Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fire good

Blooming Scotch Broom and Blackberry in future pasture

The fire under way

This being the Willamette Valley in Western Oregon, any unattended open space will soon be filled with blackberry and Scotch Broom. Let it go long enough, and it grows big. One of the first steps in reclaiming open land is removing theses pests. Getting them down and keeping them out are stories for another day. This story is about fire.

This day's burning was a thick, tall stand of blackberry inside what will be the first new pasture. There was some kind of wire mess under it all, and the only way in was to burn the berries away. So on a dry day, with a bit of scrap wood and a splash of old gas, I lit it up. Once the fire was underway, I added a big bunch of berry vines from around the old Granary. (The Granary will eventually be a chicken house, but there is a lot of work that needs to happen before then.)

After a few hours of burning, the berries were down and the metal exposed.

The wire at the bottom of the blackberry thicket

The granary after being liberated from the blackberries

On the next dry day, I will pull it all out for recycling. It may take a while for the grass to regrow, but at least the ground will be clear.


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