The Value of Trees

Let’s look at the science, art and value of trees and many ways we can love (and profit ) from them.

I love reading Elizabeth Barret Browning’s  Sonnet 43 “How Do I Love Thee”.  I think first about my wife, children, mom, sister, friends and you, the reader, who adds so much purpose in my life.  This sonnet also reflects how I feel about trees.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.

Recently I was speaking with Tom Kerr, the editor of Independence Monthly about qualities I seek when looking at real estate.

One quality I pointed out was “I look for trees“.   Tom’s conversation on this subject sparked my imagination about the value of trees.

“Logically,” I told Tom, “trees offer logging opportunities”.  Sometimes land can be purchased for less than the income logging the trees will bring.  Then I have to be honest, even though sustainable logging can help a forest, Merri and I have not been able to bring ourselves to log a single live tree for the 20+ years we have been on our farm.

There are so many other ways to profit from trees. “Let me count the ways”.

First, there are health benefits.

An article at the National Library of Medicine “What’s in a Color? The Unique Human Health Effects of Blue Light ” (1) show that color has an impact on our well being and health.

The article says: A major milestone came with the 1998 discovery of melanopsin retinal ganglion cells, a new type of photoreceptor in the eye. These cells provide signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the brain’s master clock. They project to many other brain regions as well, influencing myriad aspects of human physiology.

Researchers have shown in humans that light influences hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, sleep propensity, body temperature and gene expression.

Another article at “Does the color green boost exercises effects?” (2) zeros in on some health benefits from the color of green.

Working out in the great outdoors may produce more psychological benefits than hitting the gym, suggest researchers who say that “green exercise” may boost mood, self-esteem, motivation and enjoyment. But according to a new study, the positive effects of green exercise may have more to do with the color green than with being surrounded by nature.

The study is the first to show that the color green may contribute to the  feel-good benefits of outdoor exercise, the researchers said. The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in August.

In other words, we gain health benefits from blue skies and green forests!

I definitely make sure I surround myself with green when I exercise.

gary scott

Exercising by the oak in our Florida front yard.  We have numerous huge oaks at our Florida home.  One grows right through the middle of our houses.  This tree makes an absolute mess of leaves every year.  We love it!

I use trees in play.


My grandson, Garren, and me in a tree house we built in our back yard.

gary scott

When my brain won’t fire right in North Carolina I pack up my computer, get the hounds and go work while sitting under a tree.


The satellite image above is of our house at the farm.  The house is at the top of the lower left meadow.  This sums up how we like trees.

The hundred year + oak below at the entrance of our Florida house, and six others around including the one growing in the middle of the house sold us on our home.


We earn income from wood.  I have never been able to log live trees but when they fall on their own, we harvest them and put them through a portable mill.


The wood is cured and used for different things.


We used this lot from a big poplar that died behind our house.  We used it to build our meditation and exercise Forest Room (below).

sustaibable timber

The view from the deck is perfect.  I lay on my yoga mat and look up at all…


the trees and blue sky.

Most summer days we eat on our porch while looking at trees.  (The porch table by the way came from a tree we salvaged on the farm.)  We build and sell them to add a bit of income to the local economy.


That’s the science, health and profit in trees but the deeper quality is reflected in the arts.  The book Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way by Lars Mytting sums this up with this poem by Hans Børli:

The scent of fresh wood
is among the last things you will forget when the veil falls.
the scent of fresh white wood
in the spring sap time:
as though life itself walked by you,
with dew in its hair.
That sweet and naked smell
kneeling woman-soft and blond
in the silence inside you,
using your bones for
a willow flute.
With the hard frost beneath your tongue
you look for the fire to light a word,
and know, mild as southern wind in the mind,
there is still one thing in the world
you can trust. — Hans Børli

A March 2017 National Geographic article “What We Can Learn from Trees?” (3) also shows and tells why we should look upon trees with wonder.

One of the trees that article shows is…


a Montezuma cypress known as el Árbol del Tule.  The trunk, 119 feet in circumference and roughly 38 feet in diameter, supports a crown the size of almost two tennis courts.

Here is another spectacular lesson we can learn from trees the article shares.


This Pando clone featured in the National Geographic spread is described:

Made up of 47,000 tree trunks covering 106 acres and weighing some 13 million pounds, is real.  It’s a single organism, a quaking aspen that began life as a single seed—possibly tens of thousands of years ago—and spread by sending up shoots from an expanding root system. (Pando is Latin for “I spread.”) Each trunk is genetically identical and no more than 150 years old, but the root system may be the oldest living organism on the planet.

