I had a bit of time this morning to prepare before working on the old kitchen garden. My plan had been to use the four foot length of logs left over from when the branch piles were chipped to build up the walls of garden bed, end to end, held in place by stakes. As I was doing other stuff around the spruce grove yesterday, I realized a tree top from a dead tree we’d cut down was still stuck in the cherry trees we need to get rid of (they are non-productive, and invasive), and it was nice, long and straight.
So this morning I worked on getting that out, then went through the spruce grove to see if there were other dead trees that were already on the ground I could make use of. That was then I spotted something red among the dead grasses.
Look what I found!
These are the bird feeder parts that disappeared, a year and a half or so ago!
This was about 40 yards away from where it had been hanging. No wonder I couldn’t find it back then! I guess it really was the racoons that stole it away.
The cannister was still intact, but the rest was broken into many pieces, which got cleaned up.
I did manage to find more useable trees that I dragged closer to the old kitchen garden, and then I headed out to see my mother. I left early because I wanted to go to the pharmacy first, then grabbed some fried chicken and wedges for lunch. My mother has told me not to, in the past, because she decided the chicken was making her sick, but she had no complaints at all when I showed up with it! The other choices weren’t open today, or opening later, so there wasn’t much choice.
So we had lunch, then she gave me a list of the few things she needed at the grocery store and I picked those up for her. While visiting longer after that, I discovered our vandal has been swinging by her place again, and had left more phone messages. I listened to those and recorded them with my phone. I’m concerned, because our restraining order is expiring about now. I’d hoped to not need to file to renew it. I still sometimes see him on the security cameras, just going by. He hasn’t been doing things like coming up to the gate and messing with it, or giving the finger down the driveway, nor has he done things like follow me home and yell at us from the road – but once the restraining order is expired, there’s nothing to prevent him from starting that up again. From his messages, he’s clearly still obsessed with us living here on the farm, and still portrays himself as a victim, and me as trying to put him in jail and destroy his life. Truth is, I don’t even think about him until he shows up on the camera files, or starts bothering my mom again.
After finishing up my visit with my mother, I went to the hardware store. I found some things to use to keep the frames I want to build from bowing out, and also to pull in the walls of the raised beds. The long sides are made with board that are 6′ pieces and 3′, joined by attaching them to pieces of 2×4. What I didn’t expect was for the 2×4 to start splitting lengthwise! So all three beds are bowing out, some more than others, at the joins. If I can get those pulled in and straight again, the frames I want to build will sit properly on top.
For the frames, I wanted to get 1″x2″x10′ boards, but when I got there, they only went up to 8′ long. Since these will be moved around a lot, I did not want to be cobbling the long sides together to make 9′. The next option was 1″x4″x12′ I’d intended to get a dozen of the 1″x2″, but went with 10 of the larger size. After taxes, it came out to just over $80, which was more than I’d wanted to spend! But, I needed the lumber.
So I got the lumber, then drove into the yard to have it loaded into the car.
Slight problem with not using the van right now.
If I’d been able to get the 10′ size, it would have worked, but at 12′ long… well…
I folded down the front passenger seat, so they could be slide right up to the windshield, but they were still sticking out the back. They gave me a flag, but didn’t have any ties. I had to go back inside and buy a couple. The car happens to have metal loops on the sides so I could attach the longer one across the boards to secure them, but I still had to secure the hatch. The shorter tie was still too long. I went back in to try and find shorter one, but there was nothing. The hatch had a small hole I could put the hook into and that’s all there was to secure it there, so it’s not like I could use rope or something. I ended up pushing the end of the tie through the loop in the middle that the hatch locks into, shortening it a bit, and that was the best I could do.
I drove home doing only 80km/h all the way (speed limit on the highway is 100km/h), with one arm over the boards! I did pull over at one point to adjust them higher into the front of the car, and even used the flag to tie around the ends of the boards (in the photo, it runs under one board, to keep it from sliding off), just to secure them a little bit more.
The ties I got are going to stay in the car, and I’ll probably get some cord or rope to include in our emergency kit, too! That’s the red and black bag to the right of the lumber in the photo.
As I was driving home, I was thinking about how these 4″ boards would be just too wide for the frames I want to build, when it finally occurred to me that I could just cut them in half, length wise!
Which means, I could have gotten away with buying only 6 of them, instead of 10.
Ah, well. It’s not like the extra will go to waste!
So that’s the plan with these. After I’m done with the old kitchen garden, and the girls have finished with the sun room, I’ll drag the table saw out of the sun room and use it to cut a few of the boards in half, length wise, to start with and then build the first frame. I think I’ll make the first one over the spinach bed. I don’t like the floating row cover sitting right on top of the soil. As light as it is, it just seems like it’ll weigh down the seedlings when they germinate. That will be my prototype, so if I need to make any changes in the plans I have in mind, I’ll do that when making a cover to replace the hoops and plastic over the carrots.
But that will have to wait.
I’m not sure if I’ll be working on the old kitchen garden tonight, anymore. It’s supposed to be warm out there – we’re at 11C/52F but the winds are still high. It’s not just about being chilly. Even with a hat on and wearing the hood on my jacket, I still got ear aches from the wind.
We shall see.
I’m hoping to be able to set up for another time lapse video of the process. I have a GorillaPod to hold the phone I’m using to record video, but it’s a smaller one, which limits what I can attach it to. There are several options, though, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
I’ll decide whether I’ll start on it tonight or tomorrow, when I do my evening rounds and see what the conditions are like.
Now that I’ve got the lumber, though, I’m really itching to build those frames!