Grassy kittens!

Okay, so uploading to Rumble was WAY smoother than using YouTube.

So adorable!

They certainly do love that grass, though. I left the current bush like this last night.

This morning, I found it like this.

Thankfully, it was just here, and not among the tomatoes and squash I also mulched!

Silly babies. ๐Ÿงก

The Re-Farmer

It was worth a try.

I have had no progress at all in the scything lately. Between the heat, the rain and getting sick, it just hasn’t happened.

I got a call this afternoon from the tree removal company. He was in the area and would be able to stop by and look at the branch piles to give me an estimate. So I went out to unlock the gate, then decided to stay and work on the hay from the scything I did manage to do.

This windrow, and what is already in the wagon, is the equivalent of 4 passes with the scythe. The grass that was cut has already grown so much!

I was emptying that first load when the tree guy showed up. On looking at the big branch pile, he had a recommendation for me.

Find a farmer with a tractor that can just get rid of it for me.

Because the pile has been there for so long, stuff on the bottom will be composting already. They’ve done jobs like this before, and the guys end up having to use forks to pick up the branches, because they’re so broken down. It’s a real pain, not not really worth it.

I told him that we want the chips, too. We walked around a bit and I showed him the other branch piles, and talked about how we’re finally planting trees instead of just cutting them down. We will need lots of wood chips for mulch.

For a chipping job like this, he would send two guys, at $200 an hour. At that rate, with what we’ve been able to set aside, we can do 3 hours next month.

So that’s what we’re going to do. Some time after July 31st, he’ll find a day to sent a 2 man crew here. They will chip as much as they can. With three hours, he thinks they should be able to do quite a lot of it. The priority is the big pile in the outer yard, and the smaller one by the garage. If they have time, the next priority are the two piles in the maple grove, behind the house. With those ones clear, we’ll be able to dig up the hose to the garden tap and replace it, so we can have water at the garden again. Anything more than that is bonus.

He did make sure I knew there would be a mess to clean up when they were done. All the stuff that’s too composted for them to put through the chipper. Which is fine. With the big pile in particular, we already have a burnable junk pile next to it. Anything that can’t be chipped will be burned or composted. I don’t expect any of it to be otherwise useable.

Before we worked that out, he mentioned that if we wanted wood chips, he could bring us a load if they had a job in the area, for $50. Since they chipped the wood for us when they cleared our roof and power lines, I know what size their load is, and that is a very good price. I will make sure that we have cash on hand, so that if they’re in the area and can swing by with a load, we’ll be ready for them. With all the stuff we are doing, we will continually be needing more wood chips. There’s only so much we can use the wood chipper we have, since it can only take really straight branches. Almost none of what we’ve accumulated is straight enough! He knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned that. It just gets jammed.

After he left, I continued moving the hay to the garden, deciding to start adding it to the squash patch.

That’s all I was able to cover; 10 plants in total. Which is better than nothing! I did make sure it was a good, thick layer.

Check it out! This is a Baby Pam pumpkin. They don’t get very big. I’m surprised this one is still growing. Given the colour, I thought it wasn’t pollinated and expected it to wither away, but nope. It’s still growing! There’s another plant with a female flower that I hand pollinated, just in case.

Once the hay was all laid out, I took a hose to it to soak it as much as I could. The carboard below dries out so fast in the summer heat, which means it’s more likely to get blown around by the wind. Adding the hay for mulch serves several purposes!

The garden could really use a lot more of this mulch, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to scythe the rest of the area in front of the barn. Aside from still feeling weak after getting sick not long ago, high winds have blasted parts of the area flat. It’ll be harder for the scythe to cut through hay that’s already lying on the ground.

I decided to try something different.

I decided to try using the weed trimmer, since I could plug it in from the nearby garage. This is how it looked before I started.

This is all I was able to get done! I didn’t even finish the entire length to the branch pile. It started to rain, so I put away the weed trimmer and extension cords, only for it to stop raining before I was done. I didn’t bother continuing.

Using the trimmer was much slower and less efficient than the scythe. The only advantage was that I could physically do it, whereas I would not have been able to use the scythe at all with how I’m still feeling. The resulting “hay” is a mess, too. The length of the grass wants to get wrapped up in the weed trimmer, so I had to sort of work my way down, shortening the strands as I went. I suppose the one good thing about that is, the dried seed heads fell off. I’ll leave the “hay” to dry for a bit before I gather it to mulch the garden, so even more of the seed heads should get threshed out in the process.

