As I said in part one, this first year consisted of lots and lots of repairs but, we were able to do a few new projects as well.
(placing the stove itself was the most difficult) I spent all spring and much of the summer collecting flat stones from the creek behind our house. By collecting the rocks myself, I was able to hand pick each stone so they are all completely unique. There are even a few special ones carefully placed for some special people including the person I’m writing a tribute for tomorrow.
While the stone wall was my favorite project, one of the biggest was putting in three raised beds. Our property had previously been logged for cedar except, we hear, there was some falling out and much of the cuttings have been left. Most of these cuttings are about 4.5ft long which is too short to use for much but, they are perfect for square beds 🙂 We started collecting these cuttings and used the first load to make three raised beds. We have plenty left over and still scattered to be able to make atleast 5 more this fall.
After setting the sides we then filled the beds with gravel and stone from the area. I first laid down rotting wood then put gravel over the top. In hind site I maybe should have put gravel first then the wood but I didn’t want to start digging my soil and get a splinter. either way, my beds have pretty decent drainage but still hold moisture in the bottom so I don’t have to water every day.
After leveling the gravel I topped each bed with a mix of humus, silt, sand and compost. The soil mixture isn’t too bad but, I will definitely add more compost and some chicken manure when I put the beds to sleep for the winter.
“How’d it do?”, you ask. Not too bad. 🙂 we had plenty of lettuce and peas during the early months then pickles galore all summer. I also planted beets, radishes, potatoes, peppers and, of course, tomatoes. I’m still getting peppers and tomatoes 🙂
As a side note, we got tons (TONS) of rain this year. The lake we are near peaked out near the top of it’s flood pool which is 40 feet above it’s average annual pool. 40 feet! The water is still receding.
We lost one of the easter eggers about a month ago. I never did find out exactly what went wrong but she stopped eating much and passed in my arms. RIP Gertrude.
I just recently also hatched my first chicks and, in a homemade incubator, to boot! 🙂 Maybe I’ll have a how to on that soon 🙂 The “cheeps”, as I’m calling them, are doing great and, of course, they are absolutely ADORABLE!
So, now, as our second summer winds down into our second fall, there is still so much to be done. I’m excited to get going on some fall projects but, most need to wait for a bit of rain. We have to get a second coop built as well as at least four more raised beds. There is also fence to be run and wood to cut for the winter.
With any luck we won’t get the snow the persimmons are calling for but we better be ready just in case 🙂