Starting Something Big…

We have a big locust tree in the back yard.  Rick has wanted to cut down it for a long time, pretty much since we moved in.  I liked the shade and I wanted to put a patio under the tree though, so I wouldn’t let him cut it down.  But last summer the roots and the ground around the trunk of the tree really started heaving, making putting a patio there a bad idea.  And then, last weekend when I was cleaning up the yard, raking up a million stupid bean pods from that tree, I suddenly switched sides – this tree is a pain.

Every fall it was dropping pods, usually after it snowed and was too late to clean them up.  They fall behind the chicken coop and under the lilacs and are nearly impossible to reach.  They make a huge mess everywhere.  And it was ruining my patio plans.  The tree provided a highway for squirrels who use it to steal chicken food and torment our dog.  And the squirrels built a nest in our neighbor’s roof, so anything to ruin their plans is a bonus in our minds.

So I sat on the couch Saturday morning daring myself to say out loud what I knew Rick would be overjoyed to hear.  Let’s cut down the tree.  But on one condition… that I could have my patio there with a pergola and grapes.  He agreed.

And he was overjoyed.  Rick immediately went for the ladder and the tree trimmer.  I wasn’t so sure about tackling this one ourselves – it’s a huge tree and we have power lines running along two sides of our yard.  But he was determined to get started.

It was pretty windy on Saturday, so he didn’t get much done.  But on Sunday it was really nice and the neighbor, Mike came out to help (hooray!) and they got really far.  I plan on tracking the progress of this project for the next couple of weeks until it’s completed.

I already had plans for reusing the trunk and the bigger straighter limbs, but I wasn’t sure what we were going to do with the rest of the branches.  I asked the now 6300+ people on the Taking Back Urban Home-steading(s) facebook page and got a lot of responses and great advice.  We are going to employ multiple suggestions.  Thank goodness I asked too.  Look at what we have to clean up after just a day and a half of trimming:

Some of those branches will become bean poles and trellises, some will border garden beds.  And some will become a huglekultur (more on that later).  The rest will become mulch for garden paths since we finally made permanent beds. Stay tuned for more tree progress over the next couple of weeks.

Here’s what else we did this week:

Plant something – nothing new in the ground since last week, but the lettuces, spinach and radishes are all poking their little sprouts up!

Harvest something – eggs

Waste Not – compost and recycling, scraps to chickens, etc.

Building Community – decided to finally sell some eggs – A friend is buying a dozen every-other week right now.  :)  Also all the neighborhood kids piled into the driveway while Rick and Mike worked on the tree Sunday.  We had the play kitchen out and the neighbor’s kids picnic table.  There were eight of them running amok with bikes, sharing lunch (fruit, pretzels and cheesy torts).  Fun times – I wish I had gotten a pic, but the camera was acting up.

Eat the Food – dried tomatoes, peaches, elk, duck, green beans and corn all from the freezer.

What did you start on this weekend?

Categories: DIY, Garden, Independence Days | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Starting Something Big…

  1. Pingback: Tree Update and My Newfound Love of Mulch! « Schell Urban Homestead

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