Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Bite at a Time

How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time.

I took another bite out of our blackberries last week.  I had been building a burn pile of scotch broom, and downed and trimmed limbs.  I have a temporary fire site right next to a bunch of blackberries I need to remove.  That way I don't have to carry them too far to get rid of them.

Phoebe has big plans for that little building behind the berries.  It is all clear on the other side, but being eaten on this.
We have oh so many stands of berries like the one above.  They are little islands, with hard dead canes supporting new growth, 10-16' long.
My approach was to slice it up with my brush cutter, then fork it over to the fire.  All I could do was cut up a chunk, pull it out, then cut another.  The eating metaphor felt pretty apt, as I took it bit by bit.
The clear patch just beyond the fire was the mess above.  It is still full of berry roots, but can be mowed or weed eaten very easily now. The old downed cherry tree has a lot of good wood in it, for craft or fire.
And there is the future Art Shack, looking very lonely in its cleared space.  The big old cherry tree on the left, a remnant from Phoebe's childhood, will have to come down soon.  Fortunately, she clipped a few scions from it and grafted them.  

We will likely be planting a lot of trees in this area, including the next generation of her childhood cherries.

It was a big afternoon of work, but very satisfying when finished.
Of course, my indispensable farm helper was with me the whole time, staring at the horse.    


  1. Isn't it nice, the feeling of accomplishment? Our place was over-run with roses, which I painstakingly (no pun intended) cut down, branch by branch by branch...

    Your "foreman" looks as motivated as ours also! Our furry friends, if only we could teach them to haul wood or something. (Yes, I tried).

    Have you ever considered getting a little tractor with a bush-hog to help you maintain the grounds? (I know, I know, you're saying, if money only grew on trees)!

    Keep on keeping on, as they say. I enjoy reading about your progress.

  2. Hello again, Shim Farm. Thanks for checking in again.

    Yes, we long for a little tractor of our own. Something with a bucket on the front, and a brush hog or back hoe on the back. But that time is not here. For now, it is the old fashioned way.

    The effort now is to expand the fencing, to include much more ground. Perhaps there will be goats in the near future, to help us keep the brush down.

  3. Hi Buck, we ended up buying a John Deere 4520 with a bucket on the front and a back hoe on the back. The back hoe is easily uninstalled and we can attach the bush-hog for mowing. Even at that, mowing the "lawn" takes a few good hours. That being said, Eric ended up not liking the back-hoe on the 4520 and we upgraded to another JD TLB (tractor, loader, backhoe) model 110, and this is our life-time tractor. It's really what we need to get the job well-done around our place. Here's to wishing there's a nice little tractor in your future!

  4. That looks really nice. A few days ago I was working on a patch of huge blackberries at our place. I figured I should start working on it a little at a time or we are never going to get this place cleared. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate those bloody things? I don't care how careful I am I still wind up with scratches all over. I'm sporting a jaunty scratch on my forehead right now. :)


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