Monday, April 25, 2016

A Post About Posts!

The vegetable garden comes closer to fruition each weekend. The latest step completed was the installation of the fence posts. Scott and Carl made quick work of digging the holes and placing the poles - and by mid-afternoon, all 22 were in place.
Scott and Carl each had a post hole digger so the race was on! 
Recent rain showers softened the ground a bit which made it a little easier (albeit slightly messier) to dig the holes.
Scott devised a very high tech way to ensure each hole was 18 inches deep; he made a notch on a stick and used it to measure the depth.
Yep! This one's deep enough. 
For some reason, you have to slam the pole into the hole . . . you just can't place it.
Once the pole was in place, some of the dirt was shoveled in . . .
 . . . and then tamped down with the end of a shovel. Thanks for another full day of hard work, Dad!
Here's a view of the fence (yes, that's a fence - not a frontier stockade) at lunchtime. All the posts were in place by about 3PM. It became pretty evident that they were not consistent in height. In order to create a fence tall enough to keep the deer from leaping over, each post needed to be extended to 7.5 feet high.
After considering screwing on skinny cedar branches, Scott chose to utilize 4-foot lengths of steel rebar (leftovers from the wedding bar tables.) He created a "story pole" by attaching a screw to a scrap 2x2x8 at the 7.5 ft. mark. With this as our guide, we were able to attach a piece of rebar to each post and end up with the top of each piece at the same height - so no matter how tall the cedar post is, the top of the fence will be consistent all the way around.
Each piece of rebar was attached by using two 3/8" conduit clips - little "C"-shaped metal pieces that were easily screwed to the cedar. We finished this task Monday (the 25th) evening - and we bought all the welded wire fencing and chicken wire Sunday . . . so we are really ready to finish the fence! Let's see if the weather cooperates this week.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Photos Reveal Bibbers' Past

Scott spoke to our neighbor-to-the-north, Jim, last week about Rocket - the new outdoor cat that hangs around the stoop. The focus of the conversation naturally turned to Bibbers (of course - what conversation doesn't?) Jim mentioned that he remembered Bibbers as a kitten, knew his mommy and litter mates - and even had photos! He was kind enough to stop by on Saturday and share copies.
Bibbers was the only orange kitten of his beautiful calico mommy. Jim told us that Bibbers (or "Garfield" as he called him) is the last survivor of the family. He also confirmed that Bibbers is around 8 years old (a few years older than we assumed.)
Yep! That's Bibbers! What a sweet baby! 
We adopted Leo at 8 months old and Wilson at 7 years old . . . so to get to see photos of one of our boys as a little kitten is quite a treat. 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Garden Beds Filled; Fence Now Needed

With some pretty nice weather and two nice helpers, the vegetable garden made good progress this weekend. It began with an early morning top soil delivery Friday. Scott arranged for the Yard Market to deliver late in the day but true to form with most contractors, they chose to make us their day's first stop. 
It was a beautiful morning to take delivery of 10 Yards of top soil/compost mix!
The dirt was dumped close to the corn crib and within easy totin' distance to the beds.
The pile didn't look that big but I'll let you guess if we had any soil leftover by the end of the weekend.
After I got home from work, I got busy with the task of lining each bed with two layers of landscaping fabric to block the grass and weeds from growing. The roll on the right was leftover from a project at Grant Street. We kept it all these years "just in case" of course.
I used the staple gun to attach the fabric to the inside of each log. Each layer was secured with two rows of staples.
Wilson gave the first bed a drive-by inspection and seemed "OK" with my effort. Thanks, Wilson!
Not to be outdone by Wilson, Leo got a good look at my stapling from inside the bed.
For the second layer of fabric, I used the newly-purchased 6-foot wide roll. Easy!
By the time Scott got home (3 hours later,) I had two beds lined and a really sore stapling hand. Having wind gusts of over 20 mph didn't make it easier - but I was pretty proud of working hard all by myself with just the kitties to keep me company.
Saturday morning, Scott reinforced the lining with some of the plastic-capped nails used when the contractors wrapped the house addition. There were literally hundreds of these nails dropped all around the building site so we made sure to pick them all up and store them away "just in case." The plastic caps will help prevent the lining from tearing.
Marita was the chief rake operator and helped coordinate who was dumping soil into what area of the bed. Thank you, Mama!
Carl was an excellent shovel operator and brought his own wheelbarrow - gotta love a man with his own tools. Thank you, Dad!
The boys kept the wheelbarrows moving (I was pitching in on the shoveling side.)
After all four beds were full of soil, Scott started laying out the location of the fence posts. We realized then that we were two posts shy of proper spacing.
Luckily, we have no shortage of cedars in need of harvesting! We made quick work of two trees and had the posts we needed.
The happy crew (minus the photographer) at the end of the shoveling portion of the day. 
Next step:  build a fence. 
Then:  buy veggies!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Vegetable Garden Progress: Beds Are Made

Over the past few weeks, we have made some pretty good progress on the new vegetable garden. Four log-based raised beds are now ready to be filled with topsoil.

On Sunday, March 28 (after a one-day rain delay), nephew Pete plus Carl & Marita spent a sunny afternoon helping put logs in place. In addition to all of the cedars that we harvested, Scott decided to utilize some of the pine from our log stockpile. Luckily, the Ranger and Pete were on hand to wrangle these huge logs up to the garden site.

Marita was in charge of entertaining Bibbers.

Taking a cue from Lincoln Logs, Scott decided to fit the logs together by notching each end.
He tried using a hatchet and axe but the chainsaw proved to be the most efficient tool. 
 Once each log was notched, the short end was lifted into place.
Ta Da!
This is one of two beds created with the large pine logs. I think they resemble the chassis of Fred Flinstone's car but I'm sure they'll do a great job of corralling veggies.
Fast forward two weeks and pine bed number two was constructed. The Farm Boss got a new blade and a new chain so made quick work of the log notching.
It's not all about Scott and his's my foot, holding the log steady as he cut another notch. Good job, Kristin!
The other two beds are constructed of cedar logs. Since these logs are smaller in diameter than the big pine logs, each side of the cedar bed is comprised of two stacked logs.
Each "layer" of cedar is secured in the corner with a deck screw for extra stability.
Once the two layers of cedar were in place, Scott trimmed any excess off the corners.
And there you have it! Four raised beds ready for landscaping cloth and top soil and - oh yes - plants! We hope to have the soil in next weekend, then turn our attention to building a fence prior to planting. No need to supply salad for every deer and bunny in northern Douglas County!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!