2 acre farm: Clearing the Way

2 acre farm

The experiences, trials, and lives on a small farm in rural Illinois.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Clearing the Way

It is that time of year when it seems like spring is coming too fast. Just a month ago it was as if it would never arrive and now I need produce for market in eight weeks. The pressure is on and I am going at it.
I have spent the last two days clearing a spot for a fresh garden. I have battled sumac trees and honey locust. Euonymus and blackberries abound but I think I have won. Fortunately for me I am blessed with a wonderful sandy loam and am able to pull one inch diameter saplings up by their roots as if they were mere weeds. I am certain though that some will come back to haunt me especially the blackberries and euonymus but I think I got the majority of the roots. I burned all the debris since most of it is invasive species and I dont need any of it surviving. A bit of flame weeding will finish off the euonymus and then it will be time to till it all under. Hopefully the ground thaws and dries before the rain comes so I can get it all rotting before I need to plant.
This garden is on the back side of what Aimee dubbed “Fox Hill”. There will be another on the front side/top also. The last picture is the front side and you can see the ‘pond’ down the hill to the left. The first two pictures show the area cleared on the backside. I will follow this up with some pictures of the progress once some seedlings are up and growing to put it all in perspective. Right now I think the pictures are a bit disorienting but thats what I am up to on the Two Acre Farm.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Gloria Hutson said...

Your place sounds like my place in Missouri. We have all of the invasive stuff you are talking about. The Poison Ivy and Honey Suckle vines are driving me nuts. Maybe I should do like you are doing and clear some stuff out and burn while it is still winter.

March 4, 2010 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live near Baldwin Illinois on a 3 acre farm, and am a struggling gardener. I grew up in northern Indiana where the dirt is like potting soil and it rained in August. My soil in Baldwin is clay, and the bugs are amazing and voracious. And the rain stops in July. I will be following you carefully for garden pointers!

March 5, 2010 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Nathan (2af) said...

Gloria - You know I forgot to mention the 'honey suckle bush' also. It grows in our little patch of woods we have all over. It is terribly invasive. The honeysuckle vine we have is the Japanese variety that is also invasive. The trees I refer to as sumac are actually Ailanthus but I can't pronounce that or remember its spelling. They look like sumacs but get much larger and make a papery seed that resembles an ash seed. Here is a site with great photos of invasive species with photos of common mistaken plants you might find useful. http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/pages/invasive-plants.htm#lonicera maackii

Anonymous - Follow away. I must say though that I have 'potting soil' like soil here where I am farming. As far as rain goes I mulch almost everything I can with leaves, straw, compost, or whatever. The key is mulch mulch mulch. Where I grew up we had nasty clay soil like your describing. You should read up about gypsum as a soil amendment and see if it sounds right for your situation. It is good for loosening up clay soils. Compost or manure of course is good at that also but gypsum is more long term.

March 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

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