Sunday, 31 January 2010

Another Quarter Turn

That wheel just keeps on turning. The sun shone today and to celebrate I thought I would make a Brigid’s Cross.

While collecting the twigs for the cross, I came across this in the flowerbed. I think it’s a young weasel so I guess the tail-less decapitate one I found back in June 2008 was a weasel too.

My apologies to everyone who’s commented on my previous posts for not responding, I will try and do better. I’ve now put in the e-mail filter/rule on Outlook to separate out all the blog comments so I can easily respond to them rather than the notifications getting buried in amongst all the e-mails I get (sadly usually junk).

Nothing really major to report over the last week apart from enough rain to keep the ground unworkable but at least the ponds and ground water should be replenished. I’ve been working on my planting list. This is a very simple Excel spreadsheet, based on one from the Tiny Farm Blog, where I list all the seeds I’m planting along with when to plant, planting distances, where in the rotation they are going etc so I have all the information in one place on a few of sheets of paper. One advantage of this is that I can automatically work out how many of each plant I need for each row I want to plant in my pottager. As part of this I've also been through all my seeds and sorted them alphabetically so I can find them when it comes to planting.

I’ve also started to knit a scarf with the wool I spun from Chestnut. I know I’m biased but alpaca wool is just so lovely and soft and warm, it’s a joy to work with it. I'll post a picture when I've finished it.

I’ve also just had another delivery of oak for the wood burner and that will keep me busy for the rest of the week cutting it to size. The logs are all in the barn at the moment to keep them dry but I need to cut them and move them out so that the barn is available for the alpacas should I need it.

Lighting is provided by the floodlight as even with the door fully open and the single light in this part of the barn there is not enough light to work safely. The saw horse is a real boon, I was using a couple of hay bales but this is a much better height plus it also has a ruler so I know that I’m not cutting the logs too big. The cooker takes up to a maximum of 45cm so the 1m long logs are cut at roughly 35, 35 and 30cm; the two longer ones going to the wood-store and the shorter ones into the pile for immediate use. Sounds a bit odd I know but it’s the only way I’ve found to get the wood-store pile to stack properly.

So as you can see, everything is set; 2 cubic meters of wood, an electric chainsaw (no fumes in the enclosed space), heavy duty wheelbarrow to transport logs to the wood-store, face-guard, ear-defenders and Kevlar gloves on the saw horse. What you can’t see is me hobbling around like a penguin in my Kevlar chaps – smallest size and still they are too long - and steelies. Hopefully I can get most of it cut before my midweek trip to the chiropractor as I’d like to give my back a chance to settle once it’s been straightened out again.