We have a road!

New Road

We have a road!

If you’ve been following our progress over the past several months, you’ll know that we’ve been waiting a long time to get a road, or driveway, pushed onto our property. We’ve said lots of things like, “it’s been a long road” or, well actually that’s about it. We’ve just said it a lot. Back in May of 2015 we marked a boundary of what we wanted cleared on the property. Almost two months later, we finally got that area cleared, and we declared, “We have a road!…almost.” That was way back in June.

 

But as I’ve written in the past, waiting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. All this waiting has allowed us to think about how best to shape the road, and we’ve had plenty of time to decide how to do it. We came up with a plan to build the road to contour, which means to build it in a way that keeps a consistent, level elevation throughout its course. We decided this mainly because we wanted to construct a hügelkultur bed along the entire length. Check out Stefanie’s blog explaining what a hügelkultur bed is, and why we decided it was the way to go.

 

So in August we had our friend Paul, and our road builder, Robert, join us at the property to develop the plan. We figured we’d have a road within the next few weeks. A few weeks then turned into 23 weeks. Almost six months. But by George, we finally got ourselves a damned road! A glorious, beautiful road! It honestly took us a few days for it to set in. After waiting for MORE THAN HALF A YEAR from the time of clearing to getting the road, it was finished in just over a week. To wait all that time for it to happen so quickly seemed unreal. It’s like we couldn’t trust it until it was absolutely finished. And then it was. And we were overjoyed.

 

And then we weren’t. Less than 24 hours after having a completed road, somebody came onto the property and threw around a bunch of stuff we’d been gathering over the past several months, mostly shipping pallets for various projects we want to complete. They threw them all around, stole a few, broke an old cow skull Stefanie had. It was just completely terrible and deflating. Though it obviously could have been worse, it still sucked to have our joy taken from us so quickly. It just really sucks that people would do that. So now our priority has immediately shifted to erecting a gate in an effort to thwart would-be vandals’ and low lifes’ efforts.

 

What was once a nice stack of things, strewn about by vandals.

What was once a nice stack of things, strewn about by vandals.

 

When we got the call from my mom about the vandalism (she stops by from time to time to check up on the progress), we rushed out right away to assess the damage. As violated and deflated as we felt, as upset as we were, all of those feelings quickly evaporated when we got out there. After all, this was our land. Our soon to be home. Our happy place. And we finally had a road to get there.

 

 

Beau Leland

Beau Leland is a video editor working in Oklahoma City. He has worked with his wife, Stefanie Leland, on various documentary projects, and now focuses much of his energy on developing their 20-acres into an organic farmstead.

9 Comments
  • Paul Mays

    This is beauty! I can not wait to see this massive swale covered in trees. Wow!

    February 5, 2016 at 9:17 AM
  • Congratulations on the road! And that really sucks about the vandals. You don’t have any upset neighbors or anything do you? It sounds like teenagers being jerks.

    In the meantime, between now and getting a fence, perhaps grab some wildlife cameras? They’ll not only help identify vandals but they’re also really fun to see what wildlife travels onto your property. The digital camera versions are the ones you want:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Trail-Wildlife-Digital-Cameras-Accessories/ci/13927/N/3808211484

    February 5, 2016 at 1:36 PM
  • Freddy Hill

    I would love to hear of your progress with your kugelgarden (sp?). I have read articles. It seems a perfect fit for anyone with land and heavy equipment. Hope you will keep a log or give an annual report by winter. Things are looking great.

    February 6, 2016 at 1:25 AM
  • Hello Freddy!

    I will definitely continue to post about the progress of the farm and hugelkultur. I am not planning to put trees on the hugelkultur until next spring, but in the meantime I will be sowing cover crops. I’ll be sure to document and give reports of things as they progress. Thanks for your interest!

    Best,
    Stef

    February 8, 2016 at 5:20 PM
  • Hello Derek,

    I don’t believe we’ve upset anyone, I just think that sometimes people don’t like to work for things and prefer to steal. They stole two of the pallets and lost two out of their truck. I got them for free off of Craigslist, it is so odd that people would steal things that others are giving away. Did this all during the day. Do you have a brand preference on these cameras or experience using them? We would like to get at least two.

    Best,
    Stef

    February 8, 2016 at 5:23 PM
  • Me either, Paul!

    February 8, 2016 at 5:23 PM
  • I don’t have a brand or preference really. I would just get a highly rated one that holds a large SD card and holds a good battery charge. I think some brands can hook up to a small, hidden solar panel so their battery life is prolonged significantly.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1042308-REG/bushnell_119656c_trophy_camera_hd_brown.html

    My dad purchased one that uses film to take pictures of the backwoods behind their house in Arkansas. Something was eating everything in their garden and they wanted to figure out what it was. All I know is that it worked really well. and they found the culprits. It was a tag team of raccoon and deer.

    Depending on your needs, they make some that use IR so that the night shots are crystal clear. The camera blasts IR light over the landscape (imperceivable to human eyes) and illuminates everything. However, what you gain at night you lose during the day, as the IR cameras probably won’t work at all in the daylight. They may make a hybrid version. I’m not sure though.

    I would just do some research and go with the one that has the most power efficiency and takes the biggest SD card. I think that power efficiency would be one of the most important things, because you don’t want to have to be changing the batteries every single day. Look for a model that lets you set it and forget it.

    Or you could just use the camera on Beau’s busted up drone, strap it to a stick and make it look like a futuristic pinwheel. Just tossin’ out options here!!

    February 24, 2016 at 2:44 AM

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