27 January 2010

First Bed Finished

Today I finally built the first raised bed, and mucked the first full wheelbarrow-full of, well, muck, out of the chicken coops. Farm work is definitely work. I wish I could call this a farm, but I think I need livestock, and poultry doesn’t count. Perhaps I could get the barn cats rated as a herd.

We were planning… well, I drew out five raised beds, scraped the earth clean of grass and weeds and marked them out. Most of them were much too large; I think the biggest was nine feet by twelve. How are you supposed to pick tomatoes growing in the middle of a 9x12 bed if you aren’t supposed to walk in the bed? I don’t know if I was thinking about that. Sometimes with menial work like scraping the weed layer, you just go forth and scrape and stop thinking about it much, or think about other things entirely. I haven’t yet arrived at that point where I can truly be mindful in all menial tasks. I’m good at it with dishes, and okay with laundry (especially folding), but yardwork still gets my mind wandering. I suppose that’s okay.

Anyway, we planned five raised beds. One of them had a lot of large tree roots, and while they’re raised, so the roots would be a problem, with so many beds we just decided to eliminate that fifth one. I split the 9x12 bed in two, so there are still technically five. There are two Fig Beds, and three Oak Beds. Granted, the Fig Beds are near an oak tree, too, but the Oak Beds are not near a fig tree. Everything in the yard is near an oak tree.

I think the Fig Beds are in the more fertile area so I’m building those first. The one I finished today is four by eleven or so. I put eight barrowsfull of dirt in there and one of chicken crap and it still needs about three or four more, but that’s what tomorrow is for. But it looks nice! I’ll build the other Fig Bed tomorrow, and maybe take a before picture. If it gets above freezing before ten-thirty, that is.

So this morning I finally finished painting the bathroom ceiling, since I sure wasn’t going out to work in sub-freezing temperatures. Frankly sub-40 is too cold. I still have Florida blood, can’t help that. That bathroom has been a work in progress since we moved in, but since getting the vent fan installed this autumn the little things that remain to be done have been more obvious. Painted the door and door trim just before Christmas, and today I finally got the line at the edge of ceiling done. The whole ceiling is now the same color! Yaay! And having filled in the two holes remaining from the fan installation it actually feels like it might be done.

Holy crap! The bathroom’s done! (Pause for comments about what still needs to be done.)

So all in all a productive day. Welcome to Smitty’s Farm.

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