Rex’s great grandfather Cornelius and his son Charles moved to Maplewood, Lunenburg County in the 1800’s where they established their homestead and farm. Maple syrup production was part of this original farm operation and in the early 1900’s Charles sold wild Balsam fir Christmas trees. Charles’ son Maynard, Rex’s father, carried on the tradition of this humble way of life that continues to blossom and flourish by thoughtful management and caring of Rex, his wife Bonnie and children Venessa and Ryan.
Today, as in the past, the family manages the woodlot with an eye to wildlife. The diversity of species, ages and overall structural diversity that is maintained within the woodlot provides a haven for a wide range of wildlife including predatory birds. The Veinot family, their friends and neighbors share a common interest and enjoyment in observing White-tailed deer, Spruce grouse and other wildlife and birds. Annual farm income is mainly derived from a combination of Christmas tree production (40 acres), a maple syrup operation of about 3,400 taps (with potential for approximately 5,000 taps), and sale of wood products including softwood and hardwood sawlogs, pulpwood and fuel wood. Most of the revenue is invested back into the woodlot to implement various improvement activities, maintain and expand the existing road network, and continually build a viable farm operation for the next generation.
In 1979, Rex along with his father, Maynard, decided to become involved with the first available forest management program funded by the provincial and federal government. It was at this time they had their first forest management plan completed for their woodlot. At the time, it was the Department of Lands and Forests that collected the forest inventory and developed improvement recommendations of the forest management plan. In 1986, Rex had the forest management plan updated by the Lunenburg County Forest Management Group Cooperative, which he was a board of directors member and served a term as president. The forest management plan for the woodlot was updated again in 1998. In 2002 Rex reached out to forest management consultants, Picea Forestry Consulting, to produce a new management plan for his family’s woodlot and provide continual guidance since government forest management programs were no longer available. In 2007, Rex was pleased to be able to purchase 35 additional acres on the west side of his woodlot, which includes a scenic still water and Nelson Brook.
The Veinot family woodlot has a rather long history of forest management including taking advantage of available silviculture funding and road improvement programs. The dedication to forest management and implementing forest improvement activities really shines throughout the family woodlot today. Over the years many contractors have worked on the Veinot’s woodlot to help the family achieve their objectives; some of these include: Robby Wentzell, Delong Farms, William DeMond, Dan Dorey, Phillip Ritcey, Barry Murphy, Jack Wentzell, Lunenburg County Forest Management Group, Allen Peverill, Brian Uhlman, Donald Oickle, Ira Fancy, Dan Veinot, and Picea Forestry Consulting. Silviculture funding has been provided by Bowater Mersey, the Association for Sustainable Forestry, and Hefler Forest Products Ltd. The family’s main goal continues to be to pass the woodlot on to the next generation in better condition than when it was received. With the help of a great community, friends and family members the health, vigor and diversity of the woodlot is maintained and will continue to demonstrate good forest stewardship and provide a range of benefits for many generations to come.
Sights too see!
1. Forest plantation
On the south side of the road is a red and black spruce plantation planted in 1986 . A pre-commercial thinning (PCT) was completed in 1995; On the north side of the road is a plantation of red spruce, Barry Murphy harvested this stand in 2001 it was site planted in 2004.
Dan Dorey has completed numerous projects on the woodlot. A seed tree selection completed in 1987. In 2006 Robby Wentzell completed a remnant removal of the overstory of spruce and hardwood. The area on the north side will be Pre Commercially Thinned within the next 5 years. Harvesting in this way ensures a constant canopy of the forest area.
In the forest to the right there is a natural spring that for years has been considered as a natural supply of fresh cold water when in the woodlot. In the late 1800's the people in the community considered this spring to have special qualities.
4. Water spring story
In 2009 we had an Environmental Farm Plan and assessment done.
A very large pine tree has been the home of a barrel owl for many years.
The area here was set aside as a protected area for 30 years and has been changed to a managed area in 2008. This was done to supply a better habitat for the wildlife and for a healthier forest.
6. Horse/oxen logging
Horses and oxen were the equipment used by Rex’s ancestors to manage the forest in years past.
Equipment of choice today is the farm tractor equipped with the log winch.
We have done about 30 acres of sugar maple, yellow birch and white ash pre-commercial thinning. This treatment shows how spacing can affect growth.
11. Wildlife habitat and recreation
There is more then 50 bird boxes distributed throughout different locations in the forest. There are bird boxes for woodpeckers, swallows, chickadees, bats and wood ducks.
As part of the Veinot’s recreational opportunities, the family has a hunting stand where the family members and other friends hunt whitetail deer. The woodlot has an abundant population of wildlife because of the diverse habitat that is available.
12. Sugar shack by Rex Veinot and Family
A building constructed over a period of eight years since 1997 using lumber sawn from trees in the Veinot’s woodlot by a portable sawmill. The 3400 tap maple syrup operation has a potential of an excess of 5000 taps. The Veinot family (Rex, Bonnie, Venessa and Ryan) manage the maple syrup operation with the hopes to reach full capacity over the next ten years.
Map to come