SEGMENT: FARMING METHODS & HARVESTING
Michael Johnson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 24
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- FARMING METHODS
- Monitoring for emerald ash borers with pheromone traps in Carroll County. Forestry is diminishing. Expertise is lowering. Thin the timber so there is enough soil and light. Take down damaged trees except some for wildlife. Promote healthy growth. No fertilization. Plenty of nutrients in the soil. Put tubes around saplings keep deer away. Shorter tubes will not attract mice. You cannot plant seedlings under the shade. Look for spaces of cleared area after cutting down a tree. Small areas are involved, intensive; but efficient. He thinks we will eventually cut down all our trees in this country. He plants them about every 5-6 trees of different species, in an irregular pattern. We let weeds and brush grow up around the seedlings to protect from deer. Every two years weed out a bit.
- At first he wasn't planning on cutting trees. Then he sold some to a local sawmill. He found that dried timber is not what makes nice furniture. Interested in having a band sawmill. After a big storm, he found cherry trees and oaks damaged and broken off at the 40-50-foot level. He did not like to use timber cutters, who take the good trees and leave the worst. So he decided to buy a band sawmill, as a hobby. He had a year to harvest the trees. Bought a 32 x 40 metal building with a dehumidification kiln that could dry 4000 board feet of lumber. He bought a large 24-inch planer. Had a 1949 wrecker as a loader, a 1963 loader. Saw, air-dry, kiln-dry it. Sold all his first batch. Customers wanted more. Looked at older trees, damaged trees, & kept going. Customers brought timber to saw. He ran that himself for four years. Back trouble happened just as a man came by looking for work. You work in all weather. It is hard work. Steve worked for him full time for seven years. Michael could do more photography half time. In 2008, Steve moved to Iowa. Michael changed a more hydraulically run mill. It is larger and faster.