Lots of good info. I'd like to address your mack sized brush mounds. Not sure if you have a tractor. My place had several mounds of cedar(juniper). The stuff that don't rot, that people burn, yada yada.
I found it to be a great source of mulch. I did this by pushing the mound with a tractor about 10ft. A year later, do it again. Everytime you move it, considering you gave time for the stuff at ground level to start decomposing , it will leave mulch layer behind.
I also did this with a hugelbed i started but abandoned. I was putting whatever i had in front of it (deer or chicken carcasses, fish guts, etc). I would then push the whole hugel mound over it to bury it. Evertime i had something new to bury i would repeat it. I was careful to leave about 4" of old hugel material behind when i pushed it. Once again, it started this trail of good soil everytime i pushed it over.