Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cleaning out the Chicken Pen, Part Deux

The chicken pen has been completely weeded and cleaned out!

Tori spent the better part of a day-and-a-half tearing everything out of there, and has turned it back into a usable space.

Keep in mind that this was virtually impenetrable "thicket," just two days ago. That was a LOT of work.

She is very enthusiastic about "growing things" and really wanted to "take back" this space and make it useful. And the fact that it is completely fenced in will keep any kind of critters (deer, raccoons, etc.) from getting in and nibbling on whatever is growing there.

Personally, Sarah and I are both thrilled about the progress we're seeing outside, as we both have pretty busy schedules that have kept us from doing anywhere near as much yardwork as we are really wanting to. And with Tori tearing into it, we're also feeling more inspired to join in-- it's a "win-win," all around.

Of course, there is a "looming thicket" still overhanging the space and preventing much sunlight from reaching the growing space.

It starts as a 6-7 foot tall barrier of stinging nettles by the compost bin, runs behind the shed, and runs as a 6-foot wide strip of "thorny wilderness" from there to Walt's property line.

It's basically a "wasted space" held in place by a retaining wall, where the soil us super poor and rocky (I think it was filled in with "fill" from excavating for the house foundation), but that has not stopped a number of blackberries from taking over and mixing with the nettles and well as what I think may be wild salmonberries.

At one point, I had this cleared out enough to build the fencing for the chicken pen, but it took only a year for it to completely grow over again. In order for Tori's project to move forward, there's no doubt this mess has to be cleaned up again-- especially if we want to get sun into the former chicken pen area.

I have no idea how much work it is going to be, and I don't look forward to tackling all those nettles and thorny things, but it just has to be done.

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