I’ll try scything the area again, when I feel up to it, but I might have to give up and use the push mower. I would first have to go over it with the mower as high as it can go, then cut it again at least once more, at a lower setting. It might take three passes to do it all. Scything would be faster, if I can cut the flattened grass. There are just patches of those, not the whole thing, so we shall see.

Still, using the trimmer was worth a try, and I got at least some of it done, even while I’m still not back to 100%. I thought I was feeling better until I tried to eat something and… no. Still unstable. Ugh.

Looking at the weather forecast for the next while, we should be able to get more done. If I’m not up to scything, I should at least be able to do regular mowing. The puddles in the yard are gone again, so I can actually do all of it.

I hate getting sick. So much productive time gets wasted!

The Re-Farmer

Garden prep – getting work done outside

Oh, what a lovely, lovely day! I was able to get things done that have been waiting for a day like today.

Before I get to that, though, take a look and who I found.

Possibly the same grog (groundhog) I saw this morning. It was at a space under the fence critters use to get through the chain link, but there’s water there right now. Because I was so close, it wanted to run through, but didn’t want to go through the water! It ended up running down the fence towards the junk pile, and I didn’t see it again until I was back in the house. The girls told me it was at the feeding station outside our living room window! I could tell it was the same one because it’s got burrs or something it its fur.

Then, as I sat down at my computer to upload photos, I saw two grogs running across the driveway towards the inner yard.


We’re going to have our work cut out for us!

Anyhow. Back to business!

The first thing I wanted to get done was lay out the salvaged black tarps (or whatever they are) in the main garden area.

Click on the images to see them larger.

In the background, you can see sticks coming out of the ground where a groundhog’s den used to be. It took shoving those sticks into the hole and burying them to finally get it out of there. They will be trimmed, later.

The black plastic should help warm up the soil, while also killing off the grass and weeds. We will be growing potatoes here, using the Ruth Stout deep mulching method, to start reclaiming this area.

When we’ve used these tarps before, we’d weigh the edges down with rocks, bricks, fence posts – whatever we could find. Since then, I found a big bag of cheap metal tent pegs, so I used some of those to pin the tarps down. The ground is thawed enough that I had no problem pushing them through – except for the rocks.

So. Many. Rocks.

I think only one tent peg actually made it through with minimal problems, and even then, I could feel it pushing past more rocks.

We have three types of potatoes on the way. Two at 5kg/11 pounds and one at 1kg/2.2 pounds. We will likely break the spaces covered by the tarps into 4 beds with paths, if only to make things easier to reach. We may plant the two 5kg types of potatoes here, and find somewhere else of the 1kg of potatoes. Maybe use one of the two grow bags I picked up on sale, for such a small amount.

The next area I wanted to work on was the chimney block bed along the chain link fence. The last 4 blocks had been brought over and were waiting to be placed.

At this point, all I wanted to do was level off the soil with a hoe, then line the blocks up along the fence. The ground slopes downward along this area, and the gap under the chain link increases along the way. When we built the bed here last year, we had to add boards along the fence to keep the soil from washing away when we watered things. It didn’t work as well as in the other bed (the one now bordered with bricks, in the background) because of all that space under the fence. Having these blocks will solve the erosion problem.

The blocks won’t be filled quite yet. I want to put some more organic material at the bottoms before returning the soil, and adding more, if needed. The ones we filled last year look like they could use some topping up, too.

Next, it was the garlic and asparagus beds.

I’ve been reading up and watching videos about growing asparagus – which is not yet showing – and it seems they do well with deep mulching (as well as being planted together with strawberries, which we might do). The garlic beds have mulch on them that I have decided to take off, and move to the asparagus.

First, the garlic beds.

Click on the images to see them in a larger size.

Pulling back the mulch, I can feel that the soil has thawed around the edges, but the closer to the middle, the more frozen it is. In the photo on the right, you can see some of the ice crystals exposed as the mulch was pulled back.

Also, this is oat straw, and quite a lot of seeds got caught up with the straw. I was seeing quite few sprouting grains, like the one in that second photo! (click to enlarge)

Both beds are now uncovered. The bed that’s in the back was more frozen than the one in the foreground. I couldn’t pull off some of the mulch because it was stuck in ice.

Now that there is no longer mulch insulating the ice, it should be melted by the end of the day. We’re at 18C/64F as I write this, so it won’t take long for the beds to thaw, and the garlic can start growing again.

