October 26, 2005 – Corn Crib Project

Now that the steel has arrived, I am beginning work on the corn crib. This fall, I’m going to put steel siding on about half the building and do the rest next year. I built some racks inside one section of the crib to store lumber and need to keep the water and snow out – so I’m closing up one side and parts of two other sides.
Here’s the crib before (but notice the nice roof from year’s gone by!)
Everything flowed today and it was an easy job (no windows or doors and only one piece to cut). I could have used more than 1 1/4 people (Martin could hand me a drill when I was holding the unfastened pieces in place, but that was about it). I just have part of the top two rows of screws to put in and the west side will be done.

October 25, 2005 – New Puppy for the Farm

After our experience with Blue and the confidence Emma has gained in dog training, we now have a new puppy. Her name was Missy, but nobody really cares for that name, so we are thinking of a new name. We were leaning towards Maizzie, but when Martin says that it comes out like Macey. So we’ll decide tomorrow and get on with it. We got her from the animal rescue league – she is about 4 months old and a mixed breed that contains some spaniel.

October 24, 2005 – An Afternoon Project

Today’s project was one of those “good enough” projects. I’ve adopted Joel Salatin’s mantra of making things cheap and just good enough, no matter what it looks like. This was an old cattle chute I put a new tire on and am converting to a mulch hauler (while retaining its ability to still act as a shute. Here’s the before picture.
shute before
The rule for this was to use only materials on the farm – no town trip allowed! So, the side extensions are paneling we ripped out of the house to expose the plaster, the front removable section was leftover plywood from the trailer I recently refurbished, some wood was from the old house that was torn down, the electrical conduit was leftover from a project and the handle on the back sliding “door” handle was from an old double-hung window that was replaced!
Here’s the end result:
shute after
Casual observers may not appreciate some of the decisions that need to be made in such a project. Does the nice side of the paneling face out for a good look, or face in so it doesn’t look like an old woodie station wagon which are long out of style?

Here’s a bit of a close-up of the back shute showing some design features:
shute after

October 22, 2005 – Garlic In

Today we got the garlic in (but not mulched). It does so much better planted late fall than spring. We planted five different varieties: California Early White, California Late White, Music, Chesnok Red, and Siberian. We planted a bit more than last year – last year we had about 200 ft of garlic, this year we have about 360 feet.
We also rearranged some chickens.
We moved two groups to garden clean-up patrol – the Black Astralops were assigned to the former tomato patch to clean up the rotten fruit on the ground.
The mixed standard layers pullets were assigned to the gladiolas and pole beans (the part of the garden most weedy by the end of the year).

I’m really loving these chickens in the garden after harvest to clean up the waste/seeds/weeds. They really seem to enjoy it and leave some fertilizer in place. It’s like getting free weeding and fertilizing!