On Saturday, October 15, Tahoma Farms welcomed over 75 energetic volunteers to the farm in Orting for a tree planting. With funds from the Natural Resource Conservation Service – and additional financial and in-kind support from PCC Farmland Trust, Pierce Conservation District, Earth Corps and REI – we were able to plant over 800 assorted native trees and shrubs along the Puyallup River. The hedgerow planting will serve as a habitat for wildlife and aid in water quality (filtration) and soil conservation (less topsoil loss from wind storms).
The pace was furious, as volunteers set out at opposing ends along each planting strip. The groups worked towards each other, meeting in the middle of two different areas designated for planting – one was 1500 feet in length, the other 2000. After the trees were in the ground, Earth Corps did a quality check while the Pierce Conservation District flagged different species for survivability tracking. Along one planting row, we were also able to get each of the 300 or so plants wrapped with a protective tree tube and placed burlap sacks on the ground to aid in weed suppression and moisture retention. The next step will be placing mulch at the base of all 800 plants, as an extra step to increase survivability rates and decrease the amount of maintenance and watering we may need to do next year. Once these plants make it through next year, it will be smooth sailing from there on out.
The purpose of undertaking this large conservation planting is to enhance the long-term health and survivability of the farm. With the fall months reeling in winter, this was a good a time as ever to put those long-term benefits in motion. The actions our wonderful volunteers took this past Saturday will pay off in years to come.
Thanks for all who came and helped us plant the future of our farm!
Check out photos from the event here!