The Big Project Begins!

Ah, the entrance to my unused, overgrown back two acres…

Once upon a time, I’m told,  Hubby used to mow back there, too. Then one day, the culvert collapsed while he was driving the tractor across it (no injuries!) and that was the end of that… It’s been left to its own devices for at least fifteen years.

Two years ago, we replaced the culvert, and began talking about using it again.  I had carved a small path through the jungle, just big enough to walk a dog through, and thought there were some areas with possibilities…But it never got beyond the Talking Stage.

Until last week, that is!

As this is a job that’s waaaay outside my skill-set (and alloted Outdoor Time), we called in our trusty crew of Yard Guys…They arrived at 7:30 am last Saturday, and went straight to work.

Sweet Cleo and I walked up yesterday morning to take a look… What a difference!

The guys have taken down several large willows, and hundreds of vines, weeds and saplings. In the process, they uncovered a dozen or so blueberry bushes, and exposed them to the sunlight for the first time in years.

Everything that could be was run through the wood chipper. These are some of the too-big logs that were left behind. They my find a new life as fence poles, or trellises, or bonfires. Some will be cut smaller and stacked to make small-critter habitat.

So, what’s the plan for this New Space? There are several, and they evolve over time.

For the rest of the season this year, it will be about observation. What’s the water-flow pattern? How much will it dry out, now that the canopy is open? Where are the best spots for a few temporary raised beds? We’ll rake and pile the woodchips, and keep the regrowth to a bare minimum.

Next year, depending on the results of this year’s survey, we’ll have a few beds of winter squashes…Pumpkin Patch, anyone? After a few more years of remediation, I hope to bring in some fruit trees and have a small mixed orchard, with plums, pears, and a few more apples. By then, we’ll have another part of the field cleared, I hope.

The Guys have at least two more Saturdays of work before they finish this section, which is about a quarter of the back lot. I’ll admit, I have a twinge of guilt about the clearing. I’m quite sure we’ve managed to ruin plans for more than one family of critters back there. We’ll wait a year or more before moving on to other parts of the field to give everyone time to adjust. I’ve no intention of clear-cutting the whole thing…there will always be a home for wild things here.

Even the ones who want to share my gardens’ bounty.


29 thoughts on “The Big Project Begins!

  1. 2 acres! Do you know how wonderous that sounds to this urban dweller??!!
    But an orchard, a pumpkin patch, so many delights to come.
    I like your approach – slowly and softly, taking your time to obseve.
    And when the guys are done with you and have finished at Celi’s Send them over here 🙂

    • Until I moved in with Hubby about 5 years ago, it WAS a dream. I spent all my life on postage-stamp sized lots, wishing for land of my own. Now, I have it and can’t imagine ever going back to living in cramped quarters. Not even in Paris… 😀

  2. Getting a yard crew was such a great idea! Claire is right. Your slow approach is the way to go. You’ve got the time and there’s no need to rush headlong into planting. Good news about finding the blueberry bushes. As for the critter families, this is probably the best time of the year to move them. They’ll be fine. 🙂

    • I’ve called these guys in a couple times a year for a while now. They all have other jobs during the week, so are only availible on Saturdays. It’s great to have help with the things that I just can’t do.
      This year, they’ve helped me weed out the beds, too. Fells wrong to pay someone to it for me, but what’er ya gonna do?

  3. I could use your yard crew. 🙂

    The blueberry bushes are a wonderful find! I’m sure the critters will all adjust, but it’s good to hear you’re taking it slow.

    • What sealed the deal was the coyotes. Instead of stashing their litter in my field this year, they went to the neighbors. Once I knew they wouldn’t be disturbed, it was time to move ahead. The new open ground will be good for the turkeys (and the pheasants, if they’re still around).

  4. Oh what possibilities, how wonderful… looks amazing and I’m sure it will be fun to play and enjoy.Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wait ti watch it all unfold! *Smile*

    • Gotta clear it first!
      Then fence it, to keep the deer out.
      And haul water for them – no pipes up there.
      And…Hey, if you want to help, there’s an extra bedroom. Angel would love to have an Uncle Greg to play with 😀

  5. New space is always so exciting! A big blank slate to play with makes me giddy. I’m sure as much as the critters may miss their thicket, they will (as yet unbeknownst to them) appreciate the additional bugs, irrigation, and other side effects of putting in gardens and such.

  6. As we have been cleaning and clearing our property for nearly 5 years now–I understand the work involved and the process of understanding how the land “works”. I love all of your ideas for the area! I look forward to following along!

  7. Pingback: Now….About Those Pumpkins… | My Little Corner of Rhode Island

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