Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Taming Terra Nova Gardens

A photo of Nebraska DaveProgress continues at Terra Nova Gardens.  I discovered by talking with a neighbor in the area that the tree that was cut down is actually a Mulberry tree and not a cotton wood.  The tree is now all cut into chunks.  Some need to be split before being stacked. 

I had time to stake out some of the garden beds and dig one before the snow began.  It ended up being only a light dusting and was gone by the next day.  It appears that this land has been the recipient of dumping for some years.  I have found many vine roots, rocks, chunks of concrete, carpet, and car parts.  That's just in the first 4 foot by 8 foot garden bed.  In another spot, I found a sizable chunk of concrete that will possibly need to be dug out and broken up.  There's many other assets to be recycled on the property such as old tires, big rocks, and four inch trees that could be used for rustic fence rails.

I truly feel like a land owner now.  My first tax assessment came in the mail yesterday.  I paid the whole $10.74 for the year.  Ah, yeah, I could have paid just the first half year of taxes but I thought, "I'll just be a big spender and pay the whole thing at once."Basement Seed Starting Station 

Finally all the parts for the seed starting station have been bought and assembly began.  With only a few interruptions from Bradley, the station was completed.  Now the timer will be plugged into wall socket where the extension cord is plugged.  I've heard there needs to be a little wind on the growing plants to make the stems strong instead of spindly and leggy so I will get a small clip on fan to provide the gentle wind.  The seed starting station is not too fancy, didn't cost much, is adjustable, and can easily be expanded.  The lighting is two 4-foot shop florescent lights with four sunlight bulbs.  I wanted a four bulb fixture but really $30 was a bit much so I bought two 2-bulb lights at $9 each.  It works just as good maybe better.  I'll put an old towel under the heat mat to help it work a little better.  These shelves are three foot in length.  I could have bought four foot shelves but it would have been a little tight to get to the furnace so I decided to purchase a six foot shelf and cut it in half, which was cheaper anyway, giving an extra foot for furnace maintenance.Lego Kreo Megatron Transformer 

Granny blessed Bradley with the most awesome Christmas present.  Well that's according to him anyway.  This is a Lego Kreo Megatron Transformer.  There's 346 parts with an instruction book of 105 steps to assemble the awesome Transformer.  The above picture is two hours into the construction at step number 25.  Below is five hours into the assembly with the completion of step 68.  Woo hoo over half finished.  I expect another 3 or 4 hours of pure grand pop and grandson bliss.  Well, actually it is kind of fun seeing his excitement as he assembles Megatron.  It's team work.  I find the parts and Bradley assembles them.  Actually he's pretty good at it.  He's much faster at assembling than old grand pop is at finding the parts.


Megatron Step 68

 

The weather is finally getting colder, well, for a couple days at least.  Back in the 40s by the weekend.  I should be able to do some more surface clearing at Terra Nova Gardens by next week.  Yesterday was a volunteer day at a local non profit organization.  Plugging some floor holes where water pipes used to go to the steam radiators before the hot air furnace retrofit happened was the task of the day.  Today is just a coast day.

Have a great day and I'll catch up with ya later.

 

nebraska dave
2/13/2012 5:48:52 AM

Allan, I feel your pain with cleanup. My latest treasure was a chunk of concrete right where my garden fence line was to go. It looks like many years ago a concrete truck just pulled up beside the road and cleaned out what was left in the truck. It was a slab about as big as a pickup truck box and maybe four inches thick in the middle. I know it was done many years ago because it was covered in vines as big as my thumb. It took a whole day with a shovel, pick axe, and a sledge hammer to bust up the concrete slab. It was a two Aleve and one hot shower later the soreness began to subside. Thanks for leaving a comment.


allan douglas
2/12/2012 4:13:05 AM

Hey big spender! I'm glad you could cover the whole tax bill and have it out of the way for a year. I understand the clean-up process only too well; I spent last summer cleaning creek banks that had been used as dumps. SHEESE what a mess! Good luck with that project.


