Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Recycling

Spring planting season is definitely upon us. We have apple and plum trees coming on monday, raspberries after that and 500 pounds of potatoes on the way soon as well. That doesn't even account for peas, chard and beats in our cut back veggie plans for this year. Prep for all of this involves cleaning up stuff that didn't get done in the fall, getting fields turned, fertilized and ready to be planted, orchard rows laid out and holes dug. It also means getting some new projects done as well.

One of our must complete new projects for this spring is installing a culvert over a drainage ditch at the leased land so we can easily get the tractor to and from the berry field. Some of you may remember seeing the tractor stuck last summer, well that would be exactly what it was stuck in. We had taken it back and forth a few times, but it was always difficult, and you had to pick the exact right spot. This particular time we were taking it back with a different piece of equipment on it, and the equipment hung and in trying to get it unstuck we only managed to get the entire tractor lodged. Needless to say, if we were having trouble with the tractor, there was no way the truck would make it back and forth, so we decided it was time for a culvert.

One of the main ingredients of a culvert, of course, is gravel to hold it in place and act as a bridge. The amount it will take for this is relatively small in terms of yards or dump truck loads, so we thought we would just run out the the garden center and  get some bagged gravel. I don't know how many of you have priced that sort of thing, but let us just say they have a much higher opinion of their gravel than I did. At the same time we were looking at gravel, I was also moving some piles of rock and a 50 foot stone wall back on our farm. I may be slow, but eventually it dawned on me that I was moving a whole bunch of rock into stone walls to get it out of the way at one place, and looking to buy a whole lot more for someplace else.

Once I had worked out that crucial connection the moving project became a sorting for recycling project. Much greener to use rocks from one field to support another field 3 miles down the road than to buy poor displaced rocks from who knows where. If we were further along over there, we would have a sufficient supply on hand to handle it all on site. I am sure we will be by next  year for any expansions. Spring cleaning and prep, never a dull moment.

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