Our family, by extension, includes the whole community, from the blueberry farmer friend who tutors us in the science of blueberries to the cousins who pick up Chewy and truck him around, to the stewards of VIsseyland who rescued us when Handy tipped over, to the brother who consistently helps out with the Forest. It also includes our friend from away whose help we can’t do without and an army of nieces and nephews who we hope enjoy our farm as much as we do.
Our family is the uncle who lets us borrow his welder and the friend who lets us have loan of Little Orange. The community is our family and Ella’s Forest is proud and honoured to be a part of it. Thank you Fort Augustus!
These two blueberry munching wonder dogs are pretty much polar opposites. That’s why we call them “the twins”. One is white (when clean) and the other is black, one big, one small, one fast, one slow… but they are both adorable, photogenic and LOVE the blueberry farm. When they are not riding in Tractor, you can find them swimming in the duck pond.
We will be blogging about them throughout the year.
Creatures of the Forest
We often tell stories about dragonflies that were once dragons, pixies, fairies, and blueberry gnomes that dwell in Ella’s Forest. Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures to verify our tall tales, but here are some pictures of other animals and winged friends who call our forest their home.
The underground network of wild blueberry rhizomes is immense and their health is essential to the density of a blueberry patch. At Ella’s Forest we strive to minimize soil compaction using only tracked or low pressure equipment on our land. Here is some of our equipment:
A 100 hp Rayco mulcher, Chewy has been with us from the start and has been invaluable in converting scrub trees to mulch.
This Honda Pioneer is our tractor. It not only is a mode of transport, but it pulls our loader and mover. The twins love riding in Tractor.
We used to load the logs by hand until Handy arrived to save the day. Handy is a very important part of our farm and its very exhausting to think of working without him.
Misty is our compost tea sprayer. She evenly distributes the compost tea in a fine mist over our blueberry plants. We have been toying with the idea of retiring misty and adding a new drone sprayer to our farm. We haven’t told Misty yet.
Pushy is our new little dozer. “New to us”, Pushy does all of the upkeep of our trails and roads.
A few years ago we contacted a company from Ireland to see if they could modify one of their designs, and, to make a long story short… Snippy was born! After a long trip on a big boat, Snippy arrived and has been an integral part of our team ever since.
Snippy is a flail mower whose task is to snip weeds off just above the height of the blueberry plants. This enables the sun to warm the ground and the blueberry plants to grow with reduced competition.
Long rows of compost occupy the hillside at Ella’s Forest. These rows are a mixture of wood chips (mulch) and various compostable ingredients collected throughout the year. It is Stinky’s job to spread the compost out onto the blueberry field. Stinky is a ground drive manure spreader originally build in 1960. We fixed him up, gave him a coat of paint, and after we find some low pressure tires for him he will be put to work.
Green is Tractor’s older brother. Being semi-retired now, his only task is to haul Misty around the farm.
Our eye in the sky, our selfie stick with propellers, Ester is our drone. She actively patrols the forest documenting our progress and aiding with topographic and digital elevation surveys.