One of our goals for the farm is to restore the prairie and savanna habitat that was here before it was settled. We’re guessing that it will be a 150 year project – so we won’t finish it any time soon. But it’s an interesting challenge, and we’re learning a lot about the land and the plants and animals that live here in the process.
We started working on the restoration right away – in 2000 – after we bought the property, and we spend much of our time here doing various restoration projects. We’re still learning and experimenting, trying to find techniques that work well for us, and for the kind of land we have.
To get a tour of the farm, and an overview of the whole project, click on the photo below:
These are the main kinds of restoration work we do, with information about some of the techniques we use. Click on the photo to go to each link.
Planting prairie in fields that have been cropped for many years:
Maintaining and enlarging the prairie and savanna remnants:
Controlling invasive species – including Garlic Mustard, Honeysuckle, Buckthorn, and Wild Parsnip:
Restoring wetland areas that have been overgrown with exotic weeds – mostly Reed Canary Grass and Wild Parsnip. (No link for this yet.)
Planting prairie in “old fields” – fields that were cropped at one time, but have been left fallow for years. This has been more difficult than planting into crop fields. Non-native agricultural weeds like Smooth Brome have become well established, and there is a dense layer of duff at the base of the weeds. We’re still working on our first try at this – and waiting to see how it turns out before we do more. (No link for this yet.)