That’s quite a lesson in longevity, of harmony and unity.  Maybe we should look harder at the wisdom of trees in our modern divisive world!

Whatever your reason for looking at real estate, to live on, to profit from or to protect, next time you look, stop for a moment (or two) and reflect on how many ways you can love the trees.

Learn about Independence Monthly below, a publication that can help you live a simpler, richer life among trees.


(1) What’s in a color

2)  Does the color green boost exercise’s effects


How to Be Free Like This

Here is How to Gain Extra Freedom-While Almost Everyone Loses Theirs.  Become a Pruppie!

May I coin a new word, Pruppie?

We all know about preppers.  They believe that the world, as we know it, is about to end.  And we also know about Uppies, upward professionals as in Yuppies, young upward professionals.  Uppies expect their world to get better.

The reality is that our worlds have changed and for most of us continues to shift.   There is still great opportunity for a better lifestyle, yet the preppers could be right.  Disaster might be looming in the near future.

I invite you to join Merri and me as Pruppies, those who expect the world to get better and live and earn based on that expectation but  who also happen to prepare for bad times as well as good.

Just in case… the world goes sideways… we Pruppies will still survive and prosper anyway.   We do not give up anything either.  We can enjoy the good parts of the new economy, as we protect ourselves from what can be bad.

You’ll can learn how to gain income and tax deductions as Merri and I have working from your dining room tables.

There is an incredible new economy that’s opening for those who know what to do.  There are great new opportunities and many of them offer enormous income potential but also work well in disaster scenarios.

Let me provide one simple, concrete example.  Ginseng.  This is a great health root.  The demand is growing especially in China.  At times good dried Ginseng sells for $1,000 a pound!  This is an incredible and easy crop to grow.   The less care you give it, the more valuable it becomes.  Yet if everything goes south, the health qualities will be good to have and make it an excellent barter item.  Once you know what to do with ginseng, it’s easy to grow in your back year.

Even better one of the best kept secrets is that ginseng and 125 other medicinal crops that are currently unsustainable but can be grown on land that is extraordinarily cheap to own.

goldenseal ginseng

Ginseng growing in our back yard.  (I know about growing ginseng through experience and explain why and how in the report.)

There are are specific places where you can reduce your living expenses and easily increase your income.  Scientific research has shown that being in such places actually make you smarter and healthier.  Top this off with the fact that they provide tax benefits as well and you have to ask, “Where are these places?”. 

Learn about these specific places.  More important learn what makes them special.  Discover seven freedom producing steps that you can use to find other similar places of opportunity.

Here are some of the experiences this report shares:

The report includes a tax and career plan broken into four age groups, before you finish school, from age 25 to 50 – age 50-to 65 and what to do when you reach the age where tradition wants you to re-tire.  (Another clue-you do not need to retire and probably should not!)

The report is very specific because it describes what Merri and I, our children and even my sister and thousands of our readers have done and are doing, right now.

Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere focuses on a system that takes advantage of living in Smalltown USA, but earning locally and globally.

  • Learn about the magic of the north facing slope.   This is where Merri and I live almost half of our time.  North facing mountain land is some of the least expensive in the world but has hidden values that the report reveals.  There is a lot of this land and a lot of hidden value that you can tap.   When we bought our Blue Ridge farm (252 acres) I mentioned this to my Swiss banking friend.  “That’s bigger than the entire village where I live!” was his response.  Smalltown USA offers a last chance at having a lot of space.  By living in two Smalltown places there are enormous tax advantages as well.  One step in the system saves Merri and me over $28,345 in taxes a year.

The report shows how to buy inexpensive north facing slopes and create an income producing tiny homes for $29,000 or less.

If you lack the $29,000 to invest, a start up using tents is even less.  These are tipis we put up at our farm before we built our first tiny home.  Learn how they can create tens of thousands of dollars in income for you.

Fwd: gary-scott-tipis

  • See ways that small businesses like Tipi rentals can create BIG tax savings as well as extra income.  For more than 30 years Merri and I have enjoyed a strong six figure income, some years more, in the millions.  Yet there have been very few years when we had to pay federal income tax.  The report lays out a three structure program and how it is used when you are in school (up to age 30), then from 25 to 50, 50 to 70  and beyond 70.   Learn why Chapter C corporations and pensions can be better than the normally recommended Chapter S.  See how new mileage log rules gives you a possible opportunity to increase your tax deductions using IRS Form 4562.  If you have two cars, using a two-vehicle strategy can gain $12,976 in new deductions even if you do not have to drive one mile further or spend one additional penny on your car.
  • See how a greenhouse can help you eat better and be healthier, plus provide income and a tax deduction and be funded by a government grant.


