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Before and After: What 20 Minutes Looks Like (6) – Back 40

Under those weeds are a compost pile, a couple stumps, some flagstone and a mulberry trunk.

Under those weeds are a compost pile, a couple stumps, some flagstone and a mulberry trunk.

My Uncle Sam was a dairy farmer and referred to the plot of land he tended that was past Black River as “the Back 40” probably because it was 40 acres. We have a Back 40 as well. Someday the north part will be an orchard and the south part, the area with structural shade from the barn, will be a worm ranch. But for the moment, it’s a mess. There’s a felled mulberry trunk that I haven’t chopped up, a pile of stone left over from the path put in by the previous owner and the huge cement block Experimental Compost we erected last fall when we we were offered a windfall of compostables. It’s overgrown and not terribly productive so I didn’t want to spend too long. The right tool for the job was the lawn mower.

After 20 minutes with a mower and a bit of hand weeding, the rustic contours of this area emerged.

After 20 minutes with a mower and a bit of hand weeding, the rustic contours of this area emerged.

After twenty minutes I was able to level most of these weeds. We’d mulched the area VERY heavily last fall with leaves we’d stolen from our neighbors’ yards. I got distracted weeding around our little outbuilding in an area that can’t bee seen from this photo but generally speaking, mission accomplished. I used the mown clippings as a mulch in the same area. Next time I mow the back 40, I probably won’t collect the clippings at all.

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