Friday, October 23, 2020

A Whole Lotta Free Pavers

 In the beginning of August we had to stop work on clearing the new land to go and pick up a whole lot of free pavers.  Of course it was 90 degrees and they needed to be gone ASAP.  

It took us 3 days of working in 90 degree temperatures and sometime rainy weather to get them all removed from where they were located.  It then took us another three days to empty two trailers and two pickup trucks full of pavers.
Roger loaded up the bucket on the tractor with the pavers and then carefully dumped them on the ground behind the barn.  Then I would stack them on pallets.  We already had a small pallet of this style of pavers but with the added pavers we can do a much larger project.  More about the project in the next post.
There were several styles of pavers.  First there were the whole pavers like in the photo above.  Then there were factory half pavers that were basically a whole paver cut lengthwise.  Then there were miscellaneous cut pavers and retaining wall pieces.  Each style went on a separate pallet.
Laying down the first layer is important because you have to make sure to span the open area between the boards so that the paver doesn't fall through.  Then each layer after that is rotated 180 degrees so that you don't form tall towers of pavers that could loosen and fall away.  This way it is all held into place by the layer below and above. 
By this time, my fingers were hurting and because I do not wear gloves, except when working with sheet metal,  I found my hands were getting smooth callouses on my fingers and I also think my finger prints were ground away.
When all was said and done we have 3 large pallets of whole pavers,  one smaller pallet of half pavers and pieces, and a small pallet of retaining wall pieces.  We also have between 30 and 40 16X16 patio slabs and 30 10X16 grey concrete slabs that we plan to use to make a path through a large hosta bed planned for an area of dense trees.  

I was so happy when I laid that last paver.  When I injured my wrist last year when my flip flop fell apart and I fell on my hand, I ended up with several crooked fingers.  I am pleased to say after picking up and laying down over 2400 pavers that my fingers are now straight.  My fingernails look horrible but the fingers are straight.

The next post will be about what we are going to do with these pavers.  So until then remember to...

Reuse Repurpose Recycle

Friday, October 2, 2020

We Purchased the Empty Lot

 I am so sorry for not posting during the summer but I have a good excuse.  We were finally able to buy the empty lot next to our house.  Finally!!!  Now we can plant trees and veggies that we couldn't plant before due to the huge black walnut trees.

Before I talk about the lot I want to take this time to wish everyone a healthy remaining 2020.  I have had very little contact with people other than family since the news broke about the virus and it looks like that will continue until the end of the year and into 2021.  It is a trying time for everyone. 

Back in March, Roger came home and said he ran into the guy who owned the lot next to our house and that he might want to sell it.  Roger told him that we wanted it and to let us know if and when he makes up his mind.  Several weeks later we agreed on a price and by mid June we signed the papers.

We actually started mowing the long grass and picking up the large broken tree limbs about a month before we signed the papers because when the weather warmed up the grass would start to grow and I wouldn't be able to see debris as I mowed.

About half of the lot was so dense with trees and huge broken  willow limbs that it was impossible to see through this thick mess.  We knew that there was a very large willow tree in the center of the twisted saplings and broken limbs all held together by wild grape vines but we were shocked when we finally cleared away everything and were able to get a good look at it.

Once the tree was revealed we were shocked at it's hugeness.  Over 20 feet in circumference!! The ice storm from a decade ago broke off a lot of limbs that are laying across other limbs that are still attached.  We are going to hire the same tree trimmers that we have used before, to take out the dead limbs and to tidy up where the limbs originally broke off.  

We are still cleaning up the lot which is one acre in size.  There is one small stand of buckthorn that needs to be cut down but we will leave that until the end because it blocks the burner barrel and allows us to burn even if there is a breeze.  We have a lot of trees that are 2 to 3 inches in diameter that need to go through the shredder and a lot of smaller stuff that needs to be burned.

It has rained the last 2 or 3 days so once the tree debris dries out we will start to burn again.  In the mean time, we have a pile of dirt that needs removing but there are plenty of deep holes in the yard that need filling and then there is the old broken down foundation from a long ago small greenhouse.  The foundation is in a very low area and we will just fill in that entire area.

Our plan is to use a rear tine tiller attachment for our 'new to us' Kubota tractor, to go over the entire lot with the intent on seeding in the spring.  Then during the winter we will work on removing dead limbs from the two 100 year old apple trees.  These apple trees were buried in vegetation and blocked from any direct sunlight.  Because of this they are in distress but we are hoping that we can save them.

Follow Gear Acres on Instagram for a quick daily update.

Reuse Repurpose Recycle