Clearing for Sun

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Clearing for Sun

Postby matt walker » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:15 pm

Well, I've not been posting as much about my place or projects lately, and I apologize for that. I've been crazy busy with projects around the place and with work, but I took some pictures yesterday to show you guys how I've been spending my free time these last few weeks. I've been constantly clearing to the south of the house since I moved in, but in the last few years I've finally gotten ruthless about it. I used to think I should leave the trees and take them as I could use them, but I learned that I was just sacrificing hours of sunlight in the early and late seasons by not getting them down. Last winter you may recall I took down quite a few trees, and worked on cleaning them up and processing them for firewood all summer.

Well, I did it again, and the more trees I take down the more I realize I have been living in the shade here for a long time. I still have some more to go, but man, it's so much work once they are down! I've got about a cord processed in the last week or so, and another cord bucked and in a shed waiting to be split. There are still 20 trees or so up on the hill, and everyday I use my truck to drag a few down, limb 'em, buck 'em, split 'em, stack 'em, burn the branches that are too small to keep. It's just a ton of work, but it's making a difference already. It was 60°F in the greenhouse yesterday and I've got greens and onions growing in there and they are doing great!

I'm also preparing for something really exciting by doing this. I worked about 40 hours over the last few weeks for a friend, wiring a new electrical system in his 5 ton military 6x6 so he can use it as an RV. He runs an excavation business, and has a whole lot of equipment, and needs a whole lot more wiring on all of his machines. I'm doing all the work for him in trade, so I've got at least a few day's worth of excavator work coming to me this spring once the heavy rains slow down. I'm so excited! So, part of the clearing is collecting cedar and fir poles for building. I'm going to have him create some water features for sure, ponds, swales, sun mounds, etc, and also level the building site I've been dreaming of on top of my hill. I'm thinking I'll have him help me set up some poles with the machine so I can get a roof up, and then I can start cobbing and putting in windows and make a little studio up there. It's a long term project, but I'm getting excited about it. I've been spending my evenings drawing water features and plans for a little studio. Fun!

Here's some pics....

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This one is looking up at what I've cleared, you can see where the studio will go up there on top of my little hill, where you can see the hint of a wood stack up there on the nose....

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And here's the view from up there looking down at the place. In the background there is the water, the San Juans, Mt. Baker and so on, although you can only see white clouds over the Strait in this shot...

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matt walker
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Re: Clearing for Sun

Postby TruGrit » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:02 pm

... good work Matt, place looks great! .. I'll have to get some firewood up next Spring as I burned up my whole stash this Winter in the steel beast .. can't wait to get started on my RMH ..
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Re: Clearing for Sun

Postby matt walker » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:34 am

Thanks Tru, I'm really putting in some time on the place lately. Your posts are pretty inspiring, to be honest. You've got a whole lot of work to do and your enthusiasm about all of it is contagious, for sure. I just went out and split and stacked the last of that tree that is bucked in the picture above, time to drag the next one down. I'm up almost a cord and half now, hopefully I'll keep up this rate and have two years' worth in the stacks before burn season starts next fall. I'm on track to burn about 4 cords this year, maybe a little more. I really want to get a couple years ahead, but man, it's just a ton of work.

So, part of the clearing thing is to get more sun to the greenhouse. Today I hung a new wall for the greenhouse that will expand it another 8'x12'. Now I just need to take out some old sliding glass doors from my rear entry on the house, for which I have already salvaged replacement doors. Once I tackle that project, which is kinda big; reframing two entries where there was one big slider, then I can put those sliders on the new section of greenhouse and I'll have that much more space. I'm really excited, it was like 60°F in there again today. I'm going to go start some more stuff in there shortly here.
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Re: Clearing for Sun

Postby matt walker » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:21 pm

I had to come back to this thread since I just yesterday got the rest of these down trees bucked, split, and off the hill. I still need to stack it today, but geeeez man, took me long enough. I'm pleased though, it means i can take down some more and get some more light. I'm watching carefully as the season progresses and noting which trees are blocking what. Time for some more clearing.
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