Sunday, April 3

Drainage Problems in the New Field

It has been a busy past few weeks here and we have been working hard to get things ready for spring. Our fruit trees have shipped and they will be arriving this coming Monday even though the weather is not cooperating in the slightest. The past two days have brought an unexpected snowfall to our area leaving 4 inches of snow, ice and gusty winds with chilly temps. 

This past week has been productive with outdoor tasks. The kids were on spring break so they were 'helping' as best as they could. They each have their own little garden this year and we planted the peas in both their gardens and my own. With the purchase of the new property, we have inherited a lot of clean up work but with the previous owner still using the barns for storage until August per the agreement, I am concentrating on getting everything squared away on our original two acres first. 

We have full access to the acres, just not the buildings. As the summer progresses, I will gradually begin the work of cleaning up, planting, transplanting, landscaping, building, etc that will probably take up most of the summer months. At while point the buildings will be empty and we can get to work on them.

The snow came on Saturday evening so the entire day was spent using our rented backhoe to dig the very long drainage trench in one of the new fields. Last year we planted 60 chestnut trees in three rows in this field. They appear to have made it though the winter for the most part but we are waiting to see buds before we count how many survived. This particular field has a substantial drainage problem which we were not fully aware of when we planted here. We knew that we might have to put in some drainage to the creek but it was a little worse than we anticipated.

We decided to trench 3 to 6 feet down for about 300 feet, starting at the creek and working to the west end of the field. The plan is to lay gravel, weed barrier, the drainage pipe, more gravel and then fill the trench back in with the soil. This should allow the water to travel down the pipe to the creek and make the field much drier. 

The trench was finished about 5 minutes before the snow started flying on Saturday.

Now we are sitting on 4 inches of snow and miserable working conditions with over three dump trucks of gravel arriving Monday morning. Working to get all that into the trench is this weather is going to require time, energy and a lot of patience. But with the trees coming on Monday also, I want the drainage project completed within the week so I have time to unwrap the trees inspect the roots and get them potted up if need be. I don't want to plant them in this weather but leaving them in the barn without any sort of protection is just not going to work.

I keep telling myself "one project at a time....." but mother nature and the nursery delivery schedule have other ideas. 

This week - trenches, trees and hopefully baby chicks!

I knew that my newly blossomed daffodils would not survive the snow so I snipped them all and gave them a
prime spot in the kitchen window.

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