Last week I drove past a tree farm next to the freeway along the Columbia River in eastern Oregon — not an average growing operation and nothing at all like any commercial farm acreage I’ve ever seen. It’s the Boardman Tree Farm and it’s located in this section of otherwise bare, remote countryside — 25,000 acres and thousands and thousands of hybrid poplar trees. It’s one of the most interesting horticultural sites I’ve come across. Never before have I encountered large deciduous trees grown and cultivated literally as a crop and I find the idea fascinating. Row upon row and uniform in size, the poplars stand for miles deep along the freeway as far as the eye can see. I learned a little bit online about the company that started this place and the efficiency of the project impresses me. As strange as the whole concept seems, I wonder if it really is so different than the rows of corn, wheat or lentils that I drive past without a second thought.