Sunday, May 27, 2007

In the Green

Woo Hoo! Lettuce has got to salad stage. The first run anyway. The second planting is on its way. Was great to have a salad last night with greens from the garden. The radishes will all be gone this week, but we have another crop coming along. It will be interesting to see how many crops we can get before it gets to cold. It's given us some impetus to get a green house going that we can keep heated in the winter..

Friday, May 25, 2007

Remediation

The new garden is pure clay. I made some test clayballs and left them in the sun. They are rock hard. So I have to add some material to free up the clay. First thing is getting some sand into the garden. We had a couple of truck loads delivered.

We're now contemplating getting topsoil and cow poop into it. After I spread the sand out we tried to roto-tiller it but have decided we need a bigger roto-tiller.
Ever noticed, in a project, how one thing leads to another. I was using the skidsteer to spread the sand, and wasn't paying attention to well and knocked down about four fence posts. Of course this broke the fence wires. Not a good thing when theres a 100 yearlings running around inspecting a fence that was battered by the snowfall. So we had to repair the fence and well we were at it fix up the front fence that had some broken strands.


Apparently a lot of the local farmers are contemplating replacing whole fence lines as it might be easeier than repairing them. Lesson learned: wear good gloves ( i.e. heavy leather ) when working with Barbwire. Not the nifty, stretchy, thin leather only on the palms kind...


Jo was wearing the correct gloves and didn't have any problems. Me, on the other hand. The good thing was we got to wear our cool summer cowboy hats. By cool, i mean they're the sraw ones. Of course I think they look pretty "cool" also..

I am running into a software dead line so have to spend quite a lot of time in the office when I would like to be "playing" outside as the weather warms up. Ah well, the good thing about being an adult is you can eat all the ice-cream you want. The downside is having to be responsible for the consequences.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Klu Clucks Clan

We changed the plastic that was on the tires to horticultural cloth. It doesn't get as warm as the plastic, as it lets air circulate, and water through. We still have to take the covers off when we water - which is every day now.

The second radish (road rash) crop is up, with the first rapidly dissapearing. Today we are waiting for a couple of truck loads of sand to spread over the clay to start getting the "big garden" going. If we can get it planted by June we should be ok. I might still use the tire method in the garden. Just use one tire, right on the garden soil, and keep it covered while the cuttings start. The tires really help keep the heat in. We will use row covers for the cabbages and turnips.

On a 'nother topic. I think my dog may have a drinking problem. She's starting to think the world revolves around her and the other day we found her in a stupor among the tires:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lake Endako

Haven't been getting out of the house much lately. I have been working on getting a new software release and getting a web site up and running. But I had to take a few minutes and update this blog before it just stays static.

We were looking out of the office window the other day and Jo-Ann remarked how she had never noticed the lakes in the distance before. Well , they hadn't existed before. The Endako river has swollen with flood waters so much it is creating lakes along it's run. Here's a picture of the lake along side Savory Road.

We're a little concerned about the powerline that runs across the lake. It's the main power feed for our little community. Just to be prepared we are stockpiling gas for the generator. And considering property values now that we're almost lakefront property.

I had a radish, fresh from the "re-tired" garden yesterday. Not bad, considering last year we hadn't even planted by mid June. We had only done half a tire with radishes and lettuce but planted the other half, yesterday to keep the supply going.The garden experience went so well last year we've decided to expand the operation a bit. Well, quite a bit.

Tom came up and turned over a 60' by 100' plot just to the west of the house on a nice sunny flat spot. Unfortunately, the soil is almost pure clay and will need to be remediated with a couple of truck loads of sand, and composted manure. Hope to get it planted with "root-a-veggies" this year.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why did the culvert cross the road?

So the chickens wouldn't disappear when they tried it.

Yesterday was culvert day. I had been collecting used culverts and yesterday Tom showed up and we commenced to "diggin". All the low spots on the road, from the house to the first hill from Savory road got a culvert. We also installed a conduit under the road next to the house so that I can get power and water without having to string extension cords and hoses over the road.


My former City workers will notice I haven't lost "the stance"....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The "A", eh


Progress so far from perfection. Managed to burn out my trusty old skill saw. Well I got my money's worth out of it. It must have lasted over twenty years. Off to the local Irly Bird and bought a new one complete with laser. Now it looks like a Star Wars episode in the shop when I'm whacking wood.

We're waiting for a Call from the Home Deport in Prince George. They have some plastic for some of the tire gardens on back order. Today I will have to move some plastic from one that hasn't sprouted to the Squash garden. It's leaves are pushing the top of the green house plastic that we just rubber banded to the top of the tires.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Chicken Tractor

OK, I know, how do their little legs work the clutch.

Well the basic idea is that you use movable runs to get the chickens to dig up the dirt, eat the weeds and crap all over the place. Works wonders for preparing the outside garden, and gives the chickens some real live food and fresh air. Works wonders. It's synergystic. It's permaculture. Honest, a guy, Andy Lee wrote a book about it. Here's some pictures of some fancy house and run combined. I got it for Christmas and have been plotting poultry power ever since.We spent a day building the "A" frame "tractor" part and will install the doors today if the paint dries.

Today I am building the movable coop, where the chickens nest at night and, hopefully, lay there little globes of goodness. The eggs, not the other stuff. And then I need to make some runs so that they can get from the Chicken Chalet to the Tractor without being a meal for Mr. Hawk and Eagle. And of course the occasional coyote or fox. Or Doggie.

My brother Tom brought up a set of fork lift arms for the skid steer so I can move stuff ( like a 6 X 6 foot "A" frame chicken coop) a lot easier than packing it around the joint in my trailor.

OK. I have to admit it. When I was a Boss type at work, in a land far away, some of the guys would complain I didn't give them enough time to get stuff done. I see now why that was. I can't estimate task time worth a hoot. Everything actually takes about three times as long as I think it will. My apologies guys. Carry on.

And something is nibbling at my radishes. Hmmm. Tonight, me, a flashlight, trusty guard dog, hammer, waiting, waiting, every so patiently....