Showing posts from March, 2010

The Chicken Spa

All the sordid details:

We've been working on the chicken spa project for around a week now. It was a lot more work than I had imagined while I was in the imagineering mode.

Plenty of tea breaks were required:

The metal waste baskets make a nice mouse proof chicken feed container.

The blue shed has a lousy foundation, probably won't last another 10 years but in the mean time it will make a great chicken house. It has an efficient wood heater and power. But the stove pipes were shot and I wanted a better reflector behind it. Here is the after:
We added an aluminum reflector on the floor to fire proof it. I don't want any embers falling on a wooden floor.

We made standoffs out of 1 " pvc held with metal tape while we secured aluminum to the wall to create an air space behind it.

We also added a thermo coupled fan to the back to push the warm air out into the roost area.

The green tubing is salvaged garden hose that we split to protect any errant hands from the sharp edges of t…

Fire on the Mountain

Now that the snow is mostly dissapeared, but the ground, and grass still wet it's time to get the burn pile gone. When it's burnt down all the clay and soil goes back on top and it all looks neat and tidy. The excavator sure makes digging holes an easy project.

I was gifted a part of a sailing ship. The mast part. It's a great 20 foot chunk of aluminum pole that is destined to go in front of the house with a flag and weather station on it. Dig a hole, pour some cement. The pole even has foot holds on it. How handy is that.
I know the picture looks a little speckled. That's a late snowfall trying to be something.

The seedlings are growing like it's almost spring. The zucchini and spaghetti squash just leaped out of the soil and I will transplant to bigger pots today.

We're converting an old blue shed to a chicken house, pig pen combo. Don't know anything about pigs but plan on starting small I have a couple of inspiring sites that are my "go to si…

It's Alive!

We've had the seedlings under the grow lights for two days and voila! When I checked it yesterday morning sprouts were a sprouting!

First up was the Chinese cabbage, tender heart, with Basil and Cabbage starting to show. The soil temperature is a constant 28℃ and the plastic lids are keeping everything moist. I think they will have to come off pretty soon.

I finished pushing all the snow off the sides of the driveway so that it melts in the ditches and not on the road - which is drying up rapidly. Then we removed the plow, storing it for the season, and put the forks on the skidsteer. That will be useful for moving stuff in and out of my latest project the Chicken House. I am turning the blue shed into a chicken house as I can heat it with a wood stove in the winter. the chickens will have outside runs and chicken tractors to pass the time. I don't want to have confined chickens. Have you heard of 30$ a lb blue foot chickens? I have spray paint and am not afraid to use…

Grow Op-ortunity

Just back last night from a quick trip to the Coast to pick up some ram. Couldn't get away quick enough.

As part of weird but usable things to do with recycled fridge parts we made a grow light station from some pulleys and the Plastic door from the fridge that made my magnetic black board in my office.

I didn't have anymore four foot flourescent fixtures laying around so decided to just change the 4 foot tubes in an existing shop fixture to fluorescent grow lights. The one catch with that was the fixture is on a nine foot ceiling.. That's where the pulleys come in. The shop is heated already with back up propane available, so no worries there.

The fridge/grow box rests on a couple of removable saw horses and then the pulleys bring the plants - er seeds, at this point, up to the light. Out of the way of heads and kitty cats. The two by four frame was an over-engineered thing and I am going to remove it today.

We're trying out something different in grow pots this time …

Frig Id

Cold it isn't. The snow is melting steadily. On a little walk yesterday we noticed green grass starting to grow in the snow free patches. I am thinking of taking the chains off the skid-steer and changing the snow blade to a bucket. Or forks.
This Christmas Sara and husband Kevin came for Christmas. We decided to make it a build it instead of buy it Christmas. Worked out great. Kevin made me a really cool item - er items. He took a bunch of computer keyboard keys, drilled out the centers and glued in micro magnets. The magnets are super strong. The result is great "fridge magnets". It thought it was the coolest idea. It was clever, hand made, cost effective and re-purposed something destined for a land fill. Don't get me started on that one. All I needed was a bulletin board that would let magnets stick to it. I wanted a fairly large one and priced them at a Stationary store. Yikes. What a lot of bucks for what you get.
Then an idea struck me. As I …

Lap Dogs

I haven't been a big fan of lap dogs. Bow Wows carried in purses, dressed up with costumes. But who knows, nothing like a closed mind to keep progress from happening. To Quote William Paley:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination.
With that quote in mind I have been doing some experimentation. Some examination of the facts as it were: As can be seen, the dogs do fit on my lap. Mostly.
Xena resisted all attempts to get her to wear reindeer horns.

Here's a picture taken at Christmas time. I was explaining existentialism vis a vis cats and dogs. Or I had some doggy treats in my hands, I forget which.
It is an unbelievable +5C in Xanadu today. The snow and ice is melting off the roads leaving us the harbinger of Spring: Mud. More to follow.