50 acres in Western Oregon. The family farm, passed down to us,
The Reluctant Homesteaders.
Time to get busy...
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Fall Clean Up
About half our land is forested and half clear. At least, it was clear. Now, most of the pastures are deep in Scotch Broom and blackberry. With plenty of old, downed trees mixed in.
We are slowly chipping away at it, but with house, barn and garden projects, and outside work, there is not a lot of progress evident.
So when we do make some headway, it feels really good. The area above, next to the barn we spruced up this summer, has an old cherry tree that has broken apart. Fallen limbs had crushed the fence, and the blackberries had grown up and over.
It did not take that much time to clean it up, about 4 hours of whacking the berries and pulling out the old fence posts. The piles sat until burn season, with the grass growing up and through them, threatening to engulf them and make yet another mess to clean up.
Fortunately, I finally had time to burn. It was the first brush fire of the fall, and it cleaned up a lot of stuff. It took me a couple of hours to haul all the limbs and branches that had accumulated over the summer, plus the piles of cut vegetation. It had been raining that week, so everything was pretty soaked. It took a while to get a sustained fire, but I got there. It burned all afternoon, and might have gone on a bit past the technical 'fire's out' time, but it was safe and contained.
And the next morning, it was an open stretch of workable land. It will be a while until we have anyone grazing on this, so until then we will need to mow it . The amount of cleared land we have to mow is growing, and while it makes more work in the short term, mostly for Phoebe who has been our champion mower of late, it feels good to be making headway.