Clearing the Property – Part IV

Almost Done!

Since my last entry, we have had tree fallers working, chainsaws humming, fires burning and neighbours yelling. I have learned about burning bylaws, noise bylaws, and tree permits. With another hour of chainsawing, one more burn-day, some hand-sawing and raking, I will have my blank canvas! Here is how it looks right now (before and after)

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Last weekend was a burning weekend; that means with a permit I can burn a 3x3x3 ft fire on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week, between 7am and 7pm. I took Friday off work so I could begin burning as soon as the tree fallers were finished. What remained at the end of Saturday was very little brush and debris, but lots of wood to buck-up for firewood. So I had a friend come over Sunday with his chainsaw, so the two of us could get the work finished quickly.

My wife waited for me to pause to check my chain, and told me that the neighbour directly behind had been screaming at us to stop (because it is Sunday). Then she saw him drive off, and drive up and down our road looking for which house the noise was coming from. I pulled out my phone, found the bylaws and discovered that there is no “disturbing the peace and quiet” on Sundays; and any other day, for that matter, other than between 7am and 7pm.

I am bummed-out we didn’t finish, and a little angry we had to stop. The thing about chainsaw noise is, once it’s done, it’s done. In fact, because I am clearing the property, this is likely the last time I will ever use a chainsaw here. So, this neighbour could have put up with another half hour of two chainsaws working, instead of now listening to mine for an hour at some future date. If I was a mean person, I would use the chainsaw after work, but before 7pm every night this week to annoy him. But I am not mean, nor do I want to annoy my other neighbours, who have been nothing but supportive, so it looks like I’ll be waiting for the weekend again. I am now a weekend warrior!

I had previously wrote that I had no interest in burning; that chipping would result in beautiful compost and larger branches make excellent habitat for all the micro-fauna. But, the overwhelming tower of brush and the feeling that I would never get this yard cleared, resulted in the decision to “just get’r done!”

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There are benefits to burning though: Check out this family moment – our first backyard fire!

I am still in a panic mode to get seeds in the ground. It is now the second week of April, and in this climate, I should have well established summer crops (seedlings in a cold frame) and a fully-producing spring garden. Also, things like dent corn, grains, potatoes (all of the staples) should be planted by now, or within the month.

Furthermore, I have perennials to get in the ground. Do I build the boxes for blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus? Or put them off for the others? With plants like asparagus or fruit trees, the best time to plant was years ago.

The good news is that the yard is much flatter than I thought, and I will have no problem getting fill and a peat-based compost. Also I have been putting soil-based predator mites (stratiolaelaps scimitus) around the property, to give me a head start on pest control.  The best thing about this application, with the cleared property, is that I will basically eliminate all over-wintering spider mite, and start attacking gnats, flies and weevils. With an application of amblyseius fallacis near my neighbours hedge, I will create a multi-year defence from mites.

So, I am off to a good start. My baby boy is due one week today, so I will either have another property-clearing post by then, or you will just see baby pics on my instagram feed. In the meantime, enjoy the view!

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