Since the last post we have been busy as bee’s!
The garden is going to rest and I have found a great use for these massive black cube sacks (a commercial waste product, we have sourced and are repurposing) I am breaking them down into long mats about 4 feet wide by 16 feet long, and they are going down on the undeveloped tiers of the garden to try to kill off some kouch grass, and make my spring start an easier one! These bags originally contained carbon, and each bag has a skiff of this great soil amendment bonus too!
We managed to get our hands on about 2300 sq ft of used red metal roofing for a really really good price, so the shop is one giant step closer to being sealed up for winter! YEAH! We also welcomed a MASSIVE 53 foot truck loaded to the brink with foam blocks (about 4300 of them) they are literally pouring down the driveway right now. These will be shop walls (with an 50+ R rating), and hopefully if the snow holds off for long enough we will get a breezeway up too. But I am not counting on it, however there is plenty enough roofing for the job.
In addition to using the foam blocks on the roof of the shop, Dylan dug out and insulated the underside of the trailer skirting area with these little wonders! We are certain they are making a difference already! I can’t tell you how happy I am to a) see those scary dirty under the trailer holes filled in, and b) to be utilizing these super blocks in yet another fashion! they are so stellar. I have been installing foil insulation and sewing curtains… well in fact Mia has been sewing the curtains, after only 3 weeks into her new after school sewing lessons, she is not only sewing but threading the machine, loading the bobbins, pinning and ironing, you name it! These skills have come to her just in time.
The other huge progression forward came the other day when our wonderful friend came by with his John Deer… he moved a great deal of earth and levelled out the shop floor! YEAH! He also cleaned up the excavation between the posts. It really opened up the shop and it was about the best possible favour we could have asked for!
The mornings have been brittle cold and frosty, but our days have been sunny and warm, with crisp blue skies. Dylan took this stunning photo the other morning of the sun cutting through the cloud. I don’t think I will ever get used to the awe of waking up in the clouds, and falling asleep with ten zillion stars to count. I still find myself close to tears sometimes while simply driving to the store at the utter beauty all around us in this valley. Right now the Ewe tree’s are yellow and fiery amongst the evergreens and the barren conifers in the landscape, and the snow top peaks are an ever present reminder of the next season.
My final tidbit to share is that we are planning for some extended food sources for the spring, and doing our due diligence and researching some really interesting small scale systems; mushroom cultivation, apiary, meat rabbits, and worms (vermicompost)! These are all relatively low cost start up highly productive systems, that require very little time. I do so very much want goats and sheep, but I am just not ready to be a mom on demand just yet to those little guys.. one day certainly, but I think that rabbits are a good start. Plus I found a breed of rabbit the English Angola which actually has wool not fur! Angola Wool! Wow, I had no idea. I should say that I have never really like rabbits… certainly I have never considered having one as a pet in my life, nor am I drawn to them in general. Maybe this is best if we are raising them for meat after all, but the move I read the more the more eager I am to fit these fur and meat producing little guys into my our system, and the real kicker for me is the worm / rabbit dropping relationship! It’s a permaculture match made in heaven. Rabbit droppings are a complete food for worms, which means I can incorporate a large scale (large compared to the household worm bin sized systems I have had in the past) vermacompost operation into my garden plan without taking food away from the chickens and the compost pile. Oh the compost pile.. my next post will be a compost 101, I have a huge steamy heaping pile 4ft tall right now cookin’ up a storm! And some insight to share.