Monday, October 11, 2010

Before & After - Some Of What We've Accomplished In The Past 9 Days...

Peggy and I have really been enjoying the past nine days of labor intensive outdoor work cleaning up mom's overgrown acreage under these big beautiful Utah skies.
The four photos below are before and after pictures of the orchard and a large fenced area at the back of her property which could be divided up between vegetable gardens and the raising of farm animals such as chickens & goats.
Much of this area was 4 to 6 feet deep in a thick nasty tangle of weeds, brush, & cockleburs, and quite a challenge to deal with, but we're getting there!
I must say here that, if this were my place, I'd have a herd of goats to manage the weed problems, to help fertilize the gardens, and to provide milk for drinking and the making of goat yogurt and cheese, and, that being said, we'll move on to the reality of the present circumstances.
Click on all photos to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

Weed Management With Infernal Combustion Machines!

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

Yes, we accomplished a lot in a very short period of time mainly because my mother has this little John Deere tractor mower that rose way beyond the task it was designed for, which is basically to mow big lawns, which is why mom bought it.
We were in dire straits here with too many chores to do and not nearly enough time to address them all in some sort of sustainable way before winter sets in.
So, I'm certainly not proud of the fact that we converted about 7 more gallons of fossil fuel (on top of what we blew through the U-Haul truck) into the C02 which is every day rendering our planet less habitable for humans.
But we came here to help my mother, and, at this point in time, I have to do that partly within the context which she lives, and, as I said above, if this was our place things would be done in a different way.

Weeds Ready For the Chipper/Shredder
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

Peggy and I brought our electric chipper/shredder with us because we knew there was going to be a mountain of stuff we could use for mulch and compost and we're just getting started with that.

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

This little pile is just the first trailer full of chipped and shredded weeds headed for the compost heap. The horse manure in the corral will be another essential ingredient.
Note the empty bottle of Negra Modelo in the John Deere's beer holder, sometimes it's so obvious that I'm just a redneck farmer at heart.
The above photos show only a part of the many problems we've had to address in these 9 days, from a huge overgrown lawn to runaway shrubbery and weeds in the flower beds around the house, to broken door latches, lost keys for important locks, automatic sprinkler malfunctions, a broken fitting in the plumbing for the well, and so many other things I've already forgotten.
But the three of us are having a lot of fun together and that's what's important.

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Blogger SomethingBlue said...

WOW! What a job!~ Well done...don't wear yourselves out :)

8:19 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

So when are you coming to the East Coast?

5:15 AM  
Blogger roger said...

we had a mower like that in port townsend, and a rototiller. left them with the house we sold. a generator too. can only move so much stuff. now i'm stewing over whether we should get another tiller and mower to help us out in our dotage. we're building a garden in slightly rocky clay soil. i'm a bit tired of spading hard ground.

looks nice all mowed. what sort of electric chipper is that?

7:51 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Something Blue-

So far the work has been rather invigorating...


We're moving that way but there's a lot of weeds between here & there.


The electric chipper is made by Patriot, they only make the one electric model, and it can handle stalks and branches up to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. We've beeen using it for 3 years now and find it to be sturdy and reliable.

8:32 AM  
Blogger susan said...

I've just been reading through again and must say I'm very impressed at both your energy and good humor. It's a huge job to take on especially at the end of a long season's growth. Is there no way the two of you could stay?

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Craig + Pam said...

Hey Jim & Peg, don't know if you got your e-mail up and running but if you send me your address I could send you a real beer and some music.
Craig & Pam

9:56 AM  
Blogger Jack Kevin said...

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4:43 AM  

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