Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015

The black oil sunflowers are blooming at the farm.  The goldfinches are getting their fill.  We are also blessed with lots of garden produce.  John picked a trailer full of corn yesterday and has been busy shucking, cleaning, blanching, cutting them off the cob (some were left on the cobb), and putting them in the freezer.  We had some yummy corn fritters for dinner last night.  For breakfast this morning, we had some bacon, sauteed potatoes, carrots, red onion, and basil from the garden, along with some watermelon and honey dew melon.  Life is good! 
So far this year, we have canned roma beans, squash, and pickles.  We have frozen corn, bell peppers and blueberries, and we have put in the root cellar (basement) potatoes and butternut squash.  Our cup runneth over! Our tomatoes are just starting to ripen and have provided us with some sandwiches so far.  We have planted some sweet potatoes, carrots and squash. 
We have had plenty of rain.  In addition to all the garden duties, we have been gathering the remaining materials we need to start mounting the solar panels on the roof of the tractor shed.  My son, who is an electrical engineer, is helping us design the system which we hope to implement at the end of this month.  Additionally, I am getting ready for a visit from my mom, and I have finished my first slipcover on a chair. I am amazed at how well it turned out! The slipcover fits the chair so well, it is difficult to tell that it is not upholstery.  I don't know why I haven't tried this before.  I love the ability to take it off and wash it!  My husband and I also put the finishing touches on the sewing armoire, with the last coat of white semi-gloss paint and spray-painted the handles black.  It's so pretty, you wouldn't suspect it holds a fold down sewing table in addition to providing storage inside.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015

So, at the farm recently, we have been building the tractor shed. First John measured for the footprint and dug the holes with the auger on the tractor and the post hole diggers.  Then he set up a level string to measure to the depth of the hole to figure out where to cut the upper notch in each pole.  Then he put in the poles and used stakes hammered in the ground and braces to level each pole.  Then we added two 2 x 10 beams to each of the north and south sides, sitting in the notch of the pole.  After that, we put up one rafter to figure out where we wanted to put the bird mouths on each rafter, and used that one for a template to cut out the other 11 rafters.  We used one every two feet, which made for 12 rafters.  We used a measurement of 20'11" so the 7 three foot metal roof panels would fall evenly with a little overhang on each side.  After the rafters, we put on knee braces, bridging, and a wood tie between the bridging and the beams to hold in a strong wind.  We cemented in the poles at this point and left them to dry overnight.  Then came the roof sheathing, with the metal roof panels on top of that and screwed on every 2 feet or more.   Yay!  A finished tractor shed that will also provide a roof to install our solar panels on!