Can you dig it?

We’re still in heavy equipment mode over here. While the “big orange thingie” (a.k.a. the excavator) and its operator, Joe, are here, the CMO has been finding all sorts of additional projects to add to the list.

First, the septic line, gas line conduit, water line and bonus empty conduit (for phone lines and other connections that we might need some day) were completed. It looked like this:

View from the barn down the trench...

View from the barn down the trench…

View from the trench up to the barn.

View from the trench up to the barn.

Bonus conduit!

Bonus conduit!

After passing our inspections by the county (two separate inspectors!), it was time to cover it all back up. That looked like this:

Backfilling the trenches.

Backfilling the trenches.

Backfilling at the barn in preparation for the new ADA-compliant parking spot.

Backfilling at the barn in preparation for the new ADA-compliant parking spot.

Now, it was time to start ordering 3/4-inch gravel to build up the foundation of the future ADA-compliant parking area that we have to have for the winery/tasting room. This space was previously paved, but the pavement had failed (gaping holes, lots of ripples).

Upon peeling back the old pavement, it became evident that the fill underneath hadn’t been compacted enough when the original parking space was constructed. And there wasn’t enough fill either. We’re currently up to SIX full truckloads of 3/4-inch gravel in the space of a week. Here’s Joe, out of the (air conditioned) excavator and operating a compactor to pack it all down. (He also waters the rock too, but he hasn’t managed to make any of it grow yet.)

Joe and the compactor, throwing down on some 3/4-gravel.

Joe and the compactor, throwing down on some 3/4-gravel.

With the necessary stuff essentially complete, it came time for the CMO to add to the project list (Joe’s been bribed with gourmet lunches every day)!

We had uncovered a huge pile of boulders—probably placed there during construction on the house 20+ years ago—that was previously obscured by a thicket of blackberries. Once Dave battled those back, it became apparent that the rocks were going to be in the way of future tractor access to the west side of the property. So Joe and the excavator, with the help of our concrete contractor (more on him later) and his dump truck, relocated the rocks to the barn side of the property. That looked like this:

Step 1: Pick up boulder.

Step 1: Pick up boulder.

Step 2: Place boulder in dump truck.

Step 2: Place boulder in dump truck.

Step 3: Make sure the CMO takes pictures of boulder placement in dump truck from multiple angles.

Step 3: Make sure the CMO takes pictures of boulder placement in dump truck from multiple angles.

Step 4: Check out our little over achiever grape vines, outgrowing their blue grow tubes already!

Step 4: Check out our little over achiever grape vines, outgrowing their blue grow tubes already!

Step 5: Dump boulders next to barn. Repeat.

Step 5: Dump boulders next to barn. Repeat.

With the boulder relocation project complete (more on phase 2 of that project in a future post), the CMO got REALLY CREATIVE in her thinking and asked Joe if it would be possible to use the excavator to remove the stumps from the far west field. You may recall, we cleared the trees from the western edge of that field over a year ago to minimize the shade for better grape growing conditions, and to expand the usable space over to the property line. But we hadn’t figured out (or given much thought to) how to remove the remaining stumps. Joe and the excavator are working their magic on that space now. Here’s some of the aftermath:

Buh-bye stumps!

Buh-bye stumps!

Uprooted.

Uprooted.

There were a LOT of stumps left behind. No longer!

There were a LOT of stumps left behind. No longer!

And, finally, what would a “clean up the western side of our property” post be without an image of the treasures we also unearthed at the same time? We leave you the latest pile of an excuse to get your tetanus booster:

More rusty treasures unearthed from our property improvement projects.

More rusty treasures unearthed from our property improvement projects.

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Bells Up Winery | 27895 NE Bell Road | Newberg, Oregon 97132 | 503.537.1328 | info@bellsupwinery.com

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