Tag Archives: brush clearing

Homestead Update

27 Sep

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The winter greens are really growing well, and the worms finally went away. Sweet Thing and her sister have been picking several Wal-Mart bags full every day.

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One bag full of picked greens cook down into this one dish of cooked greens. We eat some for dinner, then freeze the rest for later.

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This is my healthy dinner with okra and tomatoes, mustard greens, and great northern beans. All together that is only 2 WW Points Plus and I ate 2 servings for 4 total points and I was full and satisfied!

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This is one of my next projects to finish, clearing out some of those trees and brush near the road. You can also see that pile of mulch waiting to be spread. I moved a few scoops of it last week, and when I scooped it with the front-end loader, you could see the steam rising from the pile. It has been there long enough to start composting! I am still waiting on the dump truck to bring some more dirt to add on top of my culvert, then I will cross over and start clearing a path through the woods. Always something to do on the homestead, keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update

31 Jan

I wanted to give you an update on the happenings at our homestead. There really has not been much going on due to the record cold weather we have been having. I know it has been much worse for those of you further North, but it has been cold enough here that I haven’t spent much time outside. Last weekend the weather finally broke and we had above average temps so we cranked up the tractor and did some brush clearing in the front area by the road.

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You might remember we have four old, nearly dead trees on either side of the driveway.

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There are quite a few limbs falling out of the trees that need to be cleaned up.

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I turned those old snags into a couple of buckets full of firewood, and with the cold temps we have been having it really came in handy!

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Now I need to clean up these saplings by pulling them up with the tractor. I don’t want to cut them down and leave all those stubs to have to mow over later. I will have to give you an update on that later because I had some trouble with my tractor and had to call the mechanic. The starter is stuck, it won’t disengage! I tapped on it with a hammer to try to unstick it, but it just kept whirring. I finally had to disconnect the battery to get it to stop. Well, the weather is going to take a turn for the worse again next week so I guess it is a good time for the tractor to be out of commission and in the shop. Keep prepping everyone.

Safety First,,,Again

2 Dec

Construction is about complete on our new home. The weather here is unseasonably warm, near or at record highs. I decided to take this opportunity to clear up some more of the brush and vines in front.

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All along the highway was overgrown with dense sapling trees and briars and honeysuckle.

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We had thinned them down quite a bit during the past year, but I left some of them until I could decide just which few I wanted to keep in the front of the house. I took out all of these trees right in the middle so now the view is this;

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You can look over towards our house from the road and get a really nice view. We can also get a nice view across the road towards our neighbor’s farm shop.

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You can see he has several barns for his equipment and livestock. That is one of the good things about where we live. This is a small community, with a local community grocery just a mile and a half down the road where a lot of people meet and mingle every day. You can drive down any road near our home and you can see this is an agricultural community. Many of the houses you pass have all sorts of livestock, cows, horses, goats, sheep and chickens. Most of them have big gardens and fruit trees. There are many people here with the self-sufficient and being prepared mindset, just the kind of people you need to be with and get to know. You can meet and greet many of them at the local gathering place, the community grocery. Lately when we go in the store, all we hear is “When are you going to move in? The house looks ready to me.” Well, it is 99% complete, the final gas inspection will be tomorrow and the final electrical inspection will be Tuesday. The painter has a few spots to touch up and the tile installer is putting the grout around the tub tomorrow and that will be everything! Then it will just be a matter of cleaning up and putting the wax on the floor and we can start moving in. Finally! Oh, back to safety first.

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This is the same fence line shown above in the second picture. We cleaned it up over to the old wire fence and gained 30 feet of new space. We are going to cut out the old metal fence and thin out some of the smaller trees to open up the view a little.

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To clear out those 2-6 inch trees, I usually cut them off about 3 feet high. Then I hook a chain around the stump and pull them up with my tractor. The chain is attached to the front end loader, the other end is wrapped around the stump, I put the tractor in reverse and usually a good jerk or two and it comes up roots and all. This doesn’t leave any stump to have to mow over or dig up. Well, I got a little impatient and tried to pull one without cutting it off. I thought “that tree is not too tall, and I’ll just pull it easy”. Well it was taller than I thought and it came right up with one good pull. Then it fell directly at the tractor,,,and the driver. WHAP! The upper part of the tree slapped me right on the side of my face. Fortunately, I was wearing my safety goggles but not my helmet. The tree knocked off my hat and my glasses and really slapped my ear and the side of my face. My ear was really stinging, at first I feared I may have cut my ear, but it turned out to just be on my cheek.

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Now I have this inch and a half gash on the side of my face with a flap of skin hanging down and blood streaming down my face. As I am walking to the house to get it taken care of Sweet Thing says “what did you do?” I said “good news, now we get to try out that first aid kit we bought last year.”

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She didn’t consider that good news. As she was cleaning out the wound and dressing it, she finally decided it wasn’t as bad as it looked, it just bled a lot. But that didn’t stop her from scolding me and schooling me on the importance of being safe during the entire time she was tending to me. The stinging I felt from the tree was nothing compared to the stinging I got from Sweet Thing scolding me. And all I could do was stand there and say “Yes dear, you’re right, yes dear, I hear you.” OUCH, be safe everybody!

Brush Clearing

13 Oct

We have contracted with a local company to build a new barn for us and they will start in the next few days! Last spring a storm blew a tree across the opening where the driveway to the barn needs to go so we had to get out to the homestead and clear that tree. That allowed me to buy my next toy tool for the homestead.

This is my new Husqvara 235 chainsaw, sitting on the tree needing to be removed. The Husqvarna was MADE IN THE USA by the way.

I started up at the top and cut the tree back to where it is 18 inches in diameter, that is about as far as I can go with this saw. I will have to borrow or rent a larger saw to cut anymore.

I ended up with this pile to be used for firewood.

I also ended up with this pile of small limbs that I need to do something with. My first thought was to burn it but my neighbor said the local authorities frown on open burning and I might receive a visit from the local volunteer fire department with a demand to put out the fire or face a citation and fine. Great! That is one reason I wanted to move out of town, so I could do some things without government looking over my shoulder all the time. I guess there is no escaping Big Brother! I’m now thinking about buying a chipper/shredder to mulch this stuff up. We will always have a lot of branches and leaves around here, and I could always use a lot of mulch. For the time being, I might just pile this up on the back of the property for the wildlife and birds to hide in.

Sweet Thing and Nephew helped me by piling up the brush and keeping it out of my way. It got hot after lunch so we quit for the day, but some rain clouds built up late in the day and cooled the temperatures down so I decided to go back. Of course Sweet Thing insisted on coming with me in case I had an accident with the chainsaw (what’s the worst that could happen?). She had already taken a shower and showed up like this. YIKES! I didn’t know women still wore great big orange juice can rollers anymore. But I’m not complaining, Sweet Thing always looks pretty as a peach to me so whatever she does still works for me!

Here I am taking a break, contemplating which trees need to be cut on the fence line and which ones I want to keep. A lot of work will need to be done, but I don’t have to do it all at once, it will be a long, slow continuous process. We are looking forward to it!