About Us

Sharing our Beautiful Nanoose Bay Farm

The Farm is approximately 15 acres now, we started with 22 acres, built our first log house and then sold that and built our family home on the remainder in 1994. 

The Farm enjoys mild winters and warm summers with an annual rainfall of about 28 inches a year thanks to the significant rain shadow sheltering us from much of the winter storms. We also enjoy a large view from the South East through North West. The dominant aspect is Westward and as such we get great Sunsets. This combination makes it a perfect setting for your next big occasion or a holiday memory making You-Pick experience.

Shaped By Glaciers

Vancouver Island was shaped to a great extent by the many Glaciers that have flowed toward sea level. The last significant glacial event was approximately 10,000 years ago.

The Glaciers shaped the bed rock and carved out the valleys that dominate central Vancouver Island.

The locals often refer to the Island as simply the “Rock” as that is what you will find under foot at or near the surface. The smooth rolling slopes of our farm are great examples of the Glaciers grinding down the previously rugged surfaces of the mountain ranges.

Our farm, like many parts of the Island, has thin rapidly drained soils originating from the last Glacial retreat leaving behind Glacio-Marine deposits.

Christmas Tree Farm

I have worked on three other Xmas tree farms in the central Island area two of them are still operating. The most recent farm I developed in partnership with David McBride, a Forester from Port Alberni was started in 1997 associated with our jointly owned Woodlot licence. I sold my interest in both the Woodlot and the Greenmax Xmas tree farm when I retired in 2015. I started planning the Stone Tree Farm soon after we bought our land 1988 and planted the land to become a Xmas tree farm but life became too busy starting a new woodlot business and helping Eve to raise our children Kate and Max.

In 2015 I had access  to our company excavator  and started to clear and level the land as well as start a road network. I did work in cooperation with a local contractor (Boulder Excavation LTD) who supplied road building material as well as topsoils that I could use to grow trees on as much of the farm would not support tree growth on thin to bedrock soil types.

I planted the first fields on the farm with mostly Concolour Fir and Scots Pine in the February of 2016 with the help of Dani Francis approximately 800 seedlings.

 

I have continued to plant the farm as I developed the fields with the help of Excavators, Backhoes, Rock Pickers and hand work the last major field should be finished this fall with planting what i call the lower field in Feb 2023. The total number of seedlings planted will be approximately 4,000 trees.

Most trees will grow to harvestable size in 7-8 years with setbacks due to Deer browse,Buck Scratching in the fall, Rabbits eating small seedlings mostly lateral branches, Robins breaking off growing terminal leaders, Mouse girdling seedlings under the snow cover, root dieback due to standing water in the winter, or even losses due to the long summer droughts. Hey but other than that what could go wrong!

I do have a significant Mulching Program underway with chipping material supplied by local Arborists. The mulching greatly controls weed completion and helps to contain soil moisture as well as moderates soil temperatures and promotes a healthy soil ecosystem.

Developing a Xmas Tree farm is a long term project aside from obtaining a land base and preparing the ground setting out a grid and road system. The initial plantation looks small indeed  and most people wonder what are you doing out there all the time.

This is a one year old Concolor Fir planted, fertilised and mulched. Seems like a long way to go at times. Once you can see the trees they help the farmer carry on.

This is a one year old Concolor Fir planted, fertilised and mulched. Seems like a long way to go at times. Once you can see the trees they help the farmer carry on.

Nearly all the young Xmas Trees on our farm are purchased as one year old seedlings from Sylvanvale Nursery of Black Creek.  I usually plant these seedlings in February. I can also plant them in September to allow them to develop their root system in the fall giving them a head start for the following Spring.  Fall planting can be trouble if we get early snow as the deer can find them good food as they are full of nutrition.  I also keep seedlings in my own Nursery as shown in this photo.

 

These are seedlings that I planted in the nursery and now that my spring planting on the farm is finished, I have put them into one gallon pots for future use. These potted trees can be planted on the farm quickly and usually have a good survival.  I can also sell or give them away as gifts during our Xmas Tree season. These seedlings are Norway Spruce with a few Concolour Fir on the lower left.

 

 

These are seedlings that I planted in the nursery and now that my spring planting on the farm is finished, I have put them into one gallon pots for future use. These potted trees can be planted on the farm quickly and usually have a good survival.  I can also sell or give them away as gifts during our Xmas Tree season. These seedlings are Norway Spruce with a few Concolour Fir on the lower left.

 

 

The Stones

Winter Solstice Sunset Rock Alignment Dec 21 3:52

The Winter Solstice Rock Alignment has its King Stone (Sandstone) in front of the main Gazebo follows downhill through the Gate Way stones in the middle of the Summer alignment. It continues over the point of the large granite stone, flanked by the two tan coloured sandstone wingmen and finally onto the large cliff face on the west end of Mt. Moriarty.

This is the furthest east that the sunsets and for the next six months sets progressively westward until June 21 Summer solstice it’s furthest Westerly location and so it goes.

 

Winter Solstice Rock Alignment.

This is King Stone of Winter alignment at sunrise. 

Newgrange Winter Alignment

We have travelled to Newgrange Ireland; a very impressive Winter Solstice monument, built 5000 years ago to study these historic man made features.

This is the Third stone. Very well rounded by the Glaciers.

The third and Fourth stone make up the Gateway that you step through into the winter alignment seen on horizon.

These three stones make up the south end of the winter solstice. The center granite stone I carried over from the farm across the street as they were tired of hitting it with their plow. The Backhoe of the day (a 1974 Ford 6500) could just lift it at around 5000 lbs

Summer Solstice Sunset Rock Alignment June 21 9:27

We have celebrated the Summer Solstice Sunset for about 30 years at the Farm. The Gazebo is one of the best locations to watch the sunset.  Once I had completed the rough landscaping and surveying the slopes I set the KingStone and proceeded to arrange the Stones. Largest in the West and reducing in mass eastward, Bruce, a neighbour, helped me level these stones and turn them for their largest faces toward the East.

The Stones are also set at prime number distances in metres to keep the Gods at peace.  This Summer Solstice Alignment marks out the exact location on the horizon that the sun sets on that day. The sunsets over Tribune Bay on Hornby Island. Getting a clear horizon is always the challenge to the Judges to accurately measure the timing as the very last rays of sunlight happen in seconds. There is about a 10 second difference between the sunset timing from the Gazebo to the Rock Alignment about 100 metres to the South.There have been limited sacrifices todate, however the friendly  betting on the timing of the Sunset has gotten a bit heated when the House retains the pot if the sunset measurement is encumbered by environmental conditions. This celebration is usually a Potluck dinner. What fun.

The King Stone for Summer Alignment

This is the King Stone for the Summer Rock Alignment it is Madonna Sandstone smoothed by the glaciers.. just happens to be taken on a Sunrise of a frosty November day with the bright colours of a planted Birch Tree 

Sunrise Over Summer Alignment

Stone names left to right: Double Dee 3100 lbs, Hearty 2500 lbs, Smooth Face 7000 lbs, My Find 7100 lbs, Roundy 10,000 lbs, West End 10,000 lbs

This was our first Summer Solstice gathering for our developing Rock Alignment

Summer Solstice Sunset Betting

Other Stones

This outer rail stone is a good example of our Island’s Basalt. It was delivered to the farm from an excavation in Dorcas Point. In fact, from the old Shelley’s marina one of my first fishing spots with my dad 60 years ago.

More blast rock sorted and will be placed once this lower road and field are finished in a year or two.