Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Poor Farm Update...CODE RED!




Really, who doesn't like to set a good cleansing fire even now and then ? I know I do, until I see one of my adult "kids" standing in the middle of a small fire burning the rubber on the bottom of his shoes. Then I am all "Put that fire out RIGHT NOW!!"

But hey. Life is full of risk isn't it?

Recently we organized a farm cleanup day at the new place, which is a really old place full of old inventory, classic junk and just plain garbage. If you are not familiar with our new farm we plan to move to in the fall just click on The Poor Farm tab above.



Our three able bodied sons (Thank you Colton, Jason and Kyle) and a willing sister of mine and her family (Thank You Teresa, John and Connor came to help). We had a plan. Pick up crap and sort it into their appropriate crap piles. But before we could even see the crap to sort, tall grass needed to be burned away.



Grass fires are very popular here in the Midwest, especially among the farmer types. Sometimes they even manage to keep them under control...sometimes. The thought process behind grass fires in the spring is to burn away old growth which will indeed stimulate new growth and in our case clears the land enough to actually SEE what it is we've been tripping over since we bought this land 8 months ago.


 
 
 
With specific areas identified for burning and barriers like the driveway, old concrete garage foundations identified for boundaries we began. The first  four areas went well. We burned and then stood at the edges, putting out the fire as it reached it's designated stop zones. The wind was nil, the day clear and warm. Perfect. After the fire was out we then entered the cooled off red zone and pulled up junk, glass, garbage, tires.

 
 
 
Wood pieces, sawed off trees (Kyle was in charge of the chainsaw massacre part of the operation) anything else burnable was piled into our pickup truck where it was unloaded by little sis and I TO BE BURNED AT A LATER DATE, since it was on the other side of the farm and we needed all manpower concentrated in one burn area at a time.

However, as we drove up to this distant future burn pile it was obviously on fire. Hmmm? I thought now who on God's Green and Black earth did that?! Oh well I figured my husband or older son Colton made the decision so Teresa and I just piled MORE wood on top and sure enough the tall grass around the edges of the pile took off. As we struggled with our rake and shovel to control these flames and of course cursing who set the fire in the first place, Colton arrives to help making snide remarks about the eejit who set this fire.

 
 

I concurred, thinking he realized his mistake. With the fire under control he and sister left me to maintain control. Unbeknown  to me he then went to Keith and mumbled something about "Why did mom start the wood bonfire? I thought we were waiting on that?" Later I came back to the group to complain to my husband about Colton setting the bonfire!

Eventually someone admitted a log that had been smoking and left lying on the side of the truck was loaded on the truck after it went out. Supposedly. Sister and I unloaded the non-smoking log (it's our story and we are sticking to it) which apparently caught fire all by itself, you know, spontaneously. So son forgave mother and mother forgave son and the rest of the loving family had fun mocking us both.



End result. A ton of work was accomplished, no one lost their shirt or shoes in the fires and there was even time for some target practice afterwards.

 
Today, two weeks after all the above photos were taken, our 3 sons, Keith and I set the place on fire again...but in newly untouched areas. The regions were had burned before had greened up very nicely and acted as fire barriers to the new areas aflame. We learned to work with the wind this time, used old sheets of scrap tin for more barriers and burned off at least another two acres.
 
We are getting good at this pyromania stuff.

11 comments:

  1. That sounds like a fun day for all. More family adventures and stories to tell. Good work. Coming off the land ive been involved in a few of those stories myself.

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    1. Lynda, it was fun. I am so grateful that all four of our grown kids live close enough to help out.

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  2. I've always liked that 'good servant, bad master' saying.

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  3. It's looking good! Not to mention 'under control'!

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    1. It's all an illusion (the under control thing) but glad you fell for it. :)

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  4. Glad that everything worked out well with the fire that started more quickly than expected.

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    1. hi Anne Marie! Nice to have you drop by again. You should know, while dealing with all that ash I was wondering how to make my own lye safely...has to be some lye calculator SOMEWHERE that can help me.

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    2. Donna would this be useful?
      http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html

      or this:
      http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/how-to-make-soap-from-ashes-zmaz72jfzfre.aspx#axzz2zfllGzJd

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  5. If in doubt, always blame 'spontaneous combustion'.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I tried that excuse. Several times.

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