Spring Burning & Planting
In the Pacific Northwest between the months of October 15th and April 15th, we experience the wettest season of the year when all plant and ground materials are completely saturated. We plot our areas for controlled burns of trees, stumps, shrubs and natural vegetation that have all come down throughout the winter storm months during this very low fire-risk time.
The Department of Ecology State of Washington and local fire departments issue burn permits for land clearing and agricultural purposes depending on each year and the risk assessment of forest fire. As we get closer to the April 15th deadline on a much smaller scale, many local residents and farmers in the Carnation Valley are doing a little fire catch-up to clear out and clean up their excess through the old age practice of burning.
The smell of smoldering smoke pervades the valley and a wonderful aroma fills the air while we make our way into spring. This is the last dance of wet winter! Saying goodbye to winter and making way for the new season, the fires signify a smudging as in many cultures to purify the air and celebrate all the good to come. Walking the fields and smelling the multiple fires is like sipping delicious mezcal with an old friend as we give the last hurrah to our rainy season.
Often this ground clearing is making way for wonderful new plantings, and this year on our farm, we will celebrate Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, in collaboration with Stewardship Partners to plant trees in and around our beloved Griffin Creek. This will be hands-on volunteering, most likely still wet and muddy, but you never know, as it could be 70 degrees and sunny! We look forward to this teamwork as we have for over 13 years since our first Salmon Safe Farm recognition in 2004. We believe strongly in the preservation of their habitat and working closely with organizations like Stewardship Partners to facilitate clean water and protected spawning grounds. It will be a wonderful spring event, and we hope you can join in the fun. If interested, please see: www.landstewardshippartners.org
Don’t forget to find us on Instagram (@fullcirclefarms).