Monday, July 28, 2014

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Since day one of our noTTafarm Adventure, we've said that "someday" we'll be able to burn the big pile of brush and assorted junk at the bottom of the hill, east of the barn. The pile held much more than downed tree limbs. We could see tires, window frames, and a variety of rusty auto parts. Scott's research told him that a pond had been converted into a landfill in this spot probably more than 50 years ago. There was no telling who put what, where! An additional pile closer to the barn (and visible from the house) was growing larger with every weed pulled and branch trimmed. And so, with the upcoming wedding and our need for noTTafarm to look as lovely as possible, it was time for action.

Since our neighbors are beginning a construction project with our old friends from T. Hurt Construction, Scott contacted our former Project Manager, Darin, and arranged for the T. Hurt bobcat crew to pay a visit. Tuesday morning, July 22, the crew pushed the pile close to the barn down the hill to join the larger pile at the bottom. They did a bit of grading, too.
By the time I got home from work Tuesday, the east side of the barn was cleared of brush. Amazing how large of a space this is when you don't have to navigate around a giant pile of brush.
The pile in the foreground is the recently-relocated mess. I wondered if it would burn with all the dirt that came with it down the hill.
When Scott arrived home Tuesday, he hooked the harrow to the Ranger for a bit of fine tuning. We'll have to get this area seeded soon or risk a messy run-off problem should it decide to rain.
Fast forward to Saturday, July 26: we invited my brother Tim to noTTafarm for a day of manly activity. He was happy to join us in the 90-degree/90% humidity weather.
The first order of business was picking out any identifiable metal or other non-combustibles.
We found three or four large pieces of carpeting in a variety of colors.
Tires and metal were pulled out before the fire was lit. We'll recycle what we can and dispose of the rest.
The boys started a fire on the west side first. After it was burning well, Scott lit the east end of the big pile. I should also note that Scott did obtain a burn permit from the Irvington Fire Department so please, no need to call and complain to your local law enforcement.
 A view from the far east side of the area.
Since the Ranger was already out, Scott and Tim hooked the winch to a big branch lodged in a Chinese elm. The branch and its little friends were dragged down the hill to their final demise.
It didn't take too long for the smoldering fire to pretty much eliminate the smaller of the two piles.
By 3:30, we were filthy, smoky, and ready to quit. Tim considered driving home in his underwear due to his dirty clothes but quickly reconsidered.
Bonus!  Not only did we get to have a big fire day, we also had a short visit from our folks, Ray and Jolene! They were on their way to Chicago for a Soil and Water Conservation Society conference and stopped by to have lunch.
Great Job, Scott and Tim!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

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