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Dispatches from the Field: Catching Up with Coverts Cooperator, Brian Krett

Brian Krett, owner/operator of Acre View Farm in Roxbury, CT attended the 2016 Coverts Cooperator seminar in September. Since attending Coverts, a program for CT woodland owners managed by UConn Extension and CFPA, Brian has been busy applying themes covered during the seminar to his own woodlot. This fall, he met with a forester on his property and developed a plan for a timber harvest. He also attended all four levels of a Game of Logging class and put his new chainsaw skills to work cleaning up his orchard, and constructed a campsite on his property. Read Brian’s story in his own words:

I have been working on clearing the abandoned apple orchard on my property which has been coming along well. There were a few trees that had grown up right on the edge of the orchard and really branched out and looked really intimidating. Plus they all leaned into the orchard and I didn't want to fell them onto my apple trees. I was able to attend a Game of Logging class and attend all four levels and really have much more confidence with my chainsaw and felling (I think I would have ended up in the hospital or dead with out the class). I have to thank Agricultural Steward Association out of New York who sponsored the program and provided a scholarship for me to attend. It was a three hour drive each way and I went two weekends but very well worth. My children say thank-you for my safety.

I was able to fell three major trees away from the orchard and open up the area for the apple trees. I count at least 16 (likely more) trees that were part of the orchard but only five have survived the shading out. I opened the area and am literally placing my order for more apple trees this weekend to plant this Spring. On an interesting side note, I'm still in contact with the daughter of the prior owners of the property and she sent me a flier her father had saved from the late 1940's to guide people to the farm property we reside on and continue to operate as a farm. Really neat.

I really liked the result of the releasing and noticed a wonderful increase in wildlife activity with the opening. While trees are still present, the clearing of multiflora rose, and barberry along with planting of seed to protect the soil really brought in some wildlife activity. I'm kicking around the idea of opening up a few other patches on my property in the future if time permits.

Finally, I was able to take my father (77 years young) and go to area area of my property and go tent camping. Just him and me. He reminded me the last time we went camping together I was 9 years and that was almost 40 years ago. We went and made a camp site, built a fire and sat by the fire and shared precious time just him and I. We agreed that each year we will at least make some improvements to the camp site and have a place for all the generations of family.

To learn more about The Coverts Project, visit our Coverts Cooperators page or contact CFPA’s education director, Emma, at ekravet@ctwoodlands.org. We will begin registration for the 2017 Coverts Seminar in January.