Areas & Plant Communities

The farm includes seven different areas with different growing conditions, including soil types, slopes, and moisture levels.  An on-going project is to identify these different areas and the natural plant communities that occur within each or might be expected to be found.  To provide easy access to these areas, we are maintaining trails into them, and we are developing maps and other materials to provide guidance.  A goal is to enable someone to encounter a number of different ecological communities in a couple of hours and to understand what they are seeing.

The main areas we have identified are listed below.  Some of them are natural in the sense that we have done relatively little to them other than attempt to control invasives.  Others have been planted and/or built in the sense that we have introduced plants and/or trees consistent with their conditions; and, in some, we have built small ponds or other features.  To determine the specific plant communities most likely present in these different areas, we have relied heavily on Jean Fike's excellent Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania (1999), unfortunately no longer available in print but accessible online.

The outline below provides an overview of all the areas we have identified and the plant communities that comprise them.  Descriptions and and details for individual areas can be seen by selecting the link for each.  A composite of all area and  plant community descriptions is also available as well as a view suitable for printing that will be shown in a new window.

0. House, Yard, & Barn (Planted)

1.  Grasslands

1.1 Pollinator Field (Planted)
1.2 Mesic Grassland (Planted)

2.  Upper Wetland

2.1 Wet Meadow (Natural)
2.2 Cat-tail Marsh (Natural)
2.3 Farm Pond (Built & Planted)

3.  Front Field

3.1 Red Maple - Mixed Shrub Palustrine Woodland (Planted)

4. Lower Wetland

4.1 Herbaceous Vernal Pools (Built & Planted)

5.  Front Meadow

5.1 Black Willow Shrub Wetland (Natural)

6.  Forests

6.1 Successional Forest (Managed)
6.2 Hemlock - Red Oak Mixed Hardwood Forest (Natural)
6.3 Red Oak Mixed Hardwood Forest (Planted)


July 19, 2011