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Showing posts from September, 2010

Dirt Poor

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Not.  We got lot's of dirt. Sand and Gravel.  The sand is a seven minute round trip from a pit in our upper pasture.

Yesterday after getting Xena's wing patched up with six stitches, I started to back fill the trench we dug to get water to the Blue Shed.  First we put bout 300 cubic feet of sand on top of the 3/4 inch poly pipe.  That keeps the rocks in the clay soil backfill from crushing it.  Then I started to put the back fill clay soil in the trench.

Funny thing with trenches.  I just can never get the same amount of fill back in that I took out.  I suppose if I had  compacter it could be done. What I do is just keep driving the skid steer over the trench and mounding the clay soil up and they repeating as the bump disappears.

My skid-steer isn't up to this kind of heavy lifting so I was using Brother Tom's.  It is so fast, compared to mine,  that I get motion sickness when I use if for any amount of time.  All that twisting and turning and jerking to a stop and ba…

In the Trenches

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Today brother Tom and a couple of friends came up and we dug the trench to bring water to the blue shed. What an improvement that will be.  The two piggies really go through the water and the chickens require a daily supply of fresh water.

Something about digging trenches with heavy equipment just brings out the kid in men.  Of course my friend just retired from Municipal service, and I've been retired for five years so we were experienced trench watchers!

We had prepared for the worst.  Pipes breaking, threads missing, frozen couplings but the disassembly of  an existing standpipe to connect to the run was surprisingly easy.  No plan "B's" required.

Now to get a few more fittings and start the PEX connections into and around the blue shed.  My friend Vic suggested a tap near the stove to make mash for the pigs.  A great idea and one the pigs will be sure to appreciate.  Now I didn't want to take this last shot but the photographer insisted:
Everyone Breathed a si…

Putting on the Light

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It was raining so hard yesterday that the outside work of studding the wall for R30 insulation had to come to a halt.

So instead a friend and I  moved inside the Green house and  finished installing some heavy duty shelves in the Green House.  And that gave me room to spread out four HID fixtures and wire them up.  A 400 and two 150 watt High pressure sodiums and one 250 watt metal halide.  Sure puts a lot of light in a small green house.  It will be an interesting experiment to see how the plants grow under the lights.  I am hoping to get enough blue light through the windows that the HPS fixtures will be sufficient for growth.

The wood stove is ready to go, a small electric heater, and thermal mass from the tires and barrels are keeping the temperature to 21C over night, and of course the fixtures add some heat but it won't be long before we have to start feeding some wood into the heater.  Adding another plastic layer to the windows inside and out will also be a big help.

Putting on the Heat

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O.K. it's still a bit warm but soon it will get colder.  When It gets really cold I will probably need some additional heat in the Green House.

I had salvaged an old Valley Comfort heater from a house that a friend of mine and I demolished.  At first look it was in pretty good shape.  After cutting the proper hole size, we installed some tin and hoisted  the stove into place.

 By the time we finished it was getting a tad late..
The next day I  discovered that It had been run without fire brick and If I had of looked towards the back I would have noticed that the fire box was all but destroyed.  I was able to salvage the mechanical draft control from it to use in another heater we have in the Blue shed.  That will make it run a whole lot more efficiently.

Fortunatly I also had another heater as backup a veritable Ashley C60-D.  It had been left outside in the elements uncovered.  It was sound but rusted.

Nothing that a coat of high temperature stove paint and new door gaskets wouldn…

Avast Maties!

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In my youth I wanted to make a fero-concrete hulled sailboat  and sail around the world.  A one day trip out of Vancouver on a friends ferro concrete boat with a couple of hours of four foot swells disavowed me of that notion.  So when I was gifted an aluminum mast I decided to keep it securely fastend to land.
We put a weather station transmitter on top and it gets info wirelessly to a station inside the house a couple of hundred feet away,  right near my chair.
I don't have to look out the window now to see if it's raining or the winds blowing - and exactly how much! Or if the mercury is dropping.   I can use the window for what it was designed for:  a white board to keep my 2do lists.

On the porcine front we completed the inside pen.  I had some 4 by 8 poplar timbers for makeing uprights and heavy duty trim that runs up the side of the pen.  We reinforced the floor with plywood.  The shed doesn't have too many more years left in it, but between the chicken coop and inside…