Clearing Land the Old-Fashioned way

Clearing Property with gusto and making progress

Carole has found her happy place and after the last couple of weekends I’m finding Quail Grove is the area that 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

I haven’t heard a single quail in the distance but that will change once we live here.  I hope to begin raising quail again in the spring of 2018.

The driveway is officially cleared to the creek which means we should be able to have gravel dumped soon; 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 a new entrance 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 it 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!!
  • Rope
  • A Rake and Shovel
  • A lighter and a little gas.

This is our simple list of tools that helped clear a spot for our shed, home and driveway. We’re able to make quality progress with these tools.

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 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 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 real quick at the farm.

We 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 will be.  I’ll share more about that later!

This is where the shed will go and the entrance 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 the next couple of visits.  Also know that many posts have been set aside as we’ll using them to install fences.

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 Homestead project they can be found here.

Clearing the Land the Old Fashioned way and it works



  1. Cecilia says:

    It’s what we do too…chainsaw, burn, etc. I love the hard work. It just feels good at the end of the day to know you’ve worked hard with your hands and accomplished much.
    It’s looking good! Can’t wait to hear more of your plans.

    1. Carole says:

      Hard work is awesome and I agree it does feel good.

  2. Patti says:

    This is so exciting. You have me wanting more. Can’t wait to see what you do next!
    PS I like Quail Grove better too. 🙂

    1. Carole says:

      Yes I agree Quail Grove is perfect!

  3. Karen says:

    I love being able to watch this unfold right here on the blog. I hope you’ll keep the posts coming! You have such a beautiful piece of property.

    1. Carole says:

      Thanks Karen, I have to agree this is a neat piece of property. I do plan to share the entire process here on the blog. It’s going to be fun!

  4. I still have the scars from when we cleared our land. 🙂

    Our first property was so densely forested, I once got lost. Thank goodness the husband was nearby. All I could do was follow his voice out. It was embarrassing.

    1. Carole says:

      Well I haven’t been lost yet but scratches on my arms are apparent. They’re a reminder that I have the soul of a hard worker and I like that. Most of this land is wide open not to many trees. It use to be farm land which is also what were surrounded by. SO Sweet!

  5. Jane says:

    Quail Grove is Perfect! Can’t wait to see it all unfold…how exciting.

    1. Carole says:

      Yes like Quail Grove too – We’re headed out there again to do more clearing and I think we’re putting in fence posts too.

  6. Jemma says:

    I love the name of your property and you have shared with us so beautifully the tranquility and joy that you are deriving from being on your land.
    It’s an awesome thing, Carole.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you will be even better when I can order that first batch of 200 quail to occupy that preserve next door. I agree it’s an awesome thing feel so blessed. We made a lot of sacrifices to get here and I use to wonder if it was worth it and now I know that it was.

  7. Lisa says:

    I love the name you have chosen for your new abode.

    I am looking forward to reading about all your adventures along the way.


    1. Carole says:

      THank you this property is simply amazing – We’re both working like crazy but the peace it offers is very welcoming.

  8. j erickson says:


    1. Carole says:

      You should see it now just another week later – we have fence posts going in… It’s amazing and if the weather holds we head back out this weekend.

  9. Mrs. White says:

    This was so sweet to read. I know the work must be difficult, but it sounds so peaceful.

    1. Carole says:

      The work is amazing and when I return from my break I’ll be sharing an update on our progress. I love this entire process, peaceful yes but also very energizing. Thanks for stopping by to share.

  10. Lora says:

    I too, have been clearing my own property. I have an pole barn that goes way back to the early 1900’s. It’s very rewarding to know that you have worked your a### off and it eventually it pays off for you. I still have a long way to go but I do a little bit every day. I eventually want to make my barn into a home. I have made an old goat stall in to a porch and find it so relaxing to sit out there with a cup of coffee in the morning watching the many birds that come to my bird feeders. I can’t wait to see what else you do. It inspires me that much more.

    1. Carole says:

      Hey Lora – we were just out yesterday doing more clearing and I do love it because it the progress is inspiring. Working like crazy but loving every minute of it.

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