So we raise veggies up by our house. Two years ago, I cleared just shy of 0.5 acres of forest and scrub to put in a garden spot. Half of the garden is on a pretty good slope. When it rains (say 6 inches in a couple of hours for example) we can get some cutting through the garden. So I'm fixing that this winter by lining out the veggie beds with straight oak & hickory trees that I'm cutting out of the woods. It's physical work, cutting then hauling heavy logs by hand, but there's a huge sense of accomplishment when I get a bed done.
The white stuff is ashes from the fireplace. It's good for raising the pH of the soil and getting some Potassium into the soil. Potassium has always been a hard nutrient to come by, and ashes are a good (& free) source. Potash is a traditional fertilizer for potassium, and is called pot-ash because of how it used to be made. Wood fire ashes were leeched in big pots then the liquid boiled down. Potassium carbonate is released. Obviously, I skip the boiling.
I'm aiming at getting a bed completed and covered in wheat straw every 3 days. Our beds are 4 ft wide and anywhere from 50-80 ft long.
Carla's ducks just kind of hang out, here nibbling on the row of broccoli we need to cut and freeze.