Monday, February 28, 2011

Progress and potential.

Now that the snow is gone, and the ground is thawed we are able to start making some progress on our land again. Kenan has been busy clearing and cutting up all of the scrap wood from the area we had cleared this past fall.

He still has a lot of work to do here, but it is finally beginning to look opened up and i'm really starting to see it's potential. Over the winter, i looked out the window and saw a depressing area of downed trees, and scrubby mess. Now when i look out i am beginning to see some open space. i can envision goats grazing in a pasture. i can see a large area perfect for another garden. i can see where we could plant a small orchard. i can see so much potential for this area, and it's finally begining to feel like we made the right decision in cutting the trees.

There were many small trees that were felled, but not big enough to sell. Kenan has been cutting and hauling these, and we will be totally set on firewood to heat our home next winter and possible even the year after. This is just the start of it, he still has a ton of wood to cut, move and stack.

This past week we have had gorgeous spring like weather, and have begun to burn a lot of the pine scrub and wood that isn't good for burning in the woodstove. We have all have spring fever, and have been enjoying late night bonfires and veggie dogs roasts.

We've began planting clover for the goat pasture. Little bits of green beginning to sprout, a sure sign that spring in near.

Ever since i first visited Loblolly Park at the Museum of Life and Science in NC about 4 1/2 years ago, i have dreamed of creating an natural/musical play place for my kids. It is one of the coolest parks i have ever been too. They have a large wooden play structure, a giant sandbox, water play and musical/banging walls made with recycled materials. Old pots and pans, hub caps, old windchimes...anything that is good to bang on and can make noise.

This past fall Kenan began work on a play fort for the kids. It doesn't look like much yet, but as soon as he started it, my head exploded with ideas. The bottom section will be turned into a sandbox, and partially closed in. One of the wall will be a chalkboard wall, and one will have a door and a service window for pretending it's a restaurant or market or whatever. There will be a banging wall, two levels of re-purposed hanging things the kids can bang on to make music. The south facing wall will be made of trellis, and we'll build a garden box in front of it. Where the kids can plant sunflowers, peas, beans and climbing plants that will grow up the side of the structure.

i really wanted to create a natural playscape, even though we are surround by woods which truly is nature's playground. When Kenan cut these huge slabs from a fallen pine tree i immediately claimed them for our play area. i want to create an enclosed 'safe' space, and will use these to border one side of the area. They are perfect for jumping across, balancing on, using as seats and tables.

While playing outside my boy created this natural Teeter-totter. He has been learning about simple machines, and was quick to point out that this was a basic lever. :)

This is the natural play fort we made last year. Now that the area around it is opened up a bit, we can create a path connecting it to our play area. This picture is from last year, but it is still standing and and is even more filled in with sticks and branches now. It also has much more sun exposure, so we can attempt to grow some climbing flowers around it.

This is obviously an old picture, i think Sage was just a year old here. It was the best picture i could find of them though. i created these toadstool about 5 years ago, when Sequoia was only 3 or 4 i think. They are made from metal and wooden bowls i found at the thrift store. i need to re-paint them and replace the logs on some of them and then i'll create a fairy circle with them around the play area.
So right now it doesn't look like much...infact, if you were drive past my house, it just looks like a rather big mess...but it is a slow progression, and i can see the potential in all of it. It is going to be amazing one day, it really is.

This has turned into a rather long post. :) i'm just finally beginning to feel a bit excited about it all, rather than the frustration i felt most of the winter. So i wanted to share in my ideas and dreams about this bit of space. i will post updates as things begin to move forward again.

***Quick reminder The Old Gates Farm giveaway is ending on the 29th! Make sure and get your entries in and show your support for this wonderful WAHM!


  1. Tree you have so many fantastic ideas.All making me long for Spring.Definitely think the mushrooms are on the agenda.Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great post! A lot of potential and things look awesome! :) I can't wait to keep up with the progress :) I am in Maine so the idea of a THAW is really really what I needed today. THANKS! :) XOXOXO --Kim

  3. What a fantastic play space this is going to be! I love the teepee, your children are so lucky to have such a rich outdoor environment to play in. I can't wait to watch it progress.