In which we destroy prickley stuff, and fashion is no obstacle

We went after the blackberry vines with every blade we could find today.

Willy and I traded off on the loppers and the brushcutter.

Jim scooped them up and mashed them down with the tractor.

The vines were winning, and my keen sense of color, style and fashion weren't helping at all.

Well, no wonder. Look at the WMD's the blackberry vines were hiding!There's still more barbed wire down there, but we were running out of light before I could yank it all out. I'll get it tomorrow, I swear. I hate that stuff. Please note that our barbed wire isn't well-behaved like Lytha's. Our nasty, rusty, horrible barbed wire has been spending too much time with blackberry vines to coil itself up neatly when it's cut loose from a post. Instead, it flings itself around, trying to grab hold of clothing, skin, or other chunks of barbed wire. Also, it's also the same color as blackberry vines, so it's difficult to see. Sometimes we find it the hard way--by slamming the brushcutter blade into it. Ow.

When it was time to stop giving blood to the blackberry prickles, we spent some time working on Hen Tractors. Jim is working on the Final Project Chicken Tractor, having left the Second Draft unfinished when it became evident that the hens would be too large at maturity to use it.

I was intrigued by the unfinished Second Draft tractor, though, and today I grabbed the staplegun and started sticking chicken wire onto it. After a few minutes watching me, Jim and Willy joined the project, and we finished it just before the rain started:

The world's very first FEMA Chicken Tractor.


  1. EWW your barbedwire is AWFUL! That looks really dangerous to work with, and you can hardly even see it? Geez.

    We've discovered we have a mix of blackberry and raspberry brambles on our hang. The raspberry is pretty tame in comparison, but equally virulent. The tender new raspberry is tasty to Baasha, and I'm so happy everytime he takes a bite!

    I'm so happy my man has joined us in our mission against the evil bramble. The other day he saw two blackberry starts coming up under a rhodie, and he grabbed the shovel and dug them out. He fights the good fight with us!

    Now we have hip high nettles growing under our electric fence, threatening to short it out. I purposely used only two strands of wire cuz I knew I could not keep up with the nettles along our fenceline. But I recently discovered a scythe left here, and it's awesome for clearing nettles from under our fence. Very rewarding: ) Someday we'll have a real gas powered weed whacker, but for now, I'll play Grim Reaper with the nettles.

    So when do you plan on bringing the mares home?


  2. i just enlarged a photo---is that a weedwhacker you're using on blackberries? does that work?

    look how they all have leaves now. they're laughing at us, i can feel it.

    roundup in fall, that's the ticket. (there is a particular time point when blackberries have just produced fruit and are storing energy for the winter, that is the perfect time point to use roundup. i have to get it out of the locked cabinet at the gardening store, and sign my name that i understand the dangers. i look forward to that, cuz i'm convinced roundup is safe.

  3. Yah, Roundup is the "safe" poison (if that's not a complete contradiction of terms!)--apparently there's another toxin to use on blackberry vines, but I can never remember the name of it. I hate using poisons, anyhow, I'm always afraid of killing good stuff like ducks and frogs.

    Right now we're using a combination of:
    a. weedwacker with a brushcutting blade (not a string trimmer, those wouldn't make ANY progress on vines) Very loud but satisfying!
    b. heavy-duty loppers, the kind we normally reserve for clearing trails in the mountains
    c. the chainsaw (no kidding)
    d. a really big stick - Willy's weapon of choice, because he can use a 4-foot stick like a machete and just beat the daylights out of the vines until they crumple in defeat.

    We plan to pick up a dragon this week, can hardly wait! The hardware store in Everett has them. Heheheheheh. Blackberry vines, beware!

  4. What is this dragon of which you speak?

  5. Dragon:

    Heh heh heh.

  6. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love it — a new friend!!

    I really like that chicken contraption. Simple in design, roomy and functional.

    As the big T says, "I'll be back".

  7. hey, your dragon thing - these are very common in germany! actually, this is the first place i'd seen them. you don't actually have to burn up the plants, just heat them til the cells are damaged, that's what they say.

    we'll have to get one too. see if you can't get to the roots too cuz that might help us out over here. (one big blackberry plant).


  8. re: chicken tractor - i saw one today! isabel's dad was moving his chickens around the yard in a travelling coop. no wheels, though. i thought how happy those chickens must be, for a change of scenery. cool huh?

  9. We just drag the FEMA tractor around. The finished Hen Tractor will have wheels, because it's significantly bigger and heavier.

    Added bonus to chickens changing scenery: I won't have to clean the cage anymore. I am really looking forward to that....


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