Retaining Walls, Rubble, and the Roundabound

Free concrete rubble.

Free is not free.  You have to load it, unload it, get it stacked and placed. Thankfully my core has been strengthened recently or I would be writing this with 3-4 ibuprofen in my system. I am guessing we have loaded and unloaded 4-5 tons of rubble. Some of it has been used to build a retaining wall where our building site has a steep slope.


We also added a round about, which after watching Darth Vader give directions we constantly refer to as the “roundabound” in our best baritone voices and giggle a little.

Our truck has a 30 foot turning radius and with a trailer attached it is a real pain to get pointed the opposite direction on our driveway. I’m a better trailer-backer-upper than a year ago, but we needed a better solution. We measured it out and went to work with the tractor.

Then we tested it and fine tuned. The low spot gets a little soggy so we added lumber wrappers, (free) for weed control in lieu of geo-cloth and dumped two loads of rubble before ordering rock.

As usual what seemed like huge loads barely make a dent here. The scale of what we are doing always surprises us.

After a lot of back blading with the tractor and a few ferocious trips around the circle with the truck, tractor, and our little Land Cruiser things started spreading evenly and packed down. We’ll cap it with some 5/8 inch crushed rock when we are done messing about on it and when it rains a bit.


The trouble with collecting materials like this is than now I keep a weather eye for useful stuff. But we have to have someplace to put it, preferably neatly and close to where we intend to use it so we aren’t moving it two or three times. When I spotted a pile of bricks at our friends’ farm I had two plans. We could use the broken bits for fill, and the salvageable bricks seemed useful for a patio or fire pit. With the help of my daughter we filled the truck and trailer – with broken bricks toward the back to make unloading more orderly. Then I piled the usable bricks in a tarp and we had a little work station. At some point we’ll have clamp-on pallet forks and I can move the neatly stacked pile to the work site with our tractor.

About M. Agriculteur

Designer, motorcycle junkie, traveler, wanna-be iron butter (more butt than iron), builder, foodie, farmer wanna-be.
This entry was posted in Barn, Construction, Preparing the land, Sustainability and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Retaining Walls, Rubble, and the Roundabound

  1. DM says:

    Good to see (and read) your update! It always boggles my mind as well how quickly an 18 ton load of fill lime (or rock) can disappear so quickly when we are prepping some project. later- DM

  2. I may never be able to call traffic circles anything but roundabounds again. :). Great idea to put a circle in front of your barn for easier manoeuvring You guys are putting so much forethought into the bones of this place of yours, it’s going to pay off big time later.

  3. Bill says:

    Well done. Although my back hurts just from looking at all that rock and concrete.

    On my seemingly impossible endless list of things to do is to build more raised beds out of the old leftover bricks we have on our place. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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