Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Mulching We Will Go

One thing about living out here in untamed territory is that everything is on the dirt. This makes for dirty clothes, dirty belongings...dirty everything. And then when it rains...well, you know the equation: dirt + water = mud.

Dealing with the mud around here has been an interesting experience. It gets everywhere (like the dirt); we have to park cars up at the front of the land in advance of rain to be able to go to town; and you get to slog around in it sometimes for an extended period, which actually isn't so easy for days on end. Anyway, these things in the end can be a means of revealing a lack of graces in our lives, which should cause us to pray on bended knee for forgiveness and for the proper graces of patience, contentment, etc.

I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

However, from a practical standpoint, there are some things that can be done to help with problems that occur from things like dealing with mud. One thing I did was add gutters to our Summer kitchen and cistern, which has helped keep water from collecting around them -- water which sometimes leaked into the stairway of our root cellar. Also, our barn's North lean-to is actually slanted slightly uphill; and so, when it rained heavily, especially from the North, the whole North lean-to area would flood, which would also leach under the barn's concrete footer, soaking the floor near the footer on the inside of the barn. Well, I figured this could eventually cause problems with those areas of the foundation. But what to do?

Mr. Bunker some time ago came up with the idea of hauling in free mulch that was available from a local town's landfill, and using it for any pathways and areas where people needed to walk in the rain. This was a great idea, as it ended up working very well for him.

And so, I was able to finally transport some loads here (which sadly weren't quite free anymore, but not too expensive) to begin filling in the North lean-to area, and around the Summer kitchen and root cellar:

Landscaping Mulch in Flatbed Trailer


The hay pitchfork worked best:

Hay Pitchfork and Tools for Laying Landscaping Mulch


And here are some pictures of the coverage. This is the beginnings of laying it out:

Beginning to Lay the Landscaping Mulch


Here is the mulch around the root cellar:

Landscaping Mulch Around Root Cellar


And between the cistern and Summer kitchen:

Landscaping Mulch Between Cistern and Summer Kitchen


With the first flatbed trailer full, we filled most of what you've already seen, and started in on the North side lean-to:

Landscaping Mulch Beginning on North Side Lean-to


With two more loads, we were able to complete the whole area under the overhang:

Landscaping Mulch Under North Lean-to Complete


It has worked out really well for us too -- we can walk around those areas now, even when it is raining; the root cellar leaking is much better, as is the inside of the barn floor.

We're thankful to the Lord for granting this idea, and for the provisions for the mulch and help in continuing to improve the homestead.

-- David

2 comments:

Judy said...

It's quite mucky here after the snows which came right after we excavated 2 holes right in front of the cabin (for a cistern and a root cellar under the planned addition.) Thinking of how incredibly, wildly muddy it gets down there I asked David if we might pick up some free pallets for walkways. Then he decided that we had plenty of straw and we "paved" all the major paths with it. Now, to do something about the cabin floor. I must either sweep it or plant a potato crop. LOL.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Judy,

Thanks for saying hi. Hopefully you won't have any cave-in problems with your cistern and cellar holes.

Here you go...plant the front room in potatoes, the kitchen in turnips, and rutabagas in the bedroom. Just remember next year to rotate the crops. And when the addition is done, you can rotate in a cover crop! :)

Glad to hear you're all right up there, and may God's graces and mercies be with you all.

-- David