Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

Picking Up More Sticks

Well, it turns out when you have any part of your property logged you wind up with sticks everywhere.  When you knock over a tree with a dozer the same thing happens.  You wind up with sticks everywhere.  Big sticks.  Little sticks.  Sticks that seem never ending.  This is not exactly award worthy information, I know.  But for us, that knowledge seemed to make itself evident everywhere!  We couldn’t get away from the sticks that seemed to multiply.

We picked up sticks in our spare time.  For hours.  Days.  Weeks.  Months.  Years even.  Ok, not all at once, but over time my life is being chipped away by picking up sticks!!  It’s been over a year and a half and we are still picking up sticks out there!!  How long does it take a stick to rot??  Too long!!!

We have been picking up sticks and throwing them into the back of the old Chevy truck and then driving them to a burn pile and unloading them.  That process actually means we have to have to pick up the sticks twice.  Once to get them into the truck and once to get them out of the truck.  I made the mistake of mentioning that a dump truck would be nice.  Big mistake!  Jim started looking at dump trucks for sale.  Back to reality please, Jim!

Anyway, putting the sticks into the truck, driving them to the brush pile and unloading them seemed to be the simplest solution to me.  The kids and I used this foolish method for over a year while Jim was working on the dozer creating more sticks for us to pick up.  He never mentioned that he thought there was a better way.  He kept that tiny little nugget of wisdom to himself all that time!  Yes, he did!

When it was time for him to start helping pick up sticks he balked at our method.  Umm, ok, give me a better idea please dear!  Well, of course he had a better idea!  And he did not disappoint us either!  His brilliant idea was to pile up the sticks into small little piles to keep from walking ten thousand miles every afternoon.

This was Jim’s brilliant idea.  Honestly, I married a genius!  Cute little piles of sticks!  Who knew?!?!?

The kids loved piling the sticks up into little tepees.  Sometimes the kids would race around seeing how many piles they could make.  And they weren’t complaining!  I was LOVING his plan already!  Then he suggested setting the small piles on fire where they sat.  Ok, that’s where he lost me.  Having one burn pile is one thing, but having 20 or so small burn piles all burning at the same time did not seem wise to me.  However, I married Jim for his mind as much as his body, so why not give it a try???  His idea worked great actually!

We waited for an afternoon with no wind and Jim went around setting the small piles on fire.  My job was to watch the kiddos.  Maylin is a little too curious about fire so I had to keep up with her energy and curiosity.  The sticks were so dead and dried out that they burned down to nothing in less than half an hour!  They left behind piles of ash which we tried to spread out into the fields as best we could a few days later.

The cute little stick piles burned down to nothing and then we were able to spread the ash out over the field.  Great plan from my genius husband!

The leftover ashe was great.  It actually helped the grass grow beautifully.  If you look out across the fields you can actually see where most of the small piles were.  The grass in those areas is darker green and thicker than in other areas.

The Total Package!  I know I’ve shared this picture before, but it’s one of my favorites so it’s making yet another appearance.  

Yep, I married the total package.  Looks, personality and brains.  How did I ever get so lucky?  He’s definitely a keeper!  Sometimes I do wonder what other nifty ideas he has floating around in his cute head that he hasn’t shared with me yet…  Only time will tell…

P.S.- Back off ladies!!  He’s all MINE!!

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