Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rain rain go away...

It has only been since we moved here that I learned that Travis can build things.
Not just build them well, but enjoys it! Obviously renting does not merit this type of thing.
Somehow I said Yes before learning this information.

We had some 2x4s that were the wrong kind of wood for testing stain on our beams just laying around and I had a new project idea!

This is not the project--this is just fun! Here are the 2x4s used for stain testing. Got a favorite?

We believe fully in the motto is "A project worth doing deserves a new tool" so we gained an awesome staple gun for this job. The proper kind where you press against the end the staple comes out.
A couple 2x4s and a metal screen about $15 in material is all we needed...

So now if the sun ever comes out enough for the puddles to go away I can be found in the below picture!

A dirt sifter! or rock harvester as it turns out.

It is almost meditative to shovel 5 loads of dirt on the the screen, set shovel to the right, grab rake from the left and sift the dirt thru the screen, harvesting the rocks, and repeat. Especially in the sun!

The first yard I sifted by myself. Took an hour or so. I only got 1/2 bucket full of rocks. I guess that area had been pre dug last year and we hand picked a lot of rocks out. I almost stopped using the screen at this point and felt really bad for making Travis build it.

But the 2nd day I had help and we filled all 3 buckets with rocks.
Moving another yard of soil. (2 down, 8ish to go!)
This dirt is no joke. Full of rocks and roots AND clay based and WET. Really a great workout.
It was perfect timing with one person shovelling dirt on screen, 2nd person sifting and removing rocks and as soon as wheel barrow was full, Travis dumped it here.

And proceeded to use it to level out the slope in our grass!

Below is where I randomly planted my Autumn Joy and some daffodils, not realizing at the time that they will have to be raised up. So they get to stay low until after the daffodils bloom.

The reason we are getting this done now is to get rid of as much anti veggie type soil as we can, and bring in some good dirt for planting!  Reusing our bad soil for grass growing and using the rocks to place around the base of the fence posts to keep the dirt off them,
Mowing will be alot easier when we are done

This area took more than a yard to make the slope as little as possible.
A yard is equal to 5-6 wheel barrows full.
The sifted clay soil reminds me of ground beef. Hope grass likes to grow in ground beef!

The saddest part of sifting process are the worms. Some of them I picked out and thru in the compost filled Pea bed and others found there way thru the screen. But without stopping every 2 seconds to pick out a worm, they kinda parted ways with being whole. Here is one below rejoicing at making it to greener pastures. It is over a foot long!

It has been raining for 2 days now. We should host some mud wrestling! This is the hole we created so far and we still have this much more to do at least before we start bringing in the dirt. As you can see, clay does not offer much in the way of drainage. Good riddance!

While it is raining the old man will NOT be snoring. 
(I'm sure Travis approves that I haven't added yet another caught sleeping picture again so soon)
 I will finish up priming the cupboards and Travis will be working on phase 3.5 of the beams!


  1. We made a sifter to sift out rocks too when we broke ground for our garden. We pulled out buckets and buckets of rocks and if it wasn't for the sifter the job would be way more tedious! Great job!

  2. A rock sifter is truly a wonderful thing. Yours is a really, nice big one compared to the teeny thing we built. They sure do work well to get the rocks out. I am amazed at how green things are in your garden already; we're still staring at 3' tall snowbanks. We had a load of top soil delivered three years ago (some friends gave it to us as they had too it possible to have too much soil??) and it looked fantastic when it arrived, all nice and black and sifted, but once it rained, it turned into clay clods that were AWFUL. Since we have almost pure sand here in places, I was traumatized, what to do with this sticky goo? I've been amending, but it's still sticky and nasty...I'll never accept free dirt again without making certain it's not clay in disguise.


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