Monday, May 20, 2013

Ditch Maintenance: Protecting my investment … one blister at a time.

This is a reminder that a drainage ditch is something that stops being what it is when it fills up with earth and vegetation.  And that ditches are really about roads.

Here's the ugly truth.  Note the two spontaneous ditches down driveway.  The lush, undisturbed growth on the right was once the ditch.

The secrets of a Tuscan driveway revealed – demolition rubble trucked in from another construction site.  Though my photo doesn’t reveal it, it’s half a foot deep in places. Cars don't like roads like this.

With the local excavators unavailable because of the unusually wet winter and spring, I am on my own with a maintenance issue everyone else here in the Tuscan hills seems to understand intimately – runoff.  And that means erosion.  

I had to do it myself, a mano.  From lunch until cocktail hour on a Saturday, four solid hours with pick, shovel and rake.  Woke up awful sore at four o’clock am.

Here are things looking a bit more driveable.  Note the new small ditch on the upper left.  More work needed on the right, including to the ditch.

Not a very sexy post, I know.  Just wanted to show one of the less obvious things about farm life.