This past weekend we enjoyed a nice visit with Jennifer's parents and benefited from two extra pairs of hands! We've cleaned up most areas of the property but had one last major area to clean up near our green barn. Prior residents pulled a trailer onto this property at some time in the past and left the walls laying on the ground. A neighbor scraps metal for us and he removed all the metal from this trailer this past week. That left us with lots of plastic, insulation and wood to clean up. Here's Jennifer's mom, Linda, raking up the last bits of trash.
After trash removal comes seeding! Jennifer and Linda broadcast wildflower and prairie grass seed:
Raking those seeds in!
Inside the green barn Steve and Kurt, Jennifer's father, removed loads and loads and loads of extra topsoil. We spread the soil outside the barn and raked the trash out.
You can see what the extra soil did to the barn wall:
Rot is not good, but now it's exposed and Steve can install a new sill plate and brace the wall. We may play with some alternative construction on this building. Think cordwood!
Look how great the even laid soil looks! We forgot to take pictures, but as Steve leveled out this soil on the north side of the barn, he unearthed at least 5 bumblebees. Bumblebee queens are the only bumblebees that overwinter (in the soil as we discovered) so killing bumblebees early in the season before they have time to reproduce can wipe out an entire colony. That's VERY BAD for not only the bumblebees but plants that depend on them for their pollinating services. Bumblebees are able to "buzz pollinate" tomato blossoms providing us with many more, larger tomatoes. So we want those bees to live! The queens were uninjured so we picked them up and moved them to an area under a log and tussocks of grass. We watched them slowly crawl down to the earth and begin to dig their way in. We saw no sign of them later so our fingers are crossed these gals survive. We never underestimate the impact every action we make has on other living creatures. It's pretty humbling.
Steve seeded this area with native wildflower seed too.
The green barn is far from finished but we were able to move the mower down to this space and clear it out of Steve's shop.
Here's a view of the rot from the inside.
Breaks are necessary...here's everyone enjoying our last large burn pile.
No more trash. No more trailer. Just nature. Nice.