Our North Carolina greenhouse.

gary scott greenhouse

Our Florida greenhouse.

  • There are similar benefits from having a second home office defined in IRS publication 463 and IRS publication 587, even if your desk is a dining room table.  The report also shows how your dining room table can become an actual income producer as it creates a huge tax deduction at the same time, not to mention a great place to eat, work and lay out plans for a brighter, safer more lucrative and enjoyable future.
  • Living in this environment is also healthier, economically as well as physically.  You’ll see in the report how researchers at Harvard found an amazing correlation between living in conditions found on north facing slopes, longevity and mental health.  The researchers were quite surprised by this strong correlation that also extended into mental health.  In addition to feeling better, reducing stress and having more Joie de Vivre the places outlined in “Live Anywhere-Earn Everywhere” can help you avoid hospitals, high cost disease management (health care) and BIG pharma while providing an investment opportunity in three herbs that have some of the fastest growing demand in natural health care.  These three plants are just one of seven business opportunities that can create multiple streams of income.
  • How changes in cell phone and internet technology eliminate the need to be in one place.  An old law that creates new opportunity for small business in small towns is available to everyone.
  • Use the specific search and purchase guide.  Construction plans are included that show how to generate first tier income that leads to five, second tier avenues of earnings.
  • How to pay off old debt and avoid new debt by avoiding spurts and embracing value. 
  • Learn seven skills that will always have value.  See how to turn First Aid, medicinal plants, hospitality, food, trees, alternate energy and writing to sell into everlasting, low stress wealth.

merrily farms

This pond at our farm is a pleasure but also helps develop a safe, healthy food supply and creates a tax deduction as well.

You can order the  “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere Report”  for $39.99. Click here.

Or you can get “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere” FREE and every month learn even more about how you can get profit and fulfillment from the new economy.

Independence Monthly is an online monthly portal to a better, freer life.  In each issue, it explores practical ideas to help you escape “the system” and begin reclaiming your own independence.

Information ranges from step-by-step guides to gaining financial freedom…ditching the mortgage, cutting up the credit cards, waving goodbye to auto loans and student debt… to fresh and unique insights regarding lifestyle independence…learning where and how to live cheaper, healthier…and on less money.

Independence Monthly looks at urban farming… digital currency… energy independence and much, much more.  It is the preferred resource for individuals looking to gain independence from the system and finally take back control of their own lives.

Rarely have I found a publication that features so many practical ideas about how to raise your lifestyle to a higher standard by combining so new ideas integrated with old wisdom .

You can use Independence Monthly to have a healthier, more prosperous, fulfilled life regardless of how the world unfolds.

  • The latest issue of Independence Monthly tells how Deb and Tj Akey downshifted to live on a sailboat and now spend their days anchoring off beaches and visiting cool places on their 42ft boat.  See how to make extra cash from your spare room by joining the sharing economy and renting your space to guests.  Learn about your right to water…which states allow you to collect rain…and how you can filter water to ensure you have your own source in times of drought
  • In another issue meet Robin and Steve Follette, who wholeheartedly embrace a self-sufficient rural life in Maine, hunting, fishing, raising chickens, and growing their own food…and Karyn Moskowitz who brings rural goodness into the urban environment.  Improve your own food supply by making homemade ice cream, free from artificial flavors…boost your wealth with tips on how to pay off a mortgage quickly and save up to 30% of the cost.
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  • Learn how to cope in the face of a food shortage?  See Tom Kerr’s insights on the highlights of food insecurity and how Jules Dervaes feeds his family from one-tenth of an acre, 15 minutes from downtown L.A. Plus, you’ll find all you need to know to start canning any extra fruit and vegetables you grow.  See how Zoe Blarowski quit her job when she saw how much money she could make freelancing.  See how Les Worley loves making cheese in his own kitchen.
  •  In another issue you learn more about how Merri and I, who are  in our seventies, have a global business and income yet are living a life on the land—using the uber economy, online income, and wise investments to create wealth.

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If you subscriber now,  Independence Monthly will send you three more special reports at no additional charge.

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