Saturday, July 25, 2009

Painted My Cottage

The pictures speak for themselves. It was hot outside but I took my time and got most of the job done today. I can say I am quite pleased with the contrast in looks. The paint (donated from my good friend Bob) made a world of difference. I will now refer to my shack as a cottage now (or cabin). Also, the paint will act as a barrier against water, giving the wood a fighting chance.


Before


After

I built the cottage in the spring of 2008 for less than $1200. Of course I have put more money into it since then but the initial cost was around that $1200 dollar mark. The largest expense was the ply wood. I used 1/2 inch OSB for the entire structure. The cost of the ply wood alone ran about $300 at least. Then next greatest expense was the roofing materials. Tar paper and rolled roofing as you can see in the pictures. I must have paid less than $200 for the roof. After that was probably the nails. The structural materials were all milled here at the Ranch. One wall is made up of 2X4's, one is 1X6's, another is 1X6's and 2X6's and one is made up of 2X6's. Oh and the rafters are 1X6's. Yes, its a real piece of work but I love it. The cost is what I love most about it. I call this little cottage a five year plan. I say that because in five years it just might be falling over. I think its amazing what a little paint did for it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Tractor

We installed the tractor engine today. It was difficult but we accomplished the task we set out to do. We had to improvise since we did not have all the proper equipment for installing an engine. The pictures below show the chronological order of the installation.

Well this is what it looked like without the engine.


We used an "arch" which was designed to pick up the heads of a cotton harvester (that's the most technical I'm going to get about the "arch")

Once we had the enginge in the general vacinity of where it needed to go, the damn thing tried its hardest not to go together.


But in the end we were able to get that sum bitch (technical term) in there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bounty

It's an exciting time. There are zucchini's growing to harvest size almost daily. We planted yellow squash from a gourd that made it through the winter (laying in the garden) and now we have six plants that, most of which, are putting out beautiful gourds. We had our first zucchini last night and man it was good.

On a side note, I had a little scare with one of our goats yesterday. Shrivels (the dark brown goat) had a swollen eye and had difficulty opening it. Upon examination I couldn't conclude what the problem was. However, today the swelling was all but gone and his eye was open. I'm sure it was from something in the pasture that got in there.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Plants

The garden is looking most excellent these days. We have happy plants that are fruiting. The zucchinis, squash, jalapenos, bell peppers, string beans and grapes are all producing. The grapes that I planted a few weeks ago are now showing signs of life. Also, the strawberries are looking great and a few are already flowering.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Goats

Just a short video, taken today, of the goats in their pasture .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Update #1 Greenhouse Construction

I was setting the four poles that would make up the four corners of the greenhouse but something was brought to my attention. The poles I was about to use were once used as power poles and were treated with coal tar creosote (a common wood treatment used in railroad ties and power poles.) The problem was that creosote could possibly contaminate the soil. After doing a little research I concluded that there was a possible risk of contaminating my garden since the greenhouse they are so close. Since the garden is so important to me, any risk of doing harm to it, (however small that risk may be) is too much risk. I must confess however, that I don't think any significant damage would be done. Luckily the issue was caught before we proceeded with the rest of construction.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Greenhouse

Construction has begun on a new greenhouse. The old greenhouse hasn't been used as a greenhouse for some time now due to its dilapidation. It has however been quite useful as a wood shed. The new greenhouse is going to be built along one side of the garden. It will measure 8'X12' and it should be pretty much awesome. More pictures to come once building progresses.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strawberries


I just got finished planting one-hundred and twenty-five strawberry plants a few days ago. I had ordered one hundred but found that they had added twenty five extra. They arrived in less than a week after ordering which was awesome. The problem with getting them so quickly however was that I was expecting them to arrive in two to three weeks. I had not prepared the soil in which the plants were to be planted. Also, the area in which I had originally planned to plant in was quite inadequate (as far as square footage goes). Well...let me say that last part again. It's not that I didn't have enough space, I just hadn't prepared any soil before ordering the plants. The picture above was my solution for the remaining plants that I couldn't find a home for. Most of the plants made there way into the planned areas after an intense soil preparation campaign. Some got planted around the apple trees, some made it into the garden and around the homestead. The strawberries are doing well and I can't wait till those little buggers are producing delicious fruits.