Monday, November 28, 2011

Low Impact

I took the 4 day Low Impact Forestry workshop at MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association).  Forestry?  No I'm not planning on being a wood chopper.  I am interested in managing wood lots and harvesting when needed for firewood or timber to build things.  I think every person interested in sustainable living should possess these skills.  I did learn a lot about forestry during the course and will use that knowledge in the future.

  The workshop consisted of two areas of focus.  One area was low impact forestry equipment and the other focused on using draft animals.  I took the draft animals portion. 

I hope to use draft horses for farming.  It is all part of my low overhead/sustainable business model.  The workshop was a great way for me to get familiar with, learn how to keep and work the animals.  It is hands on from the very beginning.  Although the focus was on forestry I was surprised at how in depth the draft animal portion was. For two straight days those of us using animals did nothing but drive teams through obstacle courses and the MOFGA wood lot.  Very hands on.  For someone like me who had only ever petted a horse and took a few riding lessons, I left after four days confident in being able to care for and drive a team. 

I recommend this course to anyone who is curious about forestry or draft animals.

 This is me twitchin' wood with Barney and Bill.
Barney and Bill.  A pair of beautiful Percheron horses.
Taking the reins to drive the wood scoot.