Barker and Jennifer Stein Barker
Lances roots on the Kansas prairie give him an
intense connection with the soil and natural processes of the land.
An early interest in entomology taught him to tie together the
different functions of biological systems. Employment in maintenance
and machinery operation grounded him in the basics necessary to carry
out the mechanical operations of tree farming. Jennifer spent her
formative years in the forests and mountains of New England. An early
introduction to native plant botany resulted ultimately in a seasonal
position with the Malheur National Forest, where Jennifer learned
surveying and monitoring skills.
Morning Hill was purchased in 1977 when Lance was 25.
He wanted a nice piece of land, but could not afford it. Inspired by
his father, who restored worn-out Kansas hill farms to native grass
pasture, Lance bought 40 acres of overcut, overgrazed pine forest. A
friend charitably described it as sparse. The purpose was
forest restoration with a place to develop and practice sustainable
living in his own life.
goal is to integrate sustainable forestry
with renewable energy use, low impact living, appropriate technology,
and home production of high-quality food into a whole-life
sustainable living system.
We believe in education. We have taken advantage of
almost every opportunity that comes our way to increase our knowledge
of the natural world. Weve attended classes on soils, insects
and disease, tree selection and other subjects in person, by
videotape, reading, and Ednet. In doing so, we have broadened our
scope tremendously. Some of the courses have affected our management
so profoundly that the positive results can be seen in our forest in
only a few years.
We pass on what we have learned to those interested in
coming to Morning Hill to see what we are doing. Organized tours are
a regular part of our forestry activity. Many of the groups who tour
here are being introduced to sustainable forestry for the first time.
They are frequently surprised to find out that sustainable forestry
looks better to them than an unmanaged forest. Among the groups who
have toured here are:
We made Morning Hill Forest Farm a partnership effort
in 1990. Each of us was living with solar power when we met, and
practicing a sustainable lifeway has been our primary purpose
together. We call it Forest Farm because we are farming more than
just trees, we are farming a whole forest.
Dear Lance and Jennifer -
It is hard to adequately describe how much we enjoyed
your gracious hospitality, or how much we enjoyed listening and
learning from your knowledge and obvious love of the land you manage.
Thank you so much for allowing our group to visit and end our
institute on a wonderful and inspiring note!
Because finding someone who shares your passions
and your values isn't always easy, we'd live to mention that we met
Mountains Natural Resource Institute
Tree Farm System BOD
Summer Geography Teachers Inst.
Resource Management Group
Plant Society of Oregon
Conservancy of Oregon
of the Oregon Nature Conservancy
Leaf Garden Club
County Bird Club*
Oregon Renewable Energies*
Ski Touring Club