“FAST Forest” coming to Wright-Locke Farm
Grow Local, Winchester Conservation Commission, and Wright Locke Farm are planting a native forest at the farm. The project will restore agricultural wetlands by the Pond to mature forest, and the forest will grow much faster than it would without restoration. Our forest will cover 6,000 square feet with some 1800 woody plants. Natives only, of course!
Why a forest?
Globally, forests are being destroyed at a dreadful rate. Which means we also lose their ecosystem functions. Forests regulate temperature and moisture, absorb carbon and other pollutants, and provide habitat (food and shelter) to essential critters, including pollinators. Losing those functions, of course, also worsens global heating. But replacing mature forests takes a long time – In New England, some 150 years. So….
What can we do?
The so-called “Miyawaki method’ of forestation accelerates tree growth, to one-third or less of the usual time. In our case, that means “Forest”, in 30 years instead of 150 years. By creating super-ideal conditions for tree growth the soil is pumped up (with organics, compost and micro-organisms), and then heavily mulched to protect against freezing and drying.
Then we plant baby trees at high densities, up to 3 per square meter. The little stick-looking trees respond vigorously, and fast. Within 3 years, they are so tall and well-established that the forest is self-sufficient. Its own shade and the autumn leaf-drop are thick enough to protect the soil, and to keep weeds from taking over.
We invite you to join us for an hour or two – clearing invasive plants this
fall, and planting is slated for the week of Earth Day April 2024.