Edit: I have no idea why WordPress adds random captions to my photos, so just disregard them. 🙂
This past week was pretty easy going. Sometimes you’ve gotta do some small things and plan before the next round of activity. So as the nights got colder and the sun sinks ever faster towards the horizon, I used the mornings at Lillklobb to plan and get ready for the final showdown with the trees.
On Wednesday I took a visit to Woodsman Oy (Oy is Finnish for limited [ltd, llc]) in search of good safety equipment for using the chainsaw. It was refreshing to interact with a salesperson who wanted to be there, knew what they had in stock, and understood what I was looking for.
So next Wednesday I’ll be waiting for a text message letting me know everything’s arrived: boots, pants, helmet, and gloves. The chainsaw will be coming with me for a quick inspection and the hard work of cutting the logs into manageable sizes can begin with the knowledge that I’ve got some protection!
Thursday morning I finally finished up the washing table that was 90% complete back during the first week. The design is based on Curtis Stone‘s washing table, albeit a little more flimsy than his since I couldn’t find the pool liner in a pinch. All I had to do was put some cross supports in before adding the fence-as-table-top and it was done! So now I’ve got a two square meter washing table that will allow me to capture water for use elsewhere on the farm, while also doubling as a makeshift rainwater harvester (the barn doesn’t have gutters yet). It also has a nice shelf underneath for storing stuff. The only new materials were a couple meters of cheap lumber, some heavy duty trash bags, metal brackets, and the fencing. Not bad for a repurposed theater set, I’d say.
So those mornings, when the temperature was just above freezing and the sun had yet to climb over the trees, were spent looking at some plans from 1994 about how to revitalize the site. They were mostly based on recapturing what the place would have looked like around 1900, but the base features of the property- having been accurately surveyed- are quite useful for me. It is also quite interesting to compare the changes in the last 22 years, like the deaths of certain trees and the growth rates of others. For example, if the crowns of the oaks by the main house were accurately measured, then they have doubled in size since then. Pretty impressive. Of course, with the place having as much history as it does (in fact, by 1900 there were three farms sharing the hill, which would account for the number of small buildings), there are even older maps such as this one from 1775!
The next thing to do is begin measuring the actual site features to update this base map and begin playing around with patterns in more detail. But there’s still a bit of work to do outdoors before that can happen 🙂
On Friday I scavenged some leaves that had been piled up in the parking lot to mulch the first hedgerow, which is about 1/3 of the way finished mounding. Don’t let the straight line and mound fool you, this isn’t a swale. While it looks like it is following a contour, the point is really just to create a good space to plant perennials, not to capture water. The soil here is so sandy, deep, and the overall catchment is too small for there to be any significant runoff that needs to be captured, spread, and sunk.
Later in the day I moved into the cellar to try fixing the inner doors to see if they’d shut by sanding where they hit the roof boulders. It turned out rather strange as once they would swing freely, the doors simply can’t close because they were built in such a way that they don’t fit the frame! One more thing on the list of renovations the cellar will need in the coming year. My worms seem pretty happy since I moved them into their bathtub (the three colonies have joined together once again). I’ve been using some row cover and geotextile to hold some of the heat they generate in and they stay a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air- which is good since the overnight temps are dropping below 10c in there. If it gets much colder I’ll absolutely have to move them elsewhere.
Well, that was an easy week. I can’t wait for all the equipment to come so I can finish up the trees “once and for all.” The farm will look a lot better and I can perhaps do some walk through videos once that’s done.