The 235 acre Cakebread Ranch is located 45 miles south of Jackson, WY in Thayne, WY near the snow capped Caribou and Salt River mountain ranges. The ranch contains nearly 4 miles of the Salt River, and in 2005 was converted to a property that hosted in part a day lodge/resort and in other part a private residence for the Cakebread Family. Prior to its recent conversion to providing fly fishing adventures, spa services, and organically grown fruits and vegetables, the property served as a cattle operation.
TLC was initially contacted to help the Ranch manage approximately six hundred incorrectly planted spruce and aspen trees. TLC is often contacted to correct the mistakes of other contractors. TLC’s ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborists identified numerous types of cankers, spruce pests and associated aspen diseases that were causing a decline in the trees. The symptoms that were present in the declining trees led TLC to recommend the re-planting the trees, which would serve to correct the causes of the symptoms. As ISA Certified Arborist Josh Reed discusses, “replanting the approximately six hundred trees was a seemingly monumental task; however, if it were not completed the trees might live another five years only to die. By correcting the situation now, the owners will be able to enjoy the trees for a lifetime.”
The concept of the planting design was developed by landscape architect Steve Ashworth of the Ashworth Group of Thayne, WY. Steve’s design sought to provide long vistas over gentle slopes of aspen and spruce stands that were interspersed with fields of native grasses, a meadow of lavender, a fruit orchard, and an organic greenhouse. Inclusive in the landscape design was the focus on breeding and raising 100 % full blooded Wagyu cattle to graze the grass meadows of the Ranch. Started from the oldest and preeminent Japanese bloodlines in the breed they produce true Kobe beef.
TLC worked with Steve to accomplish his design goals through the contouring of the landscape, the planting of a meadow of lavender that included species of lavender acclimated for the high elevation planting climate for the Ranch, the installation of an organic greenhouse, the installation of a fruit orchard, the installation of a native plant nursery, as well as the additional planting of an additional four hundred spruce, aspen, and shrub species.
The organic greenhouse was developed for the production of vegetables for local and visiting customers of the day lodge. The concept is to provide all food for the day lodge from food grown on the Ranch. TLC was asked to install the growing containers and irrigation for the organic greenhouse. In doing so, TLC studied the native soil properties of the Ranch, as well as the soil properties of local topsoil producers that claimed to have very good growing mediums for vegetables and herbs. TLC worked with the Soil and Plant Laboratory http://www.soilandplantlaboratory.com/ in San Jose, California to determine the growing medium that was the best to use for vegetable and herb growth.