Some days I look around the land, and realize that Brian and I are Pile Managers.  I never really thought much about it before we started creating a new homestead from scratch, but the work of building and creating begins with piles. Piles1

A pile of gravel leftover from the driveway we put in this winter.  A pile of wood chip/sawdust mulch that we’re spreading around the base of our fruit trees.  A pile of lumber from a century old barn and outbuildings that are being torn down, and whose wood will become the siding of our tiny home (and has already been integrated into the building of our chicken coop).


A pile of black walnut wood, ready to bring to a local Amish mill.  The previous owner had taken down several enormous black walnut trees, leaving tops in the forest.  Borrowing our neighbor’s log arch, Brian dragged these sections of trunk up hill, loaded them up, and brought them to the mill, where they were milled into…


A pile of beautiful, high quality lumber.


Then there are the piles of materials for future projects, such as this pile of blue metal roofing for our someday composting toilet. Piles4

And of course, the many piles of organic material that went into the creation of my sheet mulched garden, such as this…


and this…Piles5

…which now, amazingly, look like this:



Indeed, we Pile Managers sure do create and move a whole bunch of piles!

This post was shared on the Homestead Bloggers Network, Mountain Woman Rendevous, and From the Farm Blog Hop.

15 thoughts on “Piles

  1. We, in our golden years, admire anyone who can truly be prudent pile managers. Especially anyone who can transfer a pile into an artistic work of art. Lou’s piles transfer into calling the local disposal company.

  2. Great article — never looked at farming/homesteading that way before. And just wanted to be sure you were aware of how special and valuable those black walnut boards are. Furniture crafts folks will pay many dollars a foot for them. Might want to check out resale before you put them in a dock.

    • Good point. I did know that did know that they were valuable but haven’t figured out how much they are worth we have a huge pile of black walnut that we had milled and brought from Oregon to be a floor in our house.

  3. We too are pile managers. My husband is in construction and is constantly getting free stuff leftover from job sites that he will someday use on this or that project at our farm. Until it is used it sits in piles.

  4. My husband and I are pile collectors also. My piles are inside and out. I never really thought much about it until reading your blog. We have a pile of wood that needs to be cut, a pile that needs to be split a pile of compost that needs to be turned and many little piles of stuff within the house. The good thing is that all of the piles have a purpose. They represent to me that there is always something to do and a new pile to conquer. I enjoyed your blog.

  5. Your piles look a lot nicer than our piles! LOL. I’m just happy that our piles are slowly shifting from piles of garbage from the previous owner of our farm, to more productive piles like the ones you have. Thanks for the giggle!

  6. Teri, just a quick thought about the pond, will it freeze for the winter or will it have been absorbed into the ground by then, as always love to read your writing….Love, MOM

  7. We have found the more property we get the more piles we have. It all gets used eventually. I look at my piles as an investment. Where it was a waste, or overage one day, can save me from buying the material another day.

  8. Pingback: Building a Tiny House :: Siding and Tiling | Homestead Honey

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