Carole has found her happy place and after the last couple of weekends I’m finding Quail Grove is the area that comforts and inspires my soul. Robert and I have been cutting down trees with gusto; we’re clearing land the old-fashioned way. There’s no fancy bulldozer making its way through this property, just two hard working souls making room for a space we can call home.
The Driveway to Quail Grove
After spending a couple weekends clearing we decided Quail Grove was a better name than Quail Run. It just sounds inviting and each property will have a small grove of trees at the edge. I haven’t heard a single quail in the distance but that will change once we live here.
The driveway is officially cleared to the creek which means sometime in May we should be able to have gravel dumped; our space will be to the left of those cedar trees. So, I’ve been asked if we’re going to actually live in a Tiny House? I’ll address that later because I decided to do something more drastic that might surprise y’all.
Where to Begin and Why Burn
Our day begins early and we arrive at the property at sun up. In the very early stages of clearing where to begin was overwhelming because it takes me forever to wake up and comprehend what we’re doing. That’s right I’m not a morning person!! When we decided on the new road over winter things fell in place and I didn’t really need to be that awake to get moving and be productive….
Robert knew a system and tools were necessary to make progress so we started with the following. The chain saw might not be old-fashioned but in sure does speed up the process.
- One Chain Saw – we need another new one, any suggestions?
- Double sided ax – Robert is getting quite the work out!
- Two Machetes – I love these!!
- A Rake and Shovel
- A lighter and a little gas.
This is our simple list of tools that has helped clear a spot for our shed, home and driveway. We’re able to make quality progress where others might say this is impossible with the tools we’re using.
The rope is pulls out heavier trees by attaching to the 4 Runner and our Dixie dog is pretty sure that falling trees is a bad thing so she ventures off to the creek or hides in the car when the chain saw is running.
The key to clearing land and seeing progress the same day is to burn while we cut. We normally have 4 burn piles going at the same time which means we don’t have to drag branches as far; smaller burn piles are easier to contain. Burn piles are started the minute we arrive when the air is calm and we continue to fuel them with branches the entire day. When it comes time to leave we can see our accomplishments that day which is inspiring.
Burning Down Trees
Trees like Bois d’ arc are burned out because they ruin chain saws or any blade in a matter of minutes; this was something we learned at our first farm. We simply start a burn pile at the base and eventually the tree falls. Is this dangerous? Yes, it can be if you’re not paying attention and for that reason each step is carefully planned out. I wouldn’t recommend burning out trees unless you have experience doing this.
Beyond these burning trees is the creek and I’m really excited about this space because this is where my garden is going. I’ll share more about that later!
This is where the shed will go and the road is now behind those folding chairs. As you can see we’re deep into the property and all those stumps will be burned or cut out at our next couple of visits. Also know that many posts have been set aside as we’ll using them to install our fences. This property really has old-fashioned hearts at the base of each plan.
Finally, when it was time to leave Sunday I said to Robert, “We’re clearing land the old-fashioned way.” We just both kind of smiled. and imagined how others would feel about life if they worked like this? Life really expands your horizon when you get closer to the land but I also understand it’s not for everyone.
If you’ve missed previous posts on the Tiny House Homestead project they can be found here.