For three years, I have worked pretty hard on that area. It began as a patch of brush, blackberry brambles and poison oak. The first year, I used a weed eater to clear it down. I dug, sprayed, and weed eated some more. I cleared away rock, half-rotten logs, and dug up more small stumps than I care to remember. I had no visions of what I was going to do with the area. I just knew that it could be nice some day. I asked my husband not to do anything over there. This was my patch. My challenge to see how far I could go with it.
Last year, it started out better than the year before. Hooray! Progress! I dug more, cut more, scraped with a shovel, pulled weeds and finally had it to where I could push a mower over most of it. There were fewer rocks and most of the sunken and rotted wood was gone. By early summer, I was ready to plant my trees. The soil isn't great, but I could dig out the holes, amend the soil I removed with compost, and figured the trees would be ok. Between the 2 rows of trees, I added a couple of blueberry bushes and some raspberry canes.
Since deciding that the trees needed to be moved, the plan is to turn the area into a very large berry patch. I went out today and raked and pulled out more rocks. I think I have gotten all the ones at the surface. I'm betting money that the rototiller will find plenty more. I dug up the last of the large roots that I knew of, and am only left with one log. It was very large, mostly buried, and very rotten. I am hoping that by burying it the rest of the way a couple years ago that it is rotten enough now to break up and remove or till into the soil.
There is a ranch just north of here that always gives away free composted horse manure. They even load it for you. I am going to get a load or two of that and add it when I till. Hopefully, this year will be the year that this area can really boom.
I also thought I would post progress pictures on the goats. They still look pretty skinny, but I think they are looking much better. Their coats look healthier, they're become less skittish and more friendly, and they have put on a little weight I think.