Bill came back out and cleared the very back corner of the property that was going into a black oak forest. It looks good now and can be used for something good because it seems like it’s a micro-climate. There is a fair amount of elevation change. The rear of the property is the lowest. There is about ten acres of mature forest which should yield more than enough timber to build the house with. As soon as it gets cold I will cruise the timber and select the right trees for sawing. It will probably have to dry a few seasons first.
We think we’ve located the house site. There is a small pond above the large pond in the back. That little pond looks like it is situated perfectly to be extended to the south and east and west to maybe a half acre or so. That would make a nice pond to have the house facing and would put the house uphill a bit but it would still be a little bit downhill from the ridge that runs thru the middle of the property. Google Earth gives you a ton of information about the terrain that seems very accurate although the satellite image is out of date.
Bill took his tractor back and I have had to mow with the push mower. The ‘yard’ is really about three acres and it doesn’t take long to wear out behind the push in the heat. I started looking for John Deere mowers and Bill and I went and found one. The hood was busted up but that doesn’t affect the performance any. It has a 48” deck and mows and runs good. There are no Augusta National grounds keeper competitions out here, you mow for dear life. It’s not about what it looks like it’s about keeping the ticks at bay. When we arrived you couldn’t walk to the car without picking up some ticks. The dogs were covered in them too. Now we very rarely see them anymore, that’s good.
We’ve gotten in maybe a dozen chestnut trees that we germinated back in Atlanta. We also put in some persimmon trees that we got from the Virginia dept. of forestry that survived the journey. About three goji berries are going and one is producing already. We have two dwarf mulberries and two figs that are doing well. There is also a gooseberry. We just got comfrey in from Tennessee although it isn’t up yet. I had comfrey all over the place in Atlanta. It was basically alongside every single tree and then some. I feel naked without it. Plantain is everywhere here, both kinds Marshmallow is growing near the chicken house. I started juicing it a little bit. Dock is everywhere too we haven’t used it though. There are other herbs too but we don’t know exactly what they are yet. Poison ivy is everywhere too. I even got it on my feet. It’s been rough.
I’m slowly getting the lay of the land and it’s talking to me a little bit. But that is just getting going on paper. We aren’t going to do anything like swales until we are completely sure of getting it right. The back yard is plenty big enough to play around with for now. It’s really too big in and of itself to get a very good read on so far. We are planting trees just to get them established before it gets cold and just what we brought with us. I don’t really have a design yet but I know that they will be fine to the west of the gravel area. We won’t put anything in on the east or south that might shade that area since it will be in annual production, at least for now.