Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We're Cutting Up Behind the Barn!

We actually started cutting up out in the woods yesterday!  Since the ground is still too dry to use the tractor's post-hole digger, we started another project to get this hill behind the house ready to fence in for pasture: creating a shade glade.

This giant pile of brush is the result of some hard labor yesterday.  You can see that the uphill part of the woods has more dark space between the trees.  That's the area we thinned out.
It looked like this when we started.  Herb sawed down all privet and any small pines and scrubby oak trees that were crowding the bigger trees.  I lopped off dead branches and smaller brush to clear out the undergrowth.  Then we piled the cut brush in the field.  Why did we do all this hard, sweaty work?  So our animals can be cool!  Have you ever walked by a wooded area in the summer and felt the cool air wafting out?  It beats the shade of a solitary tree any day!  That's what we're after. 
This was the result, a nice open area of shade for the animals.  In a few years, the existing trees will grow even taller and bushier, providing more shade, now that some of their competition is gone.  Our fence will run downhill along the left edge of the picture (where you see the darker, denser growth) and will cross over to the field just about where I'm standing to take the picture.  This will give a large area of access that we can divide in half if we make smaller rotational paddocks in the field.
Not wanting to leave piles of brush around, Herb piled some of it on the trailer (two loads like this so far) and hauled it up beside the barn.  (I exaggerated:  We're actually cutting up beside the barn, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.)
There Herb put his new toy to work.  Our DR chipper-shredder makes mincemeat out of this brush.  This large branch is as easy to chip as 1-2-3!

1)  Herb puts the large end into the hatch of the DR.
2)  He feeds it in gradually.
3)  And in less than 60 seconds it has turned into mulch!  (I know!  I checked the time on these photos.)

Some of the branches don't go in quite that easily, of course, but it's a learning process discovering which ones need to have side branches lopped or how to use bigger ones to push the leaves through.  It's an amazing tool that is making this job SO much easier.  Our animals may not appreciate the difference, but we sure do!

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