Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tear Down a Parking Lot

When we moved to our farm a few years ago, there was a huge parking area in front of the house as well as a smaller parking area behind the house that added up to regular parking for 11 cars... for 2 people.

If we were having a party, and wanted to park cars several deep, I bet we could fit 21 cars (7 wide x 3 deep) just in front of the house and still not block the road.

Every time I went out front, I heard Joni Mitchell...

It apparently looked like a cul-de-sac to everyone who thought they could get to the neighborhood to the north of us even-though there's a "no outlet" sign at the entrance of the road.

It's hot and miserable on summer afternoons and pretty much only grew puncture vine, which is not nice to puppy paws, wheelchair tires or even bare feet when the seeds make it into the house. ouch.

This parking area was one of the things we would address later and later is finally here.  :-D

I called a 800-number that our state has set up, told them what our plans were and they coordinated the marking of all of the potentially buried lines in the area.  It only took a few days to get everything marked.

Hubba hired a contractor who agreed to come over and scrape off the top 2 inches and haul it away, then break up the soil to about 12-inches deep and till in our alpaca manure.

He got started last Tuesday.

Yes, that's smoke from another wild fire in the background. :-(

They found a concrete wall buried in the middle of the space, so we made plans to jack-hammer it out.

Then got stopped for a few days due to rain and snow.  Not too much as far as either was concerned, but enough to make the work very difficult.

Our contractor decided to clear out around the concrete wall to make sure he knew what he was up against before starting the jack-hammering, only to discover a U-shaped foundation with a concrete floor that had been filled with concrete pieces.  Then directly to the East (to the right in the below photo) another rectangular shaped foundation full of more concrete pieces.

Our contractor thinks that they must have used this space to wash out the concrete trucks when they were building the neighborhood to the south of us.  All of the houses were built in the 1970's, as was our house, and I have heard that all of the land around here used to belong to the same family ranch.  So, I suppose it's possible... but seriously, what were they doing?  If they were just planning to bury waste concrete, why would they go through the effort of building two separate foundations?

He brought in 2 loads of top soil and then tilled that in with our manure.  I didn't get a photo, but the tilling attachment on the skid steer is pretty awesome.  It's now on my To Acquire list.

I put in a few T-Posts with baling twine to keep people and their cars off our our freshly tilled garden until we can get to a more permanent fence.  I had planned to put the raised beds for the berry bushes along the road, but am now going to put them over the newly discovered foundations.

I am so happy to have the bulk of this project done.


Gracey is not my name.... said...

Wow..lotta work!

Natalie said...

That's going to be a HUGE new garden. I am excited for you

Katja said...

Puncturevine = goatheads? I bet that was good for the wheelchair tires!

Kathryn Ray said...

Flat tire every time.

MarmePurl said...

Such a better use of space.
so curious about the concrete deposits. If you ever find out more, let us know.

Claire Davenport said...

Wow! Puncture vine looks horrid - don't think we have it here (thankfully), at least, I've never come across it. Well done on getting a 'job for later' done though :)

Also, am teeny bit jealous of your snow. I love snow.

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

I'm completely fascinated with the concrete deposits, too - I love building and land use history.
Congrats on getting a big project done - the green space is going to look gorgeous!

AC said...

Ewww tackweed! So bad for puppies, and bicycles, and feet. It's the worst. I can't believe you're getting snow...lucky!

Spinster Beth said...

It will be so nice to have a barrier between cars and the house!

Have you read "Under the Tuscan Sun?" Your post reminds me of how they kept finding floors under floors under floors...

Kathryn Ray said...

I have not read that book. Sounds interesting.