Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More toys

We bought a trailer to haul stuff, especially firewood. This past weekend, we finally fired up the Russian stove, and got the brick mass heated up. It took a while for the heat to soak out to the surface, but stayed warm a very long time as advertised. After we tighten up the house and add some perimeter foundation insulation, this should be a warm efficient house to heat this next winter. Our farmer neighbor Bob says he has plenty of down wood he'd be happy to have me clear out, to improve his pasture.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

prickly ash

Another photo of the farm. This past trip, I cut down a lot of prickly ash, a native tree that can take over an area if allowed to. It is nasty stuff to handle, as the name would imply. The Stihl brushcutter works quite well, and I'm amazed at how the drive shaft stands up to abrupt changes in speed and torque without flying apart.

We have a lot of random scattered clumps of backberry also. While I like blackberries, Walking through them is no fun, and we will have to try to trim back and keep them in reasonable patches that are easy to harvest. They call them blackcaps up here, but they taste the same.

I did a quick scan for morels, but its too early. After the rain, and with some warm weather, they may start popping up. We're not even sure if there are any on our land, but I sure hope so.

Monday, April 27, 2009

on the road

Mentally, the trip to Wisconsin gets a bit shorter with repetition, but my back still feels the long restriction. We did brush clearing, some odds and ends of straightening, and we finally got a real mattress. Off and on a rainy or drizzly weekend, but it was clear long enough to get plenty of work done outside.

Met with a solar installer, and talked about future improvements on the house. No soalr panels this year, but maytbe in a year or two.

Here's a shot of our first rows in the hayfield/soon to be garden. This is the potatores and peas. After last frost, we will plant a lot more. We're hoping we can just keep the hay mowed around and between the rows to minimize erosion and weeds.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green spring

Grass is greening up nice, we have daffoldils and crocus and other stuff blooming. The local ice cream shop opened up foir spring several weeks ago, and have been snowed on a couple times, but people line up anyway. I guess they're missing the ice cream, but also just the idea of being outside in the sunshine after work.

Going up to the farm this weekend, for more tilling, more brush clearing, maybe some more planting. Will meet with a solar panel installer, just to show him the place, we won't move on that this year, but mabe next year. We'll see how the roofing and other priorities go first.

Here is an older photo from another early spring. This was a screened culvert at the outlet from a wildlife sanctuary. The carp were all crowding around, wanting to get out of the murky river in to the clear, warming wetland the water is flowing out of.

I'm glad they are keeping the carp out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where's the spell check!

I see the spell check icon NOW. I need to turn it on permanently. What's more wierd is that I didn't see Fridat.

Tis the season for communities to pay lip service to the environment and do earth day events. I sat at a table promoting the organic farm today, but these events just seem halfhearted and too little too late. Some people get it, but most are still along for the ride.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Fridat potatoes

Got some seeds in the ground last weekend, potatoes, asparagus, peas, carrots. We'll head back up and get more in the ground after frost danger is less. Our soil needs work, but we wanted to get something going, as experiment if nothing else.

Here is a photo of me cutting down brush around the chicken coop. We won't do chickens this year, but it will take time to clear out all the brush which had grown up around everything.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

winter's end

Well well, even with the two inches of snow we got Sunday night, it's still spring. The snow disappears quickly in the much higher sun, and the robins don't seem to care at all about the snow. The old farmer in Wisconsin told me that robins get snowed on three times in the spring, when I asked if winter was gone. I think this makes two times since we talked.

We pick up our utility trailer Thursday, so we will be able to haul furniture, boxes, firewood, building supplies, equipment, and just stuff.