nebraska dave
1/24/2012 3:28:21 PM

Cindy, Dumping seems to be a common thing when folks can get away with it. I'm determined to view the things I find on Terra Nova Gardens as positive things that can be recycled. I haven't found any dog doo yet but the land seems to be teeming with life. My biggest challenge will be to slow them down a bit and be able to save some garden produce for my consumption. I won't mind if they nibble a bit and leave some for me. I'm all for living in harmony as long as no one gets greedy. However, there's those pesky squirrels everywhere in the trees and you know how well you and I like squirrels in the garden. Hopefully a hedge and double fence will corral their free for all attitudes. Thank you so much for your advise on what kind of hedge to plant. Once I get it established, I expect it will continue on many years after I'm gone. Of course that isn't going to be for at least another 20 years. Bradley and I only work on the Legos project for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. He kind of loses interest after that long and I don't want it to become a drag for him. When we get the Megatron built and enjoy it for a time, we can tear it all apart and build the rescue bus which is the second thing that can be built with this kit. That should take us until summer. Then we will have to explore other options. I'd like to keep the building projects part of his brain active. Maybe it will develop into a career. Thanks for commenting and have a great day.


cindy murphy
1/24/2012 1:26:27 PM

Hi, Dave. We had the same problem as you when we first moved into our house....people, not knowing the ravine was actually part of our property and not public land, used it as a dumping ground. Nothing like the tires and concrete you're digging up though - this was dumping of a different sort; they used it as a place to take their dogs to "do their business", but didn't clean up after Fido and Rover. Not too much of a problem, you might say, but I gardened down there, and Shelby (Shannon wasn't born yet) played down there; not a pleasant experience to come up from the ravine with more than mud on our shoes. It didn't take long though, for people to realize it was private property (with some gentle reminders from us) - and I suspect people in Terra Nova's neighborhood will soon learn the same. Oh - and the Legos! Your description of the scene with Bradley reminds me exactly of one involving my young nephew and my brother a couple of Christmases ago. I'd check in on them throughout the day to see how the building was progressing....and to see if my brother had any hair left, or if he'd pulled it all out yet.


mary carton
1/24/2012 4:08:33 AM

I was 47 when I had the other knee replaced and had been needing it for a while. You will know when it's time for a replacement. Our landfill doesn't charge, you have to have proof that you are a resident of the county by taking your utility bill with you, but that still doesn't stop them from dumping. Going to be in the 60's all week. One of my daffs will be blooming soon.


nebraska dave
1/24/2012 3:57:09 AM

Mary, I always appreciate your comments. Here in my area it's a minimum of $15 to take anything to the landfill so folks try to find a convenient out of the way place to dump there stuff. All of the folks that I've talked with in the neighborhood thought it was city land and therefore a nice way to getting rid of all there junk. So I can kind of see their reasoning. There hasn't been anything thrown on the land since I have actively starting cleaning it up. I really believe that the neighbors are surprised that anyone would actually want such a worthless piece of land. It's going to be a long road to get it cleaned up and into production. We were blessed with about an inch of snow this morning when we woke up. That's really not an issue for this area of the midwest. By evening the roads were not only clear but totally dried up. Bradley was a little disappointed that it wasn't enough to go tobogganing but we still have to get through February before the snow is done. I know what you mean about a bad knee. My bad knee is getting worse and worse as the years go by. The knee doctor says to stay away from him as long as I can. It's beyond repair. When I can't do the things that I want to do, then the Doc says to come see him and the knee will have to be replaced. I really hate to start down that road. Have a great day.


mary carton
1/24/2012 12:22:00 AM

I have a couple of tomato plants about a foot high in the garage. When the weather warms up I put outside for a little sun. We had snow Thursday afternoon during rush hour that backed up traffic for a mile in each direction from the Tennessee River. It had been warm that morning and no one expected the stuff to freeze on the bridges. Big mess for about an hour and half. I got sheetrock back int he hole where my water pipe sprung a leak years after it was nicked putting on the baseboard. My knee won't let me get down to sand, tape and grout the seams yet. Why do people feel it necessary to dump? They come out and dump on the other side of the creek from my house & it's only about a mile to the landfill.