Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Building a Back Yard

When we bought the farm we were stoked about the large pool down in the back yard. Having had the pleasure of living on a property with a pool for the previous few years, it would be nice to continue to have that experience with the kids.

Well, as it turns out, the experience was not as great as we would have hoped...

Our first season we went to fill the pool. It was filled by the pump down by the creek...from the creek...from the scummy pond on the other side of the farm. So the pool water was a bit green at the beginning. It was also extremely cold. The colour was corrected via your standard pool chemicals. The cold did not get better until well into July when it was so warm out you did not care. No biggie. When its hot we won't care.

A very cold Gabriel walks away from the pool.

Well when it got hot was also when blueberry season started. So we were faced with minimal parental supervision available for this activity. Needless to say we did not use the pool much. We had one readily available (and solar heated) over at Cliff and Susans. Once the season ended we began to discuss plans for the area.

Daniel swims in the green-tinged pool.

We decided the best use would be to remove and/or fill in the pool area and make it into a back yard. The initial stages took some time to get going. We knocked several holes in the pool and tested drainage. Then we started to discus how to fill it. It was a large thing to fill. We finally lucked out and managed to get an endless supply of "overs" from a company that does fill. We took out a few fence panels and a post, build up a gravel ramp and started the trucks dumping.

The filled in pool.
A year later, we have finished with the fill and now need to decide what to put on top. The discussion waffled between small gravel and top soil. I'm a big fan of the top soil as I like a green grassy backyard. Others did not want to mow it. In the end we have done neither. We have started the process of dumping the lower layers of our horse manure pile into the back yard to create a base for future top soil (or gravel).

Our composted dirt.
Eventually the plan will be to create a playground area and a shady relaxing area down there. The idea is to have a fun place for the kids to burn off energy with minimal adult supervision.

Marc and I started the dumping over a week ago. We squeeze it in after dinner, filling up one trailer with dirt and unloading it in the backyard. So far, we have only managed two or three loads as evenings really suck for availability and some times the tractor is already needed for something else.

Another view of our backyard as it takes shape.
We will keep plugging along. I think we missed the boat again for a backyard this year, but maybe by next year we can have an amazing outdoor space to play in.

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