Today is Sunday and I normally try to keep it as my day of rest, but today just feels… wasted.
I woke up to a bad pain day. Enough that I asked my daughters to take care of feeding the outside cats, then went back to sleep for a couple more hours. It’s not even the worst pain I’ve been in, but it’s like all my joints just don’t want to work properly.
(As I type, retype and retype again, these few sentences repeatedly, because my fingers don’t want to work right!)
Still, I wanted to make sure I got outside for a while, do the rest of my morning rounds and get some fresh air and sunshine. It’s a really gorgeous day out there, and I didn’t want to miss too much of it!
Judgement is judging the state of my boots. 😄
Judgement and Gooby both followed me around all over. With more snow melting away, and plenty of wind, I found and picked up a lot more of those plastic strips from the new shingles being blown around.
One of the areas I can now get into is parts of the spruce grove. Usually it’s either too wet from the snow melt, or too overgrown, to get into. The snowmelt is being absorbed by the ground this spring and nothing is growing yet, so I was able to get through most of the area. There are so many dead trees in there. Some on the ground and rotting, some stuck on other trees and may actually be useable, and others that will need to be cut down. I was also spotting the poplars I want to thin out to use for the trellis tunnels we will be building. Poplar has been taking over the spruce grove. We will be keeping them to a certain extend, as they have been a very useful material, but as we cut down and clean out the dead trees, I want to plant more spruces in the spruce grove!
Feeling the way I do today, though, looking at all the work that needs to be done had me feeling my aching bones even more.
I was also scoping out locations. If things work out to plan, we’re going to have a shed delivered to us at some point, and we need to decide where to put it. In will likely be used as a chicken coop, once it gets the repairs it needs, until we can build the mobile chicken coop I have in mind. We will need some sort of base to support it, so it’s not directly on the ground. Yesterday, I was able to get into the barn and see the state of things. In the lean to side, there are a whole lot of old tires (why are there so many old tires all over the place???), some with rims, some without. It occurred to me that we can use the tires with rims to support the shed. Or just the rims. We don’t have as many rims without tires around, but we can take the tires off.
I had considered putting the shed near the barn, where we would have access to electricity if we wanted, but we have other plans for the outer yard, including permanent raised garden beds and the outdoor kitchen, so I’m thinking it might get to be too much. My daughter is also looking to build a shelter for a forge in the outer yard, though in a different area. The space is going to be filled up quite a bit, and we still need to make sure that there are lanes to drive through with large vehicles. There are also pipes from the well and septic tank running through towards the barn, with the septic pipe running off to the outflow pipe and water pipes running to an old cattle fountain and the barn. The area over them needs to be kept clear, in case they ever need to be excavated. Some day, I would like to be able to turn that water on again, but not until we’ve been able to replace our well pump and upgrade to a larger pressure tank. The shut off valve for fountains and barn is in in our basement. There are two cattle fountains are designed to refill automatically, and they keep the water from freezing in the winter. One fountain, we can see from the house. The other is behind the barn, set up to be accessible both inside and outside of a pen. I’d like to have both of them checked out and repaired as necessary. We’re not planning to have cattle, but if we end up having goats or something, or even have it available for the deer or the renter’s cows, that would be good. That is years in the future, though. As for the tap in the barn, it’s been bashed into at some point and needs repair, too.
In the end, I decided the best place to set up the shed would be near the garage. There’s an open space there that no longer has a branch pile in it. We would have to line it up with the front of the garage, which should keep it from shading out the asparagus and sunchoke beds along the chain link fence. With the chain link fence and the garage, we would have to fence off only two sides to create a run for any chickens. It would be a small run for just a few chickens, but enough to start with. The shed would need to be far enough from the garage to access the wall and roof. Now that the branch pile is gone, we can finally clean out the eaves on that side of the garage!
That branch pile was never meant to be there for several years!!
Having it by the garage gives easy access to electricity, plus better storage for feed and bedding, and still be fairly close to the house, where we’d be getting water from.
To prepare for the shed here, the ground will need a small amount of leveling, and the tires/rims can be brought over. I don’t know the dimensions of the shed yet, so I’d just want to have them nearby until I know where to put them. We even have a chain link gate in the storage house, sitting on the remaining section of stairs to the basement, that could be used to access the chicken run after we fence it off. The shed itself needs its floor replaced. It has a flat roof that leaks, which is why the floor got damaged, so I want to put an angle roof over the existing one, with an overhang on all sides.
Little by little, it’ll get done.
The next area I wanted to scope out was the maple grove behind the house. The two branch piles there are now gone, so it’s nice and open again. The old garden shed is slowly rotting away. My late brother got it second hand from who knows where, and it was basically shoved in between some trees, on top of rocks. I don’t know if any attempt had been made to level it when it was first brought in, but it’s certainly not level now. The trees are holding it up, though!
Since the outdoor bathroom we were planning to build as a cordwood practise building will have to wait until we’ve cut down and removed about a dozen dead spruce trees, I want to make a garden shed as a cordwood practise building. My original thought was to place it next to where there is a path through the maple grove to he main garden area, with the door facing the path.
The bare ground the branch piles had been on will be planted with a lawn replacement mix of seeds, but as I walked around, I considered using one of those patches as a better location for the shed I have in mind. It’s not going to be very big; the interior is planned to be 6’x8′, plus the width of the cordwood walls, so we have some options. One thing to keep in mind, though, is the water. There is a tap near the old garden area. It used to be right at the path along one side of the garden, but garden grew smaller over the years, and my parents planted more trees closer to the house, instead of along the north fence line. There are now trees on the other side of the old path, where garden used to be. A lot of trees have been cut down since it was installed, and there’s even a stump right at the tap that still keeps sending out shoot. Other trees have gotten much bigger since it was installed, too. The water source is a tap at the back of the house, and there is a hose buried in the ground. I’ve tried hooking up the hose end, only to have water spraying up from the ground, at the edge of one of the branch piles that was there. One of the goals of this year is to dig up the old hold and replace it. My thought is to get some heavy duty hose and run it through a PVC pipe from tap to hose. That way, if we ever need to replace it again, it would be relatively easy to pull it out and put a new one in, without having to dig a new trench.
Digging that old hose out is not going to be easy. There are going to be a lot of roots in the way!
The main goal being to have that tap at the main garden area working again. It would be a better place to hook up a hose for watering the garden, and I want to make a vegetable washing station. Having the new garden shed near the tap would also be convenient.
The more I walked around the area, the more I realized the best place to build the garden shed would actually be on the other side of where the hose is buried, closer to where the current shed is, and closer to the tap. There are fewer tree stumps to work around, among other things! There would also be more open space in what would be the front of the shed.
In planning the cordwood walls for this, we intend to place longer logs in parts of the wall to support a bench on the outside at one end, which would be closer to the tap. We could even include some longer logs higher up to support a small table or shelf, too. The other end will be facing south, and we plan to have a window and bottle bricks on that side for natural light. With the new location I’m considering, there won’t be as much light, since there are more large maples there. At least one of them is dead and needs to be cut down and untangled from the live tree that’s holding it up. Others are leaning so far over, I plan to cut them to where the trunks are still straight, which will encourage new growth at a lower height. That will be better for the trees, but will eventually block out more light from the planned shed. I don’t mind that too much, though. As long as we have a good, strong garden shed!
Lots of plans. Lots of work to do this summer.
I guess today wasn’t that much of a wasted day, after all.