As for the straw mulch…

The red lines mark there the asparagus is, plus there is a narrow band around it, where we shoved in some tiny onions that were really too small for transplanting, but we didn’t want to just toss. They didn’t do well, which is not a surprise, but what is a surprise is that the bulbs survived the winter and are starting to grow! So when the mulch from both garlic beds was added over the asparagus, I made sure it was not really covering where the onions are.

Who knows. We might ended up being able to collect Norstar onion seeds this year!

The asparagus planted here is a purple variety, and this is its second year. Two years from now, we should be able to start harvesting them. We also plan to get green asparagus crowns, but we’ve got so many things to plant this year, it sort of went by the wayside. I’m still not sure where we’d want to plant them, since it would be permanent.

Maybe here?

When we first cleaned out there area, there was a tire planter that was a car tire cut in half around the circumference, the tire flipped inside out, and still attached to the rim, which raised it up a bit. I had dug it out and tipped the soil onto the ground, discovering it was covering the stumps of a maple – which promptly started to send up suckers! Then we discovered that the planter had been for a type of flower that spreads through rhizomes. Which means I inadvertently spread a weed.

When we built the bed here last spring, we used carboard to try and kill things off first, then layered straw and soil on top of the carboard, to make the new bed. We planted strawberry spinach. If any of them sprouted, we had no way to tell, and they didn’t last long. Instead, the bed was filled with all sorts of other things we didn’t want in it.

So today, I took my nice, new garden fork to it, broke it up and pulled out as many roots and rhizomes as I could find. I then scrounged in the garage and found a couple of pieces of panelling, which I placed on top of the space between the two beds, for something to stand on, and also to smother out more of those flowers!

The little stumps are something we’re going to need to get rid of, too.

I’m not sure what we’ll be planting here. Maybe some squash or gourds, which can be heavily mulched and has large leaves to further shade and kill off anything we don’t want to be growing here.

That was it for outside garden prep. I also adjusted some things in the sun room.

The bright LED shop light that had been used on the inside of the plant shelf got rigged to light the new growing platform over the swing bench. This may be a “sun” room, but it’s not a greenhouse, and this far back from the window doesn’t get much direct sunlight at all.

Also, I’m happy to say that it looks like the two little peppers I thinned out of the other pots have perked up and may actually survive!

Once these were all taken care of, I started to dismantle the broken canopy tent frame. I could only do part of it, because I only brought a Phillip’s screwdriver with me, and the rest of them need a hex tip. Which I have, but I’ll continue it another time.

I still can’t get that one leg out of the soil. I can move it around, and the ground is thawed out for at least a couple of feed, but I just can’t pull it out. We’ll have to dig it out! The amount of force from that falling piece of tree must have been amazing to push that leg, with the flat plate on the bottom, through frozen ground must have been something else! So glad it didn’t land on the BBQ, or it would have been destroyed!

While working on the frame, I noticed the window in the back of the storage house had its cover knocked off, so I went over to put it back. Before I did, though, I could see it was wet under there, so I put my phone on flash, stuck it through the window and took some blind shots.

Oh, dear.

With how the water had formed a moat around the storage house, not coming up to the house itself, I thought it might have been pretty dry. Talk about wrong! It’s a lake under there! The kitties have lost their largest shelter.

This is also the brightest I’ve ever seen it under there. I’m not usually there and taking pictures, this time of day!

Well, no surprise that the entire storage house has been slowly sinking if it gets like this during wet years!

In the 14 day forecast, there are a couple of days where we are expecting light showers, but beyond that, we’ve got all warm and sunny, or mostly sunny, days for a while. That is going to be a huge help in giving the soil a chance to absorb more water, and the high water levels to drop or drain away. That means more chances to prepare garden beds for planting!

I’m having so much fun right now… ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Green gold

Today, one of my daughters and I headed out to do more of our monthly stock up that I wasn’t able to do when I did our Costco run. It was a good opportunity to also order and pick up my husband’s birthday pizza. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s not his birthday today, but we tend to spread out our celebrations over several days.

Before we got to indulge, though, we had some green gold to gather.

Today we hit 23C/73F with the humidex at 25C/77F, and full sun. That gave the grass clippings from yesterday’s mowing in the outer yard a chance to dry. My other daughter helped me rake it up and haul it over.

We now have a nice little haystack next to the compost pile, ready to be used in the low raised beds. This is from the two areas of the outer yard pictures, plus one more wheelbarrow full from the overgrown lane between them.

