Digging with the backhoe
Now that we have our own backhoe we can easily begin any kind of earthworks that we think makes sense and when we want to do it. The machine brings a lot of flexibility and independence. At the current phase moving dirt is more important than pulling things. That’s why we purchased a used backhoe instead of a tractor.
First digging job was this swale. The land slopes a bit to the right. With the swale in place the hope is that during fall and winter - when the rain returns - this stops the water from flowing away and instead find a way into the ground. The other reason for swales is to stop erosion. When water flows at some speed it will take away soil and other material. By slowing down the water flow we can stop erosion.
The next job was supposed to be easy but turned out quite difficult. We want to have a path along the stone wall so that we can move around in a vehicle. This stone was blocking the way and it sticks out too much, which is why we can’t simply drive over it. I started digging to see what it’s like. Well…. It turns out it is pretty big and we need to find someone who has a heavy duty drill and then crack it with expanding cement. Then I can bury the pieces and refill the hole.
After the experience with the stone I moved on to make another swale a bit further down from the first one.
A bit later I started to work on a really long swale in a different section. This one is curved to adapt to the slope of the terrain.
I also made it wider and deeper as I expect a lot of water to flow down this way. The berm is now pretty high. We will flatten it when the dirt is more moist and easier to put into shape.
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