Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Continuing rapid changes.

This weekend we had a really nice time with a fire pit and a lot of good friends visiting, and in the interests of that, we got the cleaning of the yard that was so desperately needed done! It also reminded me of just how much I like cooking over wood, despite how inefficient it is over an open fire. I shifted things around in the fire pit to make a shielded cooking area with a radiating fire box, but it's still much cooler as a cooking surface than if I had a purpose built cooking area. Probably not a project for this summer, though it very well may be given some of the other changes around the house.

The biggest change is we now have a housemate. I offered to use an alias for him, but he's fine with just being himself. Lucas is now going to be living with us, and he's going to be working at one of the local stone quarries. He's the gentleman that provided the tools and expertise on building the stone floor in the kitchen, and in addition to being handy, he's indicated he'd like to help out around the property. With that, we'll see what becomes possible with more help around the property on a regular basis!

First things first around the property, things that I can't control but am happy about. For one thing, the apple sapling that survived the winter didn't get frost bitten hard enough to stunt its growth this year it seems. I wasn't sure about that given that it started budding out before the really cold sing back to near zero temperatures after a warm month. As things are warming up again, this time (hopefully) for real, the tree is leafing out. This year we're going to leave it alone and just let it grow, and not prune it. That said, we're going to have to learn to do pruning some time soon.

The other thing that's going on that I have no control over is the asparagus. I wasn't able to get photos of the asparagus that were worth sharing because I couldn't focus on the stalks. That said, the asparagus looks like real asparagus! The bed is desperately in need of weeding, but the spears are popping out of the ground. I'm really happy about the success of the asparagus in surviving, and we'll see how that goes long term. Obviously the asparagus won't be edible this year, but that's fine. We can be patient even if we don't really want to. Our ideal amount of asparagus is enough that we're just about sick of it by the end of the season. I'd say we have the same goal for raspberries, but I don't know if we could grow enough raspberries to reach that particular goal. There is quite a lot of raspberry that our house could eat without being sick of them. We'll see, goals worth having.
Speaking of goals worth having, visiting the Lady of the House's father over the weekend I got to see some pallet planting in action. I'd been a little doubtful about the worth of doing something like this, but seeing how well it worked for onions and spinach it's something I'm definitely going to be considering. It certainly helps in keeping the rows spaced, and limiting just how much weeding is going to be required by covering half or more of the bed. Of course it wouldn't work for every kind of plant, but for those that it fits, looks great!
The other big news around here is the solar fence charger. It arrived last week, and as of this weekend despite some mixed weather, it is fully charged. Now we can set up the electronetting and get the chickens a bit better protected than they have been. For reference, this is a 30 mile fence charger. That doesn't mean it can fence off 30 miles of fence. It means it can power 30 miles of individual strand of electric fencing wire. With things like electronetting given just how much charge is needed to fence chickens the distance you can fence is even more limited. I find interesting that due to the insulating properties of feathers, chickens need a lot more charge to be deterred than do cows.

Quick stop on Boris, he is doing very well, still recovering, but getting there. We'll have photos for Thursday I hope.

As we come into May, I'd like to thank our Patreon Patrons again. Between the financial support of the Patreon Patrons, and the motivation and response of comments on the blog from our regular readers I am really appreciative.


  1. Lots of wonderfulness here. I always consider farm work this way! And how delightful that Boris is doing so well. Y'all have a blessedly productive day there!

    1. Thank you very much! Always lots to get done, and happy when it is done.