how many Fidlers does it take?

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Apparently just 3, to see the roof framing complete!

I was going to call this post the last spike, but surely that is a lie, as there will be many more spikes before this project is complete, however ” a very important spike” just didn’t have the same ring. It is now apparent that Dave and Colin just can’t stay away, and we are as always thrilled to have them here. These 3 Fidlers are not only  a very productive team, but a dynamic accumulation of skills and muscle and ideas who obviously enjoy so much playing with new theories and of course big tools. It must be something magical that happens when a craftsman father; carpenter and timber framer gets to help his son; a third generation carpenter build a wood shop out of trees (what else) with the help of his youngest son and the trio’s greenest woodworker!  The boys erected their guest house on the front lawn and put in their usual extended weekend at our labour camp, which Dylan is lovingly referring to as “camp out for grown ups”

When the guys arrived Dyl had 4 of the 10 roof beams up and secured in place (from the week prior with Mike), and the large wooden centre ring was affixed to a temporary centre post. After the first day the guys had all 10 beams up and started securing them with hand crafted wooden pegs. By the end of the next day Dave was standing on the centre ring with the temporary pole now removed! This was really exciting for everyone, the roof was up,  it was strong, and it was good. They decided to source, cut, haul and skin another 10 tree’s from the dead cedar clearing in the bush, these are the smallest of the tree’s used thus far for the shop and they will get mounted in between the huge spans of roof beams to pick up decking material for the roof, which is down to either a living green roof or a cedar shingle roof. they both have benefits and downfalls we are weighing as options. Thus far the building has cost us less than $200 in materials and the reality is that is about to change as we need to start considering wall and roof options… quickly!

We also welcomed our Mom’s back this weekend along with Maria who is here visiting from Columbia, They came bearing gifts which changed our lives drastically ; they bought us a 2 burner electric cooktop and brought with them 2 bins of winter gear and our toaster we left back home!! I can’t tell you how drastically improved my culinary life is now that I can boil water quickly inside without increasing the house temperature by a million degrees. Dylan also did a quick mod to my crappy kitchen sink bucket situation, and now we have a very phallic yet totally “temporarily functional” grey-water system. It is a whole new world for me in the kitchen right now, and just in time too as there is a chilly autum damp in the air today.

I managed to get my chicken coop project underway with the help of everyone, but especially my Mom who slugged with me through wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of sandy heavy loamy earth (which Mia screened for a fee of a cinnamon bun and a home made root beer promise for the next Nelson market visit) and with some gruelling concrete mixing by hand; we got the integral coop wall up. This is a series of nesting box recycled buckets set into mortar along with perch sticks and dozens of pop can fillers, beer bottle supports and even a few milk cartons for good measure. This whole half wall was constructed using broken buckets we acquired with our land. Dylan and I also grabbed a load of 3 gallon empty but clean oil jugs with lids from the local soap manufacturer which I have  incorporated into the wall for both water and feed storage and dispensing.  The chickens keenly observed the coop construction, and I think they will love this new playground. The garden shed was designed to house a little 4×8 loft play area for Mia which acts as the roof for the winter coop. In order to start this project I did a simple excavation and set a bucket base footing on grade. Now I still have 3 walls to put up as well as the top of the nesting box wall and I really enjoyed working with (but not mixing) mortar and beer bottles so I may continue on with this method as well as create a large insulated plywood wall on 1 or 2 faces as well as some plywood flaps on the back of the open buckets which will be hinged to easily collect eggs and clean the boxes. The next step will be to add an earthen plaster finish to all the mortar fill to make it all pretty and cleanable. 1 giant step closer to the chicken condo’s completion, before the snow flies!

I wish every weekend was this productive!

3 thoughts on “how many Fidlers does it take?

  1. I’m constantly amazed by your posts you guys!! The shop looks just awesome, and the nesting wall looks like a good home for the chickens, I’m sure they’ll be happy there. Again, I’m so proud of you guys as I check in again and again and see that you are turning that land into the place you dreamed of. I wish I could be there more often, put my own stamp on more of it. Maybe next summer. Take care you guys, you’re working so hard!

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