The Naked Emperor

23 March 2007

Spring!! And my back is Sprung!!

To those of you who are looking for politics or my usual grumping, this won't be it. This will be about the infamous farm.

I don't know how to post pictures to the blog, but I'll try.

As I have said, I've been very busy with Spring around the farm.

Partially it's my fault, since I had been just doing bare maintenance since Katrina. Unfortunately, the storm destroyed my garden, along with my wooden trellises. I just didn't plant last year, and the garden got overgrown with weeds. And the flower beds got really nasty.

I did design and build one storm proof wooden trellis over my raspberries last year, but the rest just got ignored.

After the storm, lots of extra stuff wound up in the shed I'd built as a workshop. MRE's, water, tarps, a Coleman stove and lantern, coolers, etc. I couldn't walk in there and could barely get to my tools, let alone actually WORK in there.

So to get going this spring, I needed to get some extra storage so I could access my tools to do the rest of the work.

I got lucky. My neighbor's wife let her car roll into the open door of their storage shed. This knocked off the door and did major damage to the front framing and sheathing. He was looking to get a bigger shed anyway, so he offered the damaged one to me. He said there's something about testosterone to rednecks and sheds. We always want a bigger one.

It cost $125 to get it moved, and about another $325 in materials. A new one like this goes for $2000, so we got a good deal. It just took about five full days work to restore it completely. And get shelves built and get it stocked. But here it is:

So now I could clean out the workshop. That took another day, plus more time to paint it anew. I hadn't built the door well, just 1x4's over the plywood edges on the front. So it was sprung. I spent most of another day destroying it and rebuilding with LOTS of 2x4 bracing, plus making the 1x4 cross for the front.

But it's good to go now. Here it is with the raised beds of the veggie garden in the front:

The "storm proof" trellis is by the shop, and my permanent blueberries at the back corner.

So once the construction was done, I could actually get to working on the yard. But wait a minute. Still had to change the blades on the tractor, and but a new gas weed whacker, the old one was dead. But my ramps to roll the tractor up rotted over winter, so I headed into town to buy some plastic ones. And I ran straight into the Oyster Festival parade. There went another hour.

So NOW I could get on the yard. I had to cut all the weeds in the garden, and I redid the flower beds in front of the house and built one new one.

This is just for reference. All the beds were tilled, potting soil added, then weed cloth and mulch on top.

Around the sycamore, I did petunias. The bride and I both like them, even though they're annuals. The boxwoods have been there for years.

In front, I added aztec verbenas in front with lantanas behind to go with the holly bushes. Forgive the junk on the porch, I've got another run to the dump coning up next week off. We'll be replacing the cheesy wooden border with brick next year.

So what to do now?

Well besides the dump run, my next week off will see me doing a paving stone border around the crabapple tree at the front of the property, and a flower bed in there. But what I'll put there, I have no clue.

We also will clean out behind the liriope at the chimney and do a bed with a couple of butterfly bushes.

Also the old Katrina and Rita damaged antenna will be down on Tuesday!! Got some help coming for that one.

All that will be left for sure will be to plant the veggie garden. I know I'm late, but so what. It probably won't be full sized this year, but I am planning to try growing potatoes in old tires.

And I've designed some new trellises to be made from PVC and fencing, so I'll build a few to try with my climbers. They will be more flexible than the wood, but much lighter and much easier to move. If they work out, I'll post the design

If I have time, I'd still like to redo the beds behind the kitchen window and around the persimmon tree. But who knows. Also I need to get a load of dirt to full in the ruts made when the new shad came, Add some fill to my backstop and cut and install a new target board on my small bore range.

I not only "keep and bear" arms, I use them as regularly as time allows.

So as you can see, I just don't have much time at home to sit on the computer. That's why I do my research and blogging between patients.

One of the problems of my profession, and many professions, is a lack of physical gratification. When the shift is over, the only physical reminder of my hard work is paperwork. Not terribly rewarding. But at the farm, my handiwork is evident year round.

Now if I can just find a way to sell "carbon credits" to ecofreaks in high rise condos to pay for all this greenery, I'd have it made.

Until later,



Post a Comment

<< Home