Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Growing paprika

We grew Alma Paprika (Capsicum annuum) at the farm this year and it is was gorgeous. A short plant with lush leaves and fruit that starts white and progresses to orange and then red. It is an heirloom and great for drying and grinding.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Field #1

The buckwheat cover crop in Field #1 was mown down on Mon, 9/19. We left it to decompose and will till it in on Tues, 10/4 before we begin planting that week.

Buckwheat stubble - it did a great job of smothering the seed bank

This gives a good idea of the bed size.

We will plant between the tractor tire marks.

We will plant in alternating beds within the field and in the fallow beds will plant clover which will suppress the weed seeds and allow a nice path for access to the plants.

Sparky the tractor went into our Mennonite farmer neighbors for a tune-up (they run a tractor repair and a roadside farm stand). They are nice folks and we enjoyed meeting them. They run tractors on steel wheels instead of rubber. Here is a photo of a Mennonite doing some haying - note the wheels.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shop walls (aka Shipping Containers) in place

We rented a telescoping forklift last week and manipulated the two shipping containers into place on their concrete footings.

Towing chains hooked around the forks and the container

We have to drag it onto the stone area and rest it on the concrete edge

Bill used the forklift to lift up the corner and I slid a telephone pole underneath allowing the container to roll

The first one is in place

End of day 1 of the machine rental - they are both in place

The shop will be constructed between the two containers

The next day we used the forklift to fill up the 20 yard dumpster with the kitchen demolition of last summer.

In this photo, you can see the shute out of the upstairs window. This is what I use to scoop the lath, plaster and rubble by the shovelful easily into the dumpster.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quick connects & farmhouse demo begins!

We weighed the pros and cons of quick connects for Sparky and came down on the safety side. Bill was spending lots of time trying to line each implement up correctly in order to attach and unattach. After reading an article in Growing for Market about the number of back and hand injuries that can be avoided by quick connects, we were convinced.

Several of our new implements have the quick on/off. We had to retro-fit the bucket and several of the older implements.

Bill had to cut and grind the old connections off - here he is using the concrete saw

Then welded on the new frame and it quickly connects to Sparky

During our last concrete pour, we made a counterweight

During the Labor Day week, I also started demo on the 2nd floor of the farmhouse.


We ordered a 20 yard dumpster and built a chute from the 2nd floor down to the dumpster. I spent all week in gloves, safety glasses and a dust face mask. The 2nd floor is a combination of drywall and lath and plaster. It is a dirty job.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Buckwheat on Buckwheat Ridge Road...

The buckwheat certainly came up! This is why it is known as a smother crop.

Field #1 in full bloom buckwheat - will be cut on Monday

For comparison, this is Field #2 in the green manure

We spent Labor Day laboring on the buttresses on the barn.

4 forms for the buttresses

After the concrete was poured, the pressure pushed out this 2x4 from the frame

this was our 3rd use of these forms - we retire them now and will use them to build a shelter to protect our tractor implements from the elements

This is the hopefully the last concrete pour that we do ourselves. For the record, it was our 3rd pour each of which was 6 yards.

The buttresses will also serve as animal pens or a footing on which to support shade structure.