Clean up: spruce grove, west side

Today, we continued work cleaning up along the west side of the spruce grove, between the garlic beds and the old outhouse. We haven’t really done anything there since last year.

Here is how it looked before I started.

I could see some poplars in here that would make good upright support posts for the squash arch.

I broke out the little electric chain saw for this job, but only used it once. The rest was just too small, or had too many even smaller things growing around them, so I ended up doing most of the job with the loppers and the baby chain saw.

Here is how it looks now.

Yes, there are even spruces left in the spruce grove!

My goal was to clear enough to reach the apple tree (to the right of the spruce in the middle) and an old, rotten bench.

Yes, there is a bench in there. Can you see it? To the left of the spruce tree in the middle?

There had been cherry suckers growing on either side of the seat. I’ve left it for now, and will clean it out another time. We are finding the remains of benches and seats all over the place. As we work around the yard, we have often found ourselves wishing to have something to sit down on, and plan to put seating areas all over. It’s interesting to find that my parents had already done the same thing! Sadly, none have survived time and the elements.

The apple tree had a lot of things crowding around it – and a piece of tree stuck in its branches!

I cleared as much as I could to the apple tree. The next time I work around here, it’ll be with the chain saw, clearing away the fallen trees. At least for now, the apple tree is open and getting more light. When I dug my way to it last fall, to try it’s apples, I found it quite tasty, and we’re always happy to find a tree with apples that are actually edible! There are way too many that are not. :-/

Several trees were cleared out of this patch of flowers my mother planted, many many years ago. I’d found them while cleaning up the area behind the garden beds, but I don’t think I saw any of them bloom. Now that they have light, I look forward to seeing the flowers!

I also uncovered other flowers. Unfortunately, I had a hard time not stepping on them!

I think one of them might be tiger lilies, but I’m not sure.

I suspect we’ll have quite a few new blooms this summer, now that things are cleared up!

Much of what I took out were suckers of cherry trees, grown up around the remains of older, dead ones. Some were so old and rotted, I could pull them out with my hands.

The big branch on the top of the pile is the piece of tree I pulled out of the apple tree.

We really need to invest in a chipper.


My daughter did short work of cleaning up the poplars I set aside for building material. We not have more than enough larger, stronger ones to be our upright supports for the squash arch.

The smaller and thinner ones will also be used in various ways, including cross pieces and supports on the squash tunnel. My daughter added quite a bit more to this pile, then everything got moved to the stacks by the side of the house, closer to the garden. A nice shady place were we will be able to pre-assemble parts of the squash tunnel.

Temperatures were reaching 27C/81F by the time I headed inside, while my daughter finished the job. The winds were high, which at least made it feel cooler. As I type this, things are getting dark and and even windier. We’ve got severe thunderstorm warnings happening right now – with the potential for hail! Looking at the weather radar, it does look like the worst of it will pass us by, but…

I think it’s time to finish this and shut down the computer. Just in case!

The Re-Farmer

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