On our to-do list sometime this summer; order a couple dump truck loads of mulch and spread it around the Looney Bin, a real mud pit with all the spring rains. But, at $150 per load we wanted to wait until we knew what were doing what our new milk house/barn. Mulch would come after we knew what expenses would be needed for that bigger project, which is still up in the air right now. More on that in a couple days.
In the meantime, on the way home Tuesday from--heck if I can remember-- we saw some tree trimmers working near us. They were cutting down the tree limbs that get too close to the power lines. Connected to their truck was a large wood chipper, so they can clean up their debris as they go. Keith asked them what they do with the wood mulch and they were quite happy to leave a huge hill of the stuff at our place for NO CHARGE.
A couple hours later they did just that and we rewarded them with several pounds of our grass fed beef. We're hoping they'll bring us more mulch the next time they're in the neighborhood. Now if we can only find a source for free gravel...
With rain coming again today, we got very busy yesterday and managed to redistribute our mulch wealth over a couple of hours of time. Keith would fill the tractor bucket with mulch and then dump it into our two wheelbarrows (his is the manly rust covered thing, mine is the wussy women's model).
before spreading though, we had to move the bales of straw we used to add extra insulation around the outside. The spring rains had made them very wet and heavy so Keith used our best dolly. We'' use the partially decomposing straw in our gardens, to mulch those beds. Some of the wet hay was used as a border to keep the new mulch from sliding down the slope leading away from our Looney Bin foundation.
Keep in mind, the free mulch is not like the colored and neatly chopped stuff you buy in bags at Menards or your local gas station. Instead this mulch comes from a variety of tree species so it's quite coarse and of varying colors, but it smelled fantastic. All woodsy you know.
We had enough to completely cover the south side of the looney Bin, the path to our outdoor seating area and to make another wide path extending from the end of our sidewalk towards our car park area.
Since spreading it I have evened up the edges of the walkway somewhat, but this farm is far from manicured in its looks to begin with. Most of what we do here is for the pure functionality of it. (That's my rationalization and I'm sticking to it!)
Later, after Keith left for work, I continued on the tractor and got even more of the wide pathway completed. You''ll note by the deep tractor bucket "skid marks" that I am not near-no way, no how-as talented as my husband when it comes to using that hulking bucket. It goes up when I think I moving it down and it dumps everything out when I swear I'm moving all the right levels to make it scoop up things.
Still, we made a mighty dent in the mulch pile. Thanks again tree trimming guys!