It would have been nice to have clippings like this throughout the summer; they would have been a huge help in keeping the garden beds mulched when it was needed most! Ah, well. Now that we have it, it will help us prepare our garden beds for next year! ๐Ÿ™‚

I never thought I would get all excited about having and collecting grass clippings. ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: beans, and future mulch!

So… today didn’t go quite as planned, originally. What else is new? ๐Ÿ˜€

But first, I want to share this picture.

This bed is the yellow bush beans. The green and purple ones look much the same. Even more beans have been sprouting, and it looks like we’ve got an almost 100% germination rate already! Even in the spaces where there are no beans sprouted yet, I’m seeing bumps and cracks in the soil, showing that something is trying to push it’s way through. Some were so close to the surface, they got uncovered when I watered them!

My original plan had been to finish the new corn block, so the Montana Morado corn could be transplanted, after I got back from helping my mother with her grocery shopping. Instead, I decided the lawn needed to be mowed, first. Not just because we haven’t mowed it yet this year (even with the rains we did get, it wasn’t all that overgrown), but because I wanted the grass clippings. Which meant using the push mower, with its collection bag.

I started off dumping the grass clippings into the wagon, with the intention of hauling the clippings to the garden beds where they will be used as mulch, but I realized the constant stopping and starting and hauling would take too long; particularly since the wagon can only hold 3 bag fulls. Which is more than the wheelbarrows, but still…

So I started dumping the clippings into the compost ring.

This is the clippings from just the south yards, minus two bag fulls. The compost ring was almost empty when I started.

My only concern with this is all the Chinese Elm seeds in there. Piles of grass clippings get shocking hot, though, so I’m hoping that will kill off at least some of the seeds. :-/

When I started on the East yard, I had to find some place else for the clippings, so they got added to the old compost pile. The one we haven’t been able to use, because when we started to dig into it, we kept finding garbage and branches. I think we got all the garbage out, except for maybe a few stray bits. Then when the East and North yards were done, and I started on the West yard, I had to start a third pile.

I didn’t get all the mowing done; a couple of areas just don’t have enough grass to mow, and I didn’t try to go into the trees at all, yet. I want to mow the areas around the old garden, and the new garden beds, more to keep down the poplars that keep trying to spread, and we need to do the parts of the old garden we haven’t put beds into, as well. That part is the most difficult, because it’s so rough. Last year, even at the highest setting, I still kept catching rocks and clumps of soil. In some areas, it’ll be easier to use the weed trimmer, which we can actually do, now that we have enough extension cords to reach all of it.

After the mowing was done for today, I took the plants back inside before going into the house, and noticed some of the squash are starting to show flower buds! They need to get into the ground right away, so they’ll have the nutrients, space – and pollinators! – they need. The girls and I were going to make a trip into the city tomorrow for some shopping they need to do, but that will be pushed back. Instead, I will be focusing on finishing that corn block and transplanting the Montana Morado corn, while the girls will be focusing on building the squash beds. The summer squash will have beds build where the sunflowers were planted last year, where the ground had been mulched. The winter squash will need to have beds built at the squash tunnel, too. The bottom supports and mesh will have to be done after they are transplanted. They will be planted on the outside, so can work from the inside to avoid the plants, if we have to. If we end up having more transplants than there is space at the squash tunnel, the extras will also be planted where the sunflowers were last year, in the section that runs close to where the squash tunnel is. The only thing we need to make sure of is to leave a gap where we can walk through while dragging the hose to reach the rain barrel.

I figure, by the time we’re done, we’ll be out of grass clippings again. ๐Ÿ˜€

We shall see how it works out!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: last beets, and mulching

I’m taking a bit of a break from working outside, to avoid the hottest part of the day. We’ve reached 22C/71F, and our high is supposed to be 23C/74F.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do early in the day is water all the beds that we’ve planted. I’ve been concerned about them, since we are so incredibly dry right now. It’s hard to give the beds even a shallow watering, never mind the deep watering they need. The problem is that the surface dries out so quickly. What we need is a mulch. The only thing we have for mulch right now is straw. Which is fine if I’m mulching around larger plants, like when we transplant our squashes, etc. Not so good for things like greens.

What I do have, however, is a lawn mower.

So after I planted the last of our beet seeds – three types all mixed up – in the L shaped bed in the old kitchen garden, I brought out the mower.

