I spent the warmest two weeks in March moving wheel burrow by wheel burrow of this wood away to the driveshed to dry. It will be chopped in May and given to eldest daughter as we don't burn Manitoba Maple, it is a soft wood that to me stinks when burns.
It was after the wood was moved I could see the potential of the gardened expansion. The soil under these trees is really good. So I proceeded to rake all the leaves from around the house yard. That is about 1 1/2 acres of raking so it took time, and I put the leaves where the trees were. Then a layer of ashes to neutralize the leaves ( which give up too much acid). Then a layer of straw. And then I put black plastic over much of it to rest a bit.
Today I moved wheel burrow after wheel burrow of rotten manure from the cow barn to the plot. I spent all morning on it and got only half done. My arms gave way on me by noon hour. It is getting the manure up as it is caked in layers that is hard.( well rotted)
We are to get snow tonight and a miserable weekend but I really hope to get all the manure down and let it rest a week. Rake it out and put top soil on it, and this will be a huge extension to my garden. I am excited about it.