Friday, April 22, 2011

The very productive past week...

The past week since the tunnel greenhouse went up has been very very busy. I'm so lucky to have these energetic young folks pitching in. They have been working on various farms cross Canada for nearly a year and have picked up many competancies. Its fun to watch them working together intuitively, anticipating what comes next and creatively solving construction problems. They did a bang-up job of this sturdy fence intended to keep chickens, deer and horses out of the new greenhouse garden.
At 19, I would have loved to be doing what these two are so good at. I always loved playing in the dirt.
And then a day off, to go exploring the nearby Fundy Trail. This time of year the trail, along beautiful wooded coastline, is only open to hikers and bikers. They made it in to the 15km point thru some wicked uphills.
Meanwhile Jimmy has been plugging away at next winters woodpile and has it all stacked very precisely (that's kinder than obsessively) in about a week.
Alina and Matt went to work finishing the chicken run that I started last fall. The chickens free range when there's somebody home but this will mean I can let them out safely when we are away.

Next was a redesign and strengthening of a chicken litter designated compost bin, to be placed strategically near the back door of the henhouse.

The new improved version should stand up to the horses using it for a scratching post.
The hen girls are in favor of any new opportunities for scratching about, having thoroughly turned over the kitchen compost pile many times.
Another job crossed off the long list on the fridge is stocking up on sawdust for horse and hen litter. Jimmy took "the kids" to the nearby mill and they filled enough bags to last till fall. Funny, when we were their age near the end of the '60's, we believed "Don't trust anyone over 30". Now anyone under 30 looks to us like fresh faced kids. How perspectives change with advancing years...
Finally it was dry enough for tilling one of the gardens. Matt ran the big tiller
and Alina ran the small one which is so handy for getting into tight spaces and corners.
We got all the leek seedlings planted. Since you want as much below ground as possible to get a blanched white lower stem we plant them by making an 8-9" hole with a T shaped dibble. We drop the seedling into the hole and just flick in enough dirt to cover the roots. As the plant grows up out of the hole over time the rain will wash more dirt in until the hole is gradually filled.
On wednesday, Laura arrived, another young wwoofer from Germany who has to be finding east coast NB very chilly after working in California! We did some preparation work on the front yard flower bed, covering the grass with cardboard to smother it, in preparation for a load of topsoil.
Today we started on the framework for a log cabin as a storm shelter for our little stallion, Prince Charming. Matt and Alina figured out the leveling of the 2x10 pressure treated base.

Laura prepared the corner posts by pre drilling for the spiral nails.

Four "pig trough" corner posts fastened in place..
leveled both ways, and braced in place, awaiting the chain saw guy to come tomorrow. This safety worry wart wont have one of our own...scared to death of the things.

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