We already had some chopped up straw that had been on top of the garlic beds; we’d removed most of it and it’s been sitting in the kiddie pool, waiting for use. I chopped all that up a couple more times with the mower, then filled the wheelbarrow with more straw and chopped it up several times, too.

The finished mulch, which now included leaf litter that was on top of the lawn, went back into the kiddie pool, which made it very easy to drag around to where it was needed.

The mulch is so light, I could let the wind distribute most of it for me!

The L shaped bed is all beets. I had thought to put some carrots along the edge of the bed, but there was no room! In fact, I ended up broadcasting the last of the seeds in another little spot.

The patch of mulched soil near the plastic and the tree is where the last of the seeds went. Almost all of these beets are last year’s seed, so who knows how many will germinated.

I then scattered mulch onto the poppy bed, too.

After thoroughly watering everything, I moved on to the big garden.

Once again, I could let the wind lightly cover the beds for me. The beds at each end, with the onions, got fully covered. The spinach beds have their first sowing in the middles only, so I just focused on that area. When we sow more in another week, we can add more mulch then.

Everything got another thorough watering. All the beds will be watered again this evening, when it starts to cool down.

Until then, my next job is to mark off and start preparing the block to direct sow the one variety of corn we have that needs to be planted before last frost. That’s going to be out by the peas, and that’s where we’ll be working on for the next while, as we prepare beds for the beans, corn and radishes, sunflowers, squash and gourds. Then, last of all, the block at the opposite end of the garden, where the Montana Morado corn will be transplanted. None of the sunflowers or corn starts have germinated yet, but it hasn’t been very long yet. I’m just impatient! ๐Ÿ˜€

We will also use the lawnmower to chop up more straw for more light surface mulch. That, at least, I’ll be able to work on in the shade this time! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Re-Farmer

Thanksgiving lunch, mulch experiment and outside kitten progress

Lats this morning I headed over to my mother’s place with a turkey dinner to have lunch with her.

On the way out, I spotted three sets of ears in the window of the cat shelter.

Tiny sets of years belonging to the little kittens! I didn’t dare go closer for a picture, though, because I didn’t want to startle them away. There may have been more cats inside with them that I couldn’t see, too. I’m so glad to see them in the shelter, rather than hiding under it!

My mother and I had a very nice lunch and visit (how visits turn out is always touch and go with my mother! LOL). I brought a mask exemption card to tape to her door, and another she can carry with her. Hopefully, that will help reduce the harassment from the caretakers. Unfortunately, I think more has happened than she is telling us, because she kept insisting she “doesn’t want a war” and even started asking me not to call the housing department responsible for her building to talk about the caretaker’s abusive behaviour. She wore a mask – under her nose! – to meet me at the side door that’s very close to her own apartment door, and even in that short distance, by the time she was back in her apartment, she was struggling to breathe. She had also mentioned to me on the phone, waking up and struggling to breathe again. So I brought a foam wedge we got for my husband that he ended up not being able to use. Depending on how it’s positioned, it can be used under the knees, to lean against while sitting up in bed, or to sleep in an inclined position. The doctor had recommended trying to sleep more upright to see if that helped. When she saw it, however, she flat out refused to even try it and told me to take it home. Eventually, she said it was because it looked ugly! Which I highly doubt is the real reason. Frustrating!

Still, it was a good visit and my mother was very happy I was able to come over. I think the pandemic social restrictions are really getting to her. There used to be many events and gatherings, either in her own building, or in nearby venues, that she attended. Now, there are none. It seems the only real “social” interactions she’s getting these days are with the nasty caretaking couple. The restrictions seem to be bringing out the worst in people. I think she is getting very lonely, and some serious cabin fever!

Once at home, I took advantage of the warmer weather. With the garlic ready to be picked up when the post office opens tomorrow, I was thinking of how I wanted to mulch the beds. The straw is not breaking down as I had expected, and I decided to try an experiment.

Using the new push mower to chop it into smaller pieces!

The bag filled up very quickly, but it wasn’t until I had already started that I realized I’d forgotten to check the height of the mower. It was at 7; the highest setting! So things weren’t quite as chopped up as I wanted.

I lowered it to 3 and that chopped things up much better.

It took only 2 bags to fill the wagon, it’s so fluffy. LOL I laid out a tarp near the beds the garlic will be planted it, to make it easier to work with when it’s needed – plus I can fold half the tarp over the pile to keep the wind from blowing it away.

Unfortunately, I had an unexpected problem.

