Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Moving Debris At The Farm

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After several weeks of having to manhandle debris while cleaning up the homestead, we finally got some heavy equipment on location. The tractor we were able to get was a Mahindra 4530 4-wheel drive with a grapple, bucket and brush hog.

The main goals for this weekend include – get the brush piled up, clean out the hole that had been used as a trash dump and clear out various small brush.

Piling Up Brush

Mahindra 4530 4-wheel drive tractorA couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine, my son and I thinned out a bunch of small trees. Instead of pulling the trees to the burning pile like we did the day before, the trees were pulled into an opening so they could be pushed by a tractor.

While the loggers where cutting the timber, they left a rather large mess in a 2 acre field directly across from where the house is going.

Besides piling up the trees that had been thinned out a couple of weeks ago, the debris left by the loggers also need to be piled up. For one pile the operator of the Mahindra 4530 used the bucket to push the trees together. On the other pile, the bucket was replaced with a grapple. the trees were pushed, pulled, lifted,,, and whatever else it took to get the debris cleaned up.

The 4-wheel drive capability of the Mahindra 4530 tractor is what saved the day. Some of the tree trunks that had to bee moved would have stopped a 2-wheel drive tractor in its tracks. The grapple allowed the debris to be stacked, rather then just pushed together.

Mahindra 4530 tractor piling debrisNow its just a matter of the wood drying so it will burn.

However, if we wait too long to burn the piles of debris, its going to be May, June, July, August,, and 100 degrees outside.  Ask yourself,  do you want to be at a bonfire when the nighttime lows are 90 – 100 degrees?

I will probably give the piles a month or so to dry, then try to burn them as a cold front passes through.  We usually get rain with a cold front.  Drizzling rain will hopefully help the fire from spreading to the surrounding woods.  Maybe sometime in April some of my buddies and I can get together for a bonfire.

Trash Dump

First of all, let it be known that permission was not given for trash to be dumped in the washed out area behind the old barn.  This was going on back in the 1980s and early 1990s.  We finally put an end to the dumping, and now the trash as to be dealt with.

I arrived at the homestead around 8:00 am on the morning of February 8, 2013.  The first order of the day was to pick up some fencing nails that had spilled from a 5 gallon bucket the previous weekend.

From 8:00am to around 2:00pm I picked up 14 trash bags of garbage – cans, bottles, nails,, and so on.  With those 14 bags of trash I barely made a dent in the trash pile.

Shortly after 2pm the operator of the tractor showed up, and the serious work started.

Have you ever done something, and the more you did it the worse things looked?  That is how things worked with the trash dumped in the hole.  The more trash the tractor pulled out, the more trash appeared.  It was like a buffet bar of trash for the tractor to pull out.  Pull two tires out, and 3 more appeared buried in the dirt.

I was ashamed and disheartened by how much trash had been thrown in the hole.  The tractor pulled so much trash out, two rows had to be setup.  We finally had to stop pulling stuff out as the debris got too small for the grapple, and the slope of the hill was getting rather steep.

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Now that a good portion of the trash has been moved from the hole to flat ground, we can work on the pile to separate the trash.

Bottles, cans and other trash will be sent to a local landfill.

Scrap metal will be sent to a local metal recycler.

I would like to recycle the glass and plastic bottles, but there is nobody who takes glass and plastic in my area.

Clearing Brush

Next to the old barn is a section of small trees that needed to be cleared out.  Instead of using a chainsaw or machete to clear the trees, the tractor ran its brush hog through the area.

What would have taken us an hour to clear, took the tractor maybe 15 minutes to do.

Why is this area important?  Its where the water well is going.  The only things left to be removed is an old shed maybe 8 feet square built on cross ties 30 years ago, and a sheet metal hog pen for piglets.  The hog pen has maybe a foot of pine straw in it.  I am hoping to shovel the pine straw out and build a compost pile with it in the back of the field.

Whats Next

Some of these may not be in exact order, but you get the general idea.

1.  Get a stump grinder on location

2.  After the stumps have been ground get some dirt hauled in

3.  Use tractor to level ground.

4. Sort through trash pile, dispose of trash properly.

5.  Cut trees so power lines can be ran to house location.

6.  Get water well drilled.

7.  Cut a few more trees out of chicken yard location.

8.  Fence in chicken yard.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock


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