I took this last week off from work (our boys were also on spring break) – but mine wasn’t really a vacation – I spent the week cutting down trees, brush, and clearing various other things at our property.
to back up a little bit… last year we found a nice piece of land nearby where we currently live, and eventually were able to purchase it (long story). we had been looking for 3 to 5 acres… but stumbled on this piece which is almost 20 acres! the downside… it’s a mess of a forest, and smack in the middle of it is a burnt down house.
talk about curb appeal.
well, immediately after closing, we hired a demo contractor to remove all of the existing structure, and to clear the brush back along the ~800 ft long driveway. but since then, we hadn’t been able to do much with the land.
so for several weekends this February and March, I would take my wife and boys out to the land, and we chopped down some dead trees, and cleared some of the brush by hand… but it was slow, back-breaking work. we had piles and piles of cut up firewood.
but several hours of work would barely make a dent in the brush, though.
and also left us with giant piles of brush to deal with.
so this past week was a full-time dedicated week of work to get as much done as I could. Sunday night, I trailered down my dad’s 25-hp John Deere tractor (complete with a bucket on the front end and a back blade at the 3-point hitch, and I also bought a york/landscape rake for the 3-pt hitch).
I had a truck full of tools to go with it: chainsaw, axe, various lopping shears, shovels, chains to pull logs and brush out, etc.
I spent Monday using the tractor to haul out some of the bigger chopped down trees and logs. on Tuesday, my dad and 2 of my brothers-in-law joined me for the day. I rented a big chipper to shred the piles of brush and tree limbs into mulch – that thing was amazing! 2 of us would take turns feeding the brush from the piles into that, and it just shredded right through everything. my dad spent most of the day using his tractor to clear more brush, and drag it down to a burn pile. we were able to burn a ton of the brush as well – it worked really well for some of the nasty piles of tangled brush left behind by the demo contractor last summer. Wednesday through Friday it was just me, although several contractors met with me during the day to discuss our plans to upgrade the driveway a little bit as well as build a barn. while I wasn’t busy with that, I used the tractor to haul the mulch piles back into the back woods, where there are several walking trails already made.
I also used the york rake to clean up more of the brush scattered in the areas where we had cleared, and kept burning more brush as I collected it. on Saturday, my wife and boys came down and helped a bit more cleaning up more brush. I ran into a little bit of tractor trouble that afternoon, but was able to sort of fix it enough to get it back on the trailer and hauled back home to my dad’s house.
Sunday afternoon, I capped off the week by planting something new: some transplants from my dad & mom’s garden – black raspberry bushes and some asparagus.
all told, it was a great week of work – thanks to my dad for his help (and the use of his tractor), and my 2 brothers-in-law as well for their manual labor, and I think the property is slowly coming along. you can start to see the potential. and the change from what it was before:
to what it looks like now:
I’m super excited to see how things change when spring turns everything green.