When we moved the chickens to the back of the property a couple of years ago, we kept the old chicken yard in the front pasture. I had visions of maybe putting a goat out there someday. A nice little barn, a barnyard with a secure fence, netting overhead … what’s not to like?
What’s not to like is that this part of Tennessee is apparently ideal for growing jungles. When I had time, I kept the jungle at bay. Heck, I even tilled the ground inside that chicken yard last year (picture below) and planted some tiger nuts, which have the reputation of being so prolific, they take over an area.
The area was indeed taken over, but not by tiger nuts. The chicken yard became home to a huge variety of tough plants, along with bees, wasps, and countless other insects. Any time I got near the yard, I heard a cacophony of chirping, buzzing, trilling and rattling. We had such a complicated ecosystem thriving in there, I’m surprised the EPA didn’t stop by to tell me I could never touch it.
Since I didn’t relish the idea of having to periodically get in there under the nets and whack down the jungle, I decided it was time for a long conversation with Chareva to discuss the future of the chicken yard. The conversation went like this:
“Are we ever going to use that front chicken yard for anything again?”
“So can we just get rid of it?”
Just get rid of it sounds easy. Of course, there was rather a lot of work involved.
First, I had to remove the fencing. I snipped away the aluminum ties that clipped the fencing to the t-posts, then yanked and yanked to no avail. The weeds had become intertwined with the fence all along the base, and it was like trying to pull up a tree.
After reciting some ancient curses known only to farmers, I had an inspiration. I looped a chain through the fence and attached the other end to the back of my car. Then I drove sloooowly away from the chicken yard. Sure enough, that ripped the fencing out of the ground. It also left behind some impressive furrows.
The universe seems to have certain rules about which kinds of people are attracted to each other. A night person will usually marry a day person, for example. That’s the case in our marriage. Someone who wants to throw away everything not being used will marry someone who wants to save everything. That’s also the case in our marriage.
I would have chucked the fencing since much of it had gotten torn, but Chareva spotted long sections that were intact. We had a long conversation to determine the future of the fencing. The conversation went like this:
“That’s good, strong fencing. We can’t just throw it all away. That would be a waste.”
So we unrolled it all in the pasture and removed the weeds, then she cut away long sections to save. Then we rolled those up again and stored them in the barn.
With the fencing out of the way, I was able to remove the t-posts. I like cranking away on the t-post remover because it’s good exercise. There’s also very little chance I’ll whack myself in the head with a heavy chunk of steel.
I don’t mean to sound like an advertisement for the Swisher Predator (a.k.a. The Beast), but man, that thing was a real find. The picture below should give you an idea of how thick and tall the jungle was in front of the barn.
Here’s the same area after I pushed The Beast through there. It just kept chewing up the jungle and spitting it out.
That’s The Beast in the foreground below. The jungle is officially whacked, and the chicken yard is gone. I’ll till the ground one more time, then we’ll toss some grass seeds in there.
I sent the picture above to Jimmy Moore to make his day. During our disc-golf tournaments, he’s had quite a few shots drift into the nets that covered the chicken yard. Now all he has to worry about is hitting the barn — which he assures me he’ll do.