Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting ready

Well, I think we're officially ready for snow. I've been doing the various jobs that need to be done prior to winter for several weeks now, and in earnest since I got done with the Bale House, and I think I'm done.

There's snow already in the mountains of Maine at slightly higher elevation than here. That snow will form and melt several more times before it sticks for the duration.

Here we should get our first dusting in the next two to four weeks. Usually we get something before or during Thanksgiving.

Charlie cat wasn't helping with today's winterization projects, though. I was all ready to finish yesterday's aborted job of banking, but thought to stick my head into the crawl space first just to make sure the drain was alright. There were these two shiny retinas staring right back at me in the flashlight's beam.

The silly cat was as far back there as he could have gotten and so I couldn't go after him. There's less than ten inches of headroom in the lowest parts of the crawl space.

So I asked Aimee to coax him out. Charlie loves Aimee, and likes to roll around on her lap and let her pet him. I thought she might be able to get him out of there so I could seal it up for the winter on time. But she was reluctant to even get her head properly in the crawl space.

Especially when it turned out that I was taking a picture of her in this undignified posture.

The picture didn't come out. The camera batteries were dead.

Which was also what Aimee said would happen to me should said picture make it onto the Internet.

Touchy, touchy...

That episode put me in the dog house for the remainder of the morning, so I knew I would have to redeem myself. Leaving this space for Charlie to exit the basement, I attempted redemption by repairing and weeding out Aimee's overgrown greenhouse.

The design problem with this little greenhouse, which is made of local cedar and recycled storm windows and cost less than $80, was that we built it leaning against the barn's south wall on a bit of former lawn, and we left the grass in there, which of course gets out of control.

Aimee mows inside it to keep the grass down, which means she can easily break the lower windows with the lawn mower. She grew tired of this procedure this summer after breaking two more windows, and essentially abandoned the greenhouse to its fate.

I told her I would fix it once and for all, with some landscape fabric I had left over from another project, and then we could use it through the fall and it would be ready in the spring for growing starts. We usually use it for late tomatoes, and Aimee likes to grow early salads in there each spring, followed by her many dozen plant starts for the garden and for sale. These repairs would need to be done before snow. But of course, there's been the Bale House to repair first.

But today I moved out or moved aside all the plants and benches, pulled all the long straggly grass and weeds, removed the broken windows, put in replacements from the pile we have, and stapled landscape fabric to the wooden sills of the building. Then I brought back all the benches and plants.

There were three tomato plants, intended for fall harvest, whose lives were saved, more or less, by this procedure. Not as many nor as prolific as planned.

But this does mean there's a few of these nice late season vine-ripened berries for us to enjoy in addition to all the many green ones from the main garden we have refrigerated.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

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