Art of Proprietation

Friday, August 28, 2009


I spent the day cutting and splitting wood. I should have done this three months ago. I started to, but I got side tracked by the fence and then there was temporary goat fence to deal with. Then it got hot. And there's always the other things that need to be done.

I got around to it today, though. I am going to feel it day after tomorrow, too. But it's important to get it done. I've put it off too long already and I am little worried it won't be well seasoned. Less than dry wood will burn with less heat for the house as all that moisture goes up the chimney as water vapor.

I got about half of the wood down to the house. I am processing as much as possible away from the house. It's a pain to clean up all the leavings. I also feel that it attracts insects to the proximity of the house. I have a wooden house, so I avoid enticing wood parasites closer. I also went to a workshop for on farm composting. One of their suggestions was that hardwood bark is an excellent source of the fungus spores necessary for good decomposition. So I am planning to split the wood where I compost and incorporate it into my next compost pile.

Half of what we need is at the house. The rest is down and cut waiting to be split. It isn't stacked yet, but it is under cover. It is underway.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fence restrung

This is our cover crop of field peas tilled in. That mass on the left is the section we planted late. They weren't as dry and got caught up in the tiller tight. there was a lot of yanking and pulling, a certain amount of cussin' and some knife work.
To get at the peas, I had to unstring the fence. I had foreseen this when I built the fence, so I put loops on each fence wire. The loops allow me to attach a ratchet strap and keep the rest of the fence line tight while I put down this end. It makes getting the fence backup a lot easier. This way I only have to pull out the sag from between two posts to get it threaded into the tensioner. For the wire at the eight foot level, it makes a big difference.
I'll probably need to drop this fence three or four times a year so I can get in and till, spread compost, etc. There is a tractor path that goes down the middle and has a cross in the middle. But during the growing season, it's tight to get in there and I would have had to cross active beds to get to the field peas.

My wife planted field peas to start amending the soil. This is our first year growing in the new big garden. The soil is not great, silty sand. We're working hard to amend it, the peas will add organic material and nitrogen. We'll also be spreading composted manure later this year.

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