By Ivan Hawkes
February 18, 2019


Day 1 of excavations. A local bobcat and excavator operator, Neil, has come to move all the heavy things for us.

We wrecked the stairs outside my door and removed the concrete and bricks there. The piles of pavers, wood and assorted bricks from other projects were pushed over the bank and will begin their new life helping to retain the embankment. A decent section of the path was ripped out and two channels were dug for drainage.

The ground was smoothed out a bit and flattened a bit and then a few ton of topsoil dropped on top. All I have to do with that is to rake it and seed a new lawn.

Along the side of the house Neil tore out the corner garden and massive rocks that prevent me from cleaning the corner gutters. It blocks up constantly and needs to be cleared since we catch all our water from the roof.

A 900mm wide section along the side of the house was scrapped clean of the topsoil (lol!) and river rocks (mostly rock) that stopped it from ever growing decent grass. No more stepping on loose rocks in bare feet.

Then it was time for the main event.

Neil knocked over a bunch of old trees that weren’t adding value to the garden and moved them to a pile over the bank.

He then ripped two 900mm wide channels about 450mm deep, and a third one in between them at 600mm x 300mm. It took under 30 minutes for this, probably not even 20 minutes.

A quick trip to get some topsoil and then two of the trenches were filled in. We bought 11 tons of topsoil and probably need another 6 tons tomorrow to finish the job.

With that all in place we’ll move the bush turkey nests and mound it on top of the trenches (re-filled).

End result will be 3 deep wide channels filled with good draining soil and topped of with pure organic mulch and compost. I’ll mark out a spot for each tree based on it’s expected size, and then fence the area off to keep chickens and turkeys out. Hook up some irrigation, and voilĂ  - we have our first little fruit tree grove.

I already have two kaffir limes, a lemon, a lemonade, a mandarin, an orange, two banana trees (lady finger), two tamarillos, and a mystery tree. There’s comfrey, sage, and other small plants which can go in between as we see fit.

More photos to come tomorrow as day 2 gets under way.

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