We’ve had the marvelous and adept Jasmine at our farm, for the past little while, and she drives Big Machinery.
Jasmine has scraped away the two inches of soil on top of the driest and least living part of our farm, so we can use the space for materials storage and parking. She built an earth berm, filled with brush and old wood, so we have a bit of privacy and delineation (dogwalkers like to know where to go, and we made a nice path) in the short term and a decent place to grow things (hugelkultur!) after a wet winter. We had our containers delivered, on to cement blocks on top of carefully leveled (by Jasmine) gravel. Of course, the containers weigh an average of 15,000 lbs apiece, and so they crushed the cement blocks immediately and settled comfortably on the gravel. Due to Jasmine’s expert leveling job, we didn’t need to do any adjustments to the ad-hoc, not quite-as-planned delivery.
We’re planning to make a roof between them, for a workshop space and materials storage. Solar panels on the roof, though that plan is still developing and may change.
Having some heavy machinery on site definitely makes things go faster. We’ve discovered that the bottom-most field, where there isn’t much growing but trailing blackberries, patchy grass, and alders, was used as a dump site for excess rocks and gravel. “Lots of road-base!”, declared Jasmine happily.
We’ve got a second berm underway, and a proto-goat-yard. We’ve planned two minimalist access roads (though no road is minimalist with Jasmine around – she has to make sure it’s level, and won’t get potholey or mucky, and probably has to dig down a meter or so and add some of our newly uncovered road base to make sure it will continue to be a road. “I’m just returning the land to what it was, before those developers messed around with it!”, says Jasmine, “And don’t you want it to look nice? How about a nice road, here, and clearing out all that brush?”. She’s an artist with a backhoe, and it’s awfully nice to have her, even if I have to keep convincing her that some of the plants are fine just where they are.