Jun. 25, 2017

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This image shows part of the planted prairie.  The most prominent plants shown are Indian grass and showy goldenrod. The prairies are periodically burned.  

Henry Ford had extensive farm holdings in our area.  They were part of his tithing.  Ten percent of any profit was given.  He also used them for various agricultural and social experiments.  He provided schools for the employed families' children.  The property that became part of Ives Preserve is from a farm that included one of those schools.  It was also, for a time, a home for needy women.  It also led to a partial solution to one of my own mysteries. When I moved to this area, I noticed that someone had planted European larch trees along the old railroad that stretched from Detroit to Chicago.  Every hundred feet or so across southern Michigan, you can still see many of these trees.  It turns out that our family veterinarian went to Ford schools.  His father managed the farms.  He remembers the trees being grown on one of the farms.  Beyond that, the reason for these trees remains a mystery.