Thursday, April 9, 2009

Scorched earth

Today was productive! It was sunny and clear, but still a little cool... perfect weather for yard work. So that's what we did today. The yard had never gotten cleaned up after the ice storm in January. I had wanted to, and had made some small bits of progress, but there was just too much to do and not enough time. We had big branches down all over the yard and I had dragged them into a pile, but even though Scott has the equipment to cut them up, he didn't have the time. And we certainly didn't have the money to pay someone to do it. So they just laid there waiting. But this week is Scott's spring break so we decided to tackle it today. First, Scott cut them into managable sections with a chain saw. While he was doing that, a friend used some heavy equipment to prepare a seed bed in one of our fields. Then he used a dozer to move the branches into the seed bed. It only took about 10 minutes, where it would have taken all day by hand. Then we went around the yard and trimmed out a few trees that were damaged so badly they won't make it, plus we cut back some overgrown vines that were threatening our redbud tree. Then we hauled that stuff into the seed bed. And Scott and Caly are outside right now clearing the fallen branches from the edges of our gravel lane and loading them into his truck to add to the pile.

It's a huge pile now, and will be a very exciting bonfire in about an hour. If you make a seed bed out of potting soil, you can be pretty sure that the only things coming up are the ones you planted. But if you just till the dirt in your field you need to make sure you kill off the seeds that are already in it. So we're burning the seed bed, or rather, scorching the dirt in it by building a big fire on top of it. And big fires are fun. I have the marshmallows and hot dogs ready.

All that's left to do in the yard is to gather up all the little twigs and sticks that are all over. We have to get those up to mow the grass, but it'll take a good couple of hours. There's a lot of them. However it's doable by me and the kids, so we should be able to get it done next week. And I'm kind of glad that we won't be burning all the twigs tonight. I'm planning on keeping them around for kindling since we're still having nights where it gets down in the 30's. We heat with a wood burning stove and a nice pile of kindling might be very much appreciated over the course of the next week or two. And if not, it'll still be there in the fall when the nights get cold again.

I'm really happy that we made so much progress today. It's very satisfying to see things get better. And unlike cleaning the house, it should stay done at least a few weeks.

1 comment:

Tara said...

"And unlike cleaning the house, it should stay done at least a few weeks."

This is why I love doing yard work, lol.