I took a hike around my dad’s 200 acre farmland in the Finger Lakes. It is about 1/3 corn, 2/3 “wild” but maintained (rotational mowing, feeding plots to attract deer, woods for harvest, planted trees). I had been expecting to find some great plants here, but with all my walking I was a bit disappointed. There was a lot of goldenrod (N) and multiflora rose (A VHI), lots of tall grass, quite a bit of aster (N), but it seemed lacking in the kind of wonderful diversity I was finding in the woods near the lake. Maybe I’ve just been there-done that and the more I find, the less there is to find new. But perhaps it is because of the activities that go on there. For instance, one abandoned field, about 4 acres, was almost entirely oats and Canada thistle (A). Next to it was a field almost entirely in smartweed (A I). This is an old timey farm with small fields and frequent hedgerows, which my dad defends and adds to, but even in the hedgerows I wasn’t finding the stuff I’d found on the No Tan Tiki Trail, for instance. There were plenty of apple and hawthorne trees, but I’m not sure I saw a single dogwood or viburnum.
And multi-multi-multiflora rose. My dad has been ripping that out of the fields when he mows, pulling it out by tractor with a chain around the base of the plant. He pushes it off to the edge of the field, but I read somewhere that a dead multiflora bramble makes a good tree-tube substitute, to keep deer away from your planted trees.