Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wicked weather.

As I've mentioned many times before, weather is a much more integral and important part of our life now than it was before we were homesteading. Before homesteading weather was something you thought about in terms of should I wear a rain coat, how many layers do I dress in, do I need to shovel to get to work. With our location and focus, weather is important for the health of our livestock, our garden, and . . . you guessed it, our driveway.

Fortunately with the work we did last year for patching the driveway is still very much passable, but before the end of fall, we're going to have to do something about the ruts that have developed. This year the rain has come in heavy bursts instead of steady rains. That has been very damaging to our driveway. On the up side instead of destroying the normal driving areas thoroughly, or cutting across the width of the driveway as it has in the past, as you can see it's been different. We aren't experts, and we haven't done the best job ever in fixing the problems with our driveway, but for $250, and 2 days of work, we did fairly well. After a couple things we're going to be doing that again over a weekend.
In a lot of ways doing it this weekend would seem to be the wise thing, especially after what is going to be a bad week with lots of rain. However, we have other things we have to deal with first. As you can see, we have gotten in a dumpster the size of our (admittedly small) car. We're going to finally be clearing out the barn. This is more of a normal life thing, than a homesteading thing. It's clearing out a lot of rotted and molded belongings that we weren't able to move inside when we moved in, and due to weather were destroyed and have been sitting for years. We finally could afford a 15 cubic yard dumpster to do a clear out. The real benefit to this for the homestead is we're going to be able to use the barn for more homesteading related things as we get into the future. Right now it's entirely taken up with things that are literally taking up space. Well, that and fencing materials that I'm looking forward to setting up.
I've mentioned that the weather has been hard on us lately when it comes to downpours. The waist height grass that is around got flattened to the ground by the storm burst today that was doing more damage to the driveway. Sadly I wasn't able to get a great photo because with all of the rain I didn't want to bring the good camera outside and risk it, thus the camera phone quality shot. I've been letting grass grow long because I try to feed greens to the rabbits, it's gotten a little out of control, but they love the results when they get to eat it. I'm hoping that the grass stands back up after this instead of staying down. I suspect given the resilience of grass that it will be upright within a few hours of sunlight. Elsewhere in the yard it looks like you rolled over the grass with a car it's knocked down so flat. Sadly those photos came out even less clear than this.
On the up side with 80 degree rain like this I don't have worries about the rabbits. We just haven't had the crazy hot temperatures this summer that necessitate bottles of ice for the rabbits which has been nice, despite the causes of it. A side benefit of rain throughout the day like this is that the water bottles get consumed more slowly because the rabbits for some reason seem to prefer licking the wire of the hutch to drinking from the water bottles. Not sure why, it has to be less efficient, but there it is. The down side is that it's feed inefficient due to water getting into the feeders. There are times I think that designing my own feeders would be a good thing to do because it's clear that the standard J feeders that we have were designed for indoor use in a more "industrial" style rabbitry. They work well for filtering out fines, and making sure the food is easily accessible under normal circumstances though. The other news on the rabbit end of things is that I've moved Dawn and her daughter to the big formerly grow out hutch. I think that Dawns Daughter has had a litter because she should have from having been bred a month ago. I can't check though because the wasps in that hutch have gone aggressive on me. I just need to get a new propane bottle and torch all of the wasps we are dealing with right now, this has gotten ridiculous.
In the garden we have a few success stories, but I'm going to focus on the beans today. I don't know why we didn't do beans before. For some reason I'd been resistant to beans, and I was totally wrong. The pole beans are starting to come into their own. A little slower off the start than the bush beans, but they're going nuts. Right now the beans on the plant haven't filled out, but we have a full bowl of beans inside from harvesting. The Scarlet Runner Beans Below are just starting to really get going, and the little mini bean pods are fuzzy and oddly cute. Not something I ever though I'd say about beans. On Thursday I'm going to talk about the successes in the garden, and if I can get in without getting stung thoroughly I'll talk about the hopefully present rabbit kits in the grow out hutch.

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