Friday, July 22, 2011

4x4 Arbor Post

Three feet doesn't sound like that far to dig. After a couple minutes with a manual post hole digger it seems almost impossible to dig that far. I put about three inches of pea gravel at the bottom of the hole for the 4x4 to sit on.

I used pressure treated 4x4's from the big box store. After many hours researching online the best way to install 4x4's, I realized where the saying "ask 9 people how to do something and you will get 10 answers", came from. In the end I decided if these only last me 10 years I will be happy.

I used whatever wood I had laying around to support the post while I poured the cement. I poured the cement right out of the bags into the holes. I soaked the cement with water afterward. I have heard you don't even need to do that. You can just let the ambient soil moisture harden the cement.

Here are the post for the hops. They are 12 feet long, standing 9 feet tall. The Grape posts are 8 feet long standing about 5 1/2 tall and the kiwi post are 6 feet long standing about 4 feet tall.

This set up worked quite well. You can do almost anything with ratchet straps.

You have to feed and listen to this level. Its worth it though.

So here we are. I will post later about what I use for wire and how I plan on training the grape (middle posts) and kiwi (front posts) vines.

The hops will wind there way up the hemp I am stringing here. Next year at this time there will be a wall of hops where I am standing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My garden helper...

She is so cute... I can't really be angry with her.
This was, however, my ditch effort at getting some
tasty garden fresh peas during this hot weather.
I guess Guen doesn't think I should eat out of season.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Patrick built trellises for the squash that we can mow
under but they will give slightly once the weight of the fruit is on them.

One of the cosmos in the back bed was destroyed in a recent storm.
So far We've lost 2 sunflowers (from a prancing deer),
one squash at transplant and this. Pretty good so far.
I probably shouldn't have written any of that... I probably just
cursed my garden... ummm... knock on wood?

Mmmmm, peas! It's too hot for these now but omg, so delicious.
I miss them already :(

A trellis for this itty-bitty tomato.

And then a trellis for the real tomatoes

Here's the whole garden, well the whole raised bed garden and
everything we've trellised. In the pots are the lemon and orange
trees we moved off the deck and then we planted a lot of lettuce. It may
need to move inside. I thought it would be ok still but it's getting bitter.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Roof Repair

So have you ever seen a couple shingles laying in your yard after a big wind storm?
You get up on the roof and say "Oh, I can fix that".
This is what happens when you start peeling back the shingles...

The old ply-wood was completely rotted through, I used my hands to rip it up.
I thought it was just a small section that was rotted.
When I was done I had to replace two 4x8 foot sections.

I learned 75 percent of what I needed to know on the internet.
The other 25 percent was trial and error. But we can't forget blatant stupidity.
I managed to get three bundles of shingles up the ladder when I realized
I had the wrong color. Back to the big-box-store I went, shingles are very heavy...

Dara's home-made smoothies...

...make thirsty nerds happy.

Back to work. Once you get your rows started, roofing is pretty easy.
Dont get me wrong, roofing is hard work, but most of that comes from lifting heavy
stuff and the heat. Roofers should get paid at least $50 a hour.

So here we are. New roof! I had to replace the top 8 feet of the loft area,
including doing the ridge shingles and the top row of shingles on the other side.

All totaled: one person, 12 hours, half a tube of sunscreen and $175.00 in materials.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Garden Update (pics from a couple weeks ago!)

Here is a photo of the garden from the roof,
hopefully this will give a better perspective of the yard.

The cosmos I started from seed began blooming a couple weeks ago.

Here's a look down the side fence.
In front is the asparagus Patrick planted... pretty big already,
then sunflowers, peas and peppers (random I know),
next patch is amaranth and hopefully some quinoa soon.
Down further under some straw are a few peanut plants
and way far at the end is the compost pile with comfrey and
now squash and okra planted around it.

Along the back fence are the sand cherries, including the one
I ran over with the lawnmower even though Patrick told me I should
stay many yards away from anything we wanted to keep alive...

Ok, this is pretty sweet... Patrick heard on a podcast
(The Self Sufficient Homestead) you could cut the bottom off of a
leek and replant. Here it is! So far all the ones that have been
replanted are doing great. Hope they taste as good!

I spent a lot of time working out what plants would go where
in the garden and in a few places did some random things... just to see.
While everything is doing very well there are some things that
are doing much better, for instance, this cabbage.
This is the most diverse box and has some of the best plants.
Next year I think I will experiment with some of my own companion planting.