The new lawn mower stopped starting.

Right from the beginning, it was harder to start, but every time I had to turn it off to empty that bag, it kept getting harder to restart it until, finally, I just couldn’t start it at all. It had been so easy to start, before! In the spring, when we had so much rain, I was using it a lot and had no problems. Then the rain stopped, and the grass never really got long enough to make it worth cutting again. So it’s been sitting in the garage for the last couple of months. That on its own should not cause the problem. I couldn’t find any reason for it. It just won’t start. After getting only 2 1/2 wagon loads done, I finally gave up.

I will just have to take it in to the small engine shop in town to get it looked at, later in the year.

So the experiment worked, as far as chopping up the straw to make a finer mulch. It was just the lawn mower that failed!

After giving up on that task, I took the time to take the sun room replacement door off in preparation for painting the frame. I plan to get at that as soon as possible tomorrow morning, then go to the mail to pick up our bulbs. I will get the garlic in, while the girls will be doing the digging to get their flowers in.

While working at the door, I spotted this.

That is two little kittens in there! One of the orange tabbies, and Creamsicle Jr. As I walked around after taking the picture, Potato Beetle came out of the entry. I hadn’t seen him at all in there!

So I decided not to go inside after taking the door off, and stayed to see if I could get the kittens to play.

I had a target in mind.

This little lady. In the interest of trying to reduce future litters, we are hoping to get her friendly enough to bring her inside.

Yeah. I know. We have too many cats inside already!

Nostrildamus, meanwhile, couldn’t get enough attention! It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were lucky if we could pet him at all. Now, he’s all over us, asking for pets! He still doesn’t like to be picked up, but he does like chewing on fingers!

The two napping in the shelter eventually came out to see what was going on, and joined in on the play. I was able to pet the little orange one – the smallest of the 4 younger kittens – and even managed to pet Creamsicle Jr. a bit. The calico, however, would not let me touch her! However, my daughter came out to join me for a while, and she tried to play with them. Not only did she get the calico close enough to pet, she was even able to pick her up! Only briefly, and she didn’t like it, but she didn’t run away after jumping down, either.

Aside from Nostrildamus, we seem to be having a better time of socializing Butterscotch’s second litter than the older kittens. Though it didn’t help that Butterscotch was around and growling all the other cats away, including her own babies!

Still, we have made some socialization progress!

The other little orange kitten came by later. That one, the gender is still in doubt, but from what little we’ve been able to see, I suspect it is female.

I thought it was supposed to be rare for orange tabbies to be female, but here, they seem to be the majority! Of the older kittens, Nostrildamus is the only whose gender we are sure of. His one confirmed sister is now inside, but with the luck we’ve been having, his other sibling and Rosencrantz’s baby are also female! And we can’t get anywhere near any of them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Ah, well. We will just have to do what we can. Mostly, I’m just really, really glad the little kittens are going inside the shelter.

The Re-Farmer

Fall cover, and working out a problem

It’s been rather windy for the past few days.

We certainly won’t be needing to mulch the bulbs we planted! They’re getting an excellent cover right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve got a bit of a challenge in winterizing things outside. One of the things that needs to be done is to replace the rotting skid under the cat house.

After dismantling our goat catcher earlier in the year, we left the frames together. The two 4′ x 8′ ones were prefect to use as guides for our potato beds. When I noticed how rotten the skid under the cat house was, I grabbed one of the frames to check.

It’s actually a better size than what’s already under there! Right now, only one side rests completely on the length of the skid, while the other rests on the skid at only 2 points. That’s the side that also had the little addition, where the entrance is. There is nothing supporting the weight of the entry at all, other than the floor beams.

The problem is, this thing is incredibly heavy. My brother had managed to move it onto his trailer all by himself, but he did that by putting straps around the skid. We need to take it off the skid, then put a new one underneath. The whole thing will be on bricks to keep the wood from contacting the ground, and I plan to add more under the entry to support it, as well.

We discussed taking the roof right off, since that’s where a lot of the weight it, but we are already hearing crackling of wood every time we raise it. It’s already got a lot of years on it, and we’d like to be able to use it for quite a few more! Once we have it on a new skid, set up a bit closer to the house for the extension cord to reach, it will hopefully never need to be moved again until it’s no longer usable. Another part of the problem is the lack of tools. We don’t even have a bar we could use to lever it – there was one, but it was among the things that disappeared while the place was empty.

We will have to make do with whatever we can find!

The Re-Farmer