How to Clear Woods For Free without a Back Hoe

How to Clear Woods For Free without a Back Hoe

We cleared a hunk of land.  A huge hunk.  By hand.  For free.  Just DH and me.  With our bare hands.  Did I mention we did it by hand, just DH and me?

I think it was 3 acres, but DH says it’s less than 1/2 an acre.  It’s the biggest 1/2 acre of woods you’ve ever seen.  And it was filled with thousands of trees.  I’m telling you – it was some thick woods.

Before I get into the “how” to clear land by yourself, by hand, without a Backhoe, let me explain “why” we would want to.  We love trees.  We love woods.  We love hunting, hiking, 4-wheeler trails, and everything the woods give us.

We own 23 acres of (mostly) woods.  We have an acre clear where the house is.  We have another acre clear where the cows are.  Other than that, we have woods, woods and more woods.  This is persnickety if you want pasture, fields or gardens.  Gardens don’t do well in the middle of the woods,  I hear.

So, our choices were:

  1. Clear woods   or
  2. Move

I don’t plan to move between now and heaven, so we are clearing some woods.  We have a great friend with a Bobcat and a Backhoe who can clear woods in no time.  He also charges by the hour.  Since DH and I don’t charge ourselves for our wood clearing, it seemed like the thing to do.

pigpen 8

Here is the target.  As you can see, it is currently woods.  When I snapped this photo DH had already gone in with Larry (more on Larry in a minute) and taken down some trees…….  I always forget to take the “before” picture.  Anyone else?

The goal is to turn this area of woods into a garden.  I’m exhausted already!

Time to get Larry.

Who’s Larry?pigpen 9

This is Larry.  He came to the pawnshop with his name.  

DH got me my own chainsaw.  He taught me how to use it.  I can even start it without help…….. sometimes.

Have you ever used a chainsaw?  If not, you should…  There’s something that changes inside a person when they are handed a live chainsaw.  Something awesome.  pigpen 11

It’s so fun!  I LOVE busting up woods with my chainsaw.  Very exhilarating.
pigpen 12

When DH is using Larry I am always considering calling the fire department.  Honey,  Are you OK?pigpen 7

We sawed, we chopped, we stacked enough wood behind the barn to keep our house warm for the next 10 years.  All the rotten, prickly, or unusable brush we threw into a pile and burned.  pigspasture 2

This is what is left.  The weeds need to go. The roots need to go.  The grass needs to go.  The briers need to go.  The ground needs to be tilled.  The soil needs to be fertilized.

You could spend hours of time and hundreds of dollars…….

or you could……….pigpasture 4

Put pigs on it.  Weeds, roots, grass, briers – gone.

Ground tilled.  Soil fertilized.  All Done.

You’re Welcome.

We needed to relocate the pigs anyhow, so this was the perfect solution.

There were 3 problems with our old pig “pen.”

  1. It was great for 2-3 pigs; but now we have 8 pigs.  They needed more space.
  2. The old pigpen was upwind from our house.  This alone is a perfect, complete, no other reasons necessary to justify moving the pigs.  You NEVER want to be downwind from pigs.  EVER.  It’s no fun.
  3. Keeping pigs in our old pen won’t get our new garden spot any closer to being ready for plants.

So, the pigs needed to move.

pigpasture 3

The pigs think they have arrived at Disney Land.  They are having a big time.

The little, black pig is Zorro.  He loves it when I fill his water.  Hi Zorro!
pigpen 6

George’s favorite part of pig-wonderland is the hutch DH built for him.

hi george

Hi George!pigpasture 1

Here’s a picture of pig-wonderland.  It’s HUGE.  I can’t even get a picture of the whole thing.  They have so much space to play, root and wallow in.

Happy Pigs!

If you are gazing at the flimsy, temporary, orange construction fencing……… wondering how on earth something that weak could possibly hold in 8 pigs……..  wonder no more.


This little electric number is what is holding the piggies in.

pigpasture 13The yellow and black wires are what’s know as pain.  When the piggies (accidentally or otherwise) run into the wire it says in a not-so-gently way, “Get back Pig!”

I told DH it wouldn’t work.  I told him all my wittle piggies would be gone by Sunday.  I told him he was going to have to buy me 8 more pigs.

Guess what?

The pigs didn’t run away.  They are still in Pig-Wonderland.

Free advice for the day:  Listen to your husband.  He’s always right.  Darn it.

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