Clean up: old wood pile, progress

Things actually got chilly last night, and we had a wonderfully cool morning! I was really looking forward to getting some progress in the yard.

Of course, by the time I actually got out there, it had warmed up considerably. 😀 It was nice, working in the shade, though.

With the way things have been doing this year, I decided that getting this old wood pile cleared was my one primary goal for the summer. Anything beyond that was gravy.

I may have messed myself up with this particular goal! 😀 It’s turning out to be a more challenging job than I expected!

This is why.


Large roots.

Lots of them.

In the above photo, I’m using the potato fork to keep them from springing in various directions!

As near as I can make out, these are all roots from the cherry trees. I don’t know a lot about cherry trees, and certainly didn’t know that they spread through their roots like this!

I was using the potato fork to find and dig up pieces of pallets, and kept finding more and more roots! Then I’d pull on the roots, and they would pull up rotting pieces of pallets and plywood.

The soil here is marvelous. All that rotting wood and leaves has been great for it. It’s rich and loose. The root systems have been working their way through the rotting pieces of pallets, so they are close to the surface and relatively easy to pull up.

I would really love to just clean the surface up and leave the remaining wood to continue to break down into this lovely soil. Alas, that is not really an option.

This is just one piece I found among the roots, with nails pointing up.

I had walked over that area several times.

The more I cleared in the area, and especially while I was raking things up, the more I realized I’m going to have to be incredibly careful not to step on anything dangerous!

I think work boots would be a good investment. 😦

With how nice the soil is here, I’m thinking of maybe planting some sort of garden in this area when it’s all cleaned up! 🙂

By the time I had to stop, it seemed I didn’t get a lot of progress. Which is true, as far as square footage goes, but I actually did get a lot of work done.

I took out more of the back pallet fence. One of the pallets was wired to the fence post you can see in front of that old table. After taking this photo, I went over to take out the old tomato cage and decided to see if I could pull the fence post out of the soil.

I didn’t have to.

It was rotten and broke off, right at the soil line.


This is how it looks now. I raked a lot of the surface debris aside into a pile I’d started at one side, while tree cuttings and pallet debris went into the wheelbarrow. The raked up debris pile has all sorts of bits and pieces in it. I have to figure out how to move it, without leaving behind any nails, bits of wire and whatnot, and where to burn it. It’s not something I can just dump into the burn barrel.

Speaking of which…

These are the smaller, nail-filled, broken up pieces that needed a wheelbarrow to haul out. Being smaller, I put them straight into the burn barrel. Then, when I ran out of room there, I filled the old metal tub that was used as a “lid” for the old barrel. It’s actually sitting on top of the remains of the old barrel. (We haven’t done a burn since the old barrel got destroyed by the renter’s cows, last summer!)

When I ran out of room there, I finally had to start dumping the pieces by the big pile of wood.

I’ve been adding to this pile while cleaning up, and most of it will eventually be chipped. I will have to make sure to keep the rotten wood clear of the trees and branches, as the last thing I want is for something with nails in it to get mixed in with the rest.

The larger pallets that were still in one piece went by the junk pile outside the yard. (Some time this summer, my brother is going to come out with his trailer, so we can finally haul the junk pile to the dump.)

The pallets in the background, near the cracked rain barrel, are all going to end up the the burn barrel, eventually. The 2 in the foreground were part of the pallet fence. The parts that were touching the ground are rotting, but otherwise, they are still pretty sturdy. They are mostly salvageable. I’ll see as I move the rest out, but there might be a few more in the pallet fence that can be salvaged, too.

After clearing as much as I could today, I headed inside and snagged my older daughter for some help.

Normally, I keep my hair braided. Especially when doing yard work. This is partly why. Things get caught in it!

I’m not sure where I came in contact with burrs, but it obviously didn’t take much!

This is what she got out of my hair, with the comb for scale.

Then she was a sweetheart and braided my hair for me!

I’m hoping the winds will die down this evening, so I can start a burn. Maybe not the burn barrel, but at least in the fire pit, where I’ve been dumping the invasive vines I’ve been pulling up.

We have yet to light the fire pit this year, either. Too hot, too dry and too windy.

What a summer it’s been, so far!

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “Clean up: old wood pile, progress

  1. Pingback: Clean up: old wood pile, today’s progress | The Re-Farmer

  2. Pingback: Comparisons | The Re-Farmer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s