", the results of which will be compared to Two Mile Site. The sites will be seeded the same day, but Tower Site will not have any ash. It would be mission impossible to clear this site with bull-dozing.

So another technique to to get rid of competing weeds is to spray with Round-up, a green product. It is not toxic and is a plant enzyme. It kills any plant that is sprayed, but is safe for humans and wildlife. It does not remain in the soil.

This is an ideal technique for the private land owner who has a clearing in their woods or an old field.

Notice how tall the grass is here.

Here you see Tom Clough and Marc ia Baker preparing this 40 x 60 foot site,

by spraying. It took less than an hour.

Spraying should be done in 60 degree weather, and you wait a week before seeding.

See my earlier entry about our specialized seed mix. There is detailed information about Round-Up, and ways to prepare your soil before seeding.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stardate July 25 2010: First Food Plot Completed

Our first food plot successfully seeded and ashed. It only took 15 minutes for our seeders to get the seed spread on these hand-cranked cyclone spreaders.

Here you see our seeders parceling out the seeds in their special lanes.

Anvil Rock Site, the most challenging site for us. Because of all the rain, The site was left with many rain-soaked ruts. Before seeding, Marge Miller, Micheal Warren and Tom Nagel smoothed out the surface and fine-tuned the ash spread.

With the help of Rick Baker measuring out the correct amout of seed, Tom Clough gets his allotment to seed his lane . Although it only took a few minutes to seed, beforehand, Rick and Marcia Baker calculated out the t formula for spreading the correct amount of seed. In addition, lanes were marked ahead of time for the seeders to follow. Could a fifth grader figure this out?

Not shown here were the goodies eaten by the workers Tom Clough, Micheal Warren, Rick and Marcia Baker, Jack Nutile,Tom Nagel and Marge Miller. Thank you Marge and Claire Chase for donating the goodies.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stardate: July 15 Murphy's Law Takes Effect on Second Site

Murphy's Law: Everything that could happen, did happen!

Flat Iron Rd. Site seemed innocent enough. We thought it would by far be easiest to spread the ash. Afterall, it was a flat road. But Mother Nature had other plans for us.

This site presents different challenges, as we needed to haul ash from the main pile up the long road. (The tractor trailor could not enter this site )
Dave Borman, is transferring ash to Ron Ray's One ton dumptruck. Ron, a Club volunteer, owns Cupsuptic Welding Fabrication.

While there was a four delay waiting for the part to be installed in the Kabota, we had lots of rain, which totally saturated this site. To add insult to injury, it started to rain, just as we got started with our first truck load of ash to be dumped on the road. Dave Borman and Rick Baker spent all morning hammering and bending a part to fit into the disabled Kabota. There was no cell-phone signal to alert the crew that the Kabot would be three hours late.

Meanwhile, the volunteer work crew: Corey Baker, Sherry Oldham, Dick Moore, Reggie Cyr and Marcia Baker awaited the arrival of the "alusive Kabota". Meanwhile, one of the dump-truck owners, Corey Baker, of CP Transport, after waiting for 3 hours, had to depart thereby leaving only one truck to transport the ash across a very wet water bar at the entrance of the road.
Thank you Corey!

In this photo, Ron Ray studies his dump truck that is stuck to the gills on the first delivery up the road.

These are the next photos of the team trying to pull out Ron's truck. The chain broke once, so Marcia had to drive back to Ron's house to pick up a sturdier set of chains.
All in all, Ron got stuck two more times trying to retreat back to the staging area. In fact, Dave's trusty Kabota towed him back to drier territory. Ron had a great attitude about this fiasco.

At present, this site is on hold. The team must decide whether to wait until the road site dries and it is passable, or move the ash to another site.
I would like to thank all the volunteers for patiently waiting. A special thanks to Dave Borman with his assistant Rick Baker, of whom had the added burden of having to order and pick up a part, and spend all morning under a machine installing that stubborn part-- with the pressure of knowing that uninformed volunteers are waiting.

Stardate: July 12, 2010. . .whose mission is to go where no man has gone before.

Anvil Rock Plot was the first location to tackle. The day the ash arrived, a team of volunteers met to help Dave Borman spread the ash with his trusty Kabota. Although we had 9 volunteers, Dave expertly spread the ash without the help of manual raking.

It took Dave two hours to spread and mix ash, a pesky log tore out the transmission/hydraulic line of the Kabota. The replacement of this part caused quite a delay in completing the ash-spread to the other plots. A part had to be flown in from Ohio, and picked up by Rick Baker in Dixfield, to finally get Kabota fixed 4 days later.

The volunteers you see are Marcia Baker (project Chair), Dave Borman , Kabota owner and operator, Dick Moore, Lyn Hewey, Tom Nagle, and Rick Baker. Other volunteers (not shown) were Jean and Jack Nutile, Ed and Zenna Innes, and Reggie and wife Cyr. Cyr. The person fine tuning the spread ash is Dick Moore.

Here you see Anvil Rock Plot covered with ash. The

ash appears black, but it will slowly cool to light grey.

Because this plot was spread so smoothly we felt that the next two plots would be a piece of cake.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ash-Delivery July 12 for Soil Preparation of Plots

On July 12, Our 30 tons of ash arrived. Here you see this truck preparing to dump 9 tons of wood ash on Wagner's Anvil Rock site. Notice that the ash is still steaming!

This tractor-trailor truck carrying 30 tons of still-warm steaming ash, made it up all the logging roads to deliver the seperate loads to our three designated cleared areas at Wagner and Seven Islands Logging Companies.

It took 22 hours for Boralex Energy to fill the truck , and then cart it here to Rangeley! The truck is so big, it has a conveyor-like floor that moves the ash out and onto the ground.

This barren logging site, called Two Mile Site, was dragged and prepared by M & H trucking, one of our partners. After the ash is dumped, a Kabota and a team of volunteers will go into mix the soil with the ash.
Boralex Energy of stratton donated DEP-approved wood ash. The truck driver's services was donated by Waste Management of Norridgewok, and the tractor-trailer itself was donated by Sam's Trucking of Georgetown, Mass. John Wolf drove the truck.
Let me remind you why we are using wood-ash, which is the first-of -its-kind project in N. America. Our timberland soil was never farmed, and is extremely acidic. No mater how fertile the soil is, our seeds would not germinate, unless the soil is sweetened. The other option is lime which is extremely expensive. The challenge was to match the cost of the conservation seeds, the logging companis have used in the past. The good news is that Wagner and Seven Islands, the logging companies have agreed to buy the specially designed "Rangeley Mix" for wildlife forage.