tasks for Fall

I am preparing for winter. cover crops - I cleared the tomatoes and weeds, added compost and sowed winter rye and crimson clover.  A few years ago I used hairy vetch, which worked well and next year I will order more since the local supplier, who originally sold me the seed, no longer carries it. firewood - during the year I cut a new 5 foot wide route through the woods and I steered the path to avoid the larger trees.  I had to uproot and remove smaller trees and I cut their trunks Read more [...]

summerizing the coop

Before I get to the coop, a quick update on my "Spring activity" journal.  I mentioned that pokeweed is an unwelcome visitor, difficult to extricate because of its long thick taproot.  In permaculture "the problem is the solution" and it occurred to me that the taproot, like that of comfrey was performing a valuable function mining minerals two or more feet below the surface.  But this seemed inadequate justification for its presence until I noticed that it, and it alone, has been attacked and Read more [...]

cold frame building (2)

In a previous post I mentioned  building my first cold frame using bargain priced windows from the local thrift, cement blocks and lumber.  The seedlings in this cold frame are growing well and when it is cold (say 18 F outside temperature) the temperature in the cold frame is approximately 10 F higher.  During the day the differential increases.  And it keeps out the frost.  So I am hoping to grow decent sized vegetables. One cold frame was not enough because I had 10 windows remaining and Read more [...]

cold frame building

On a recent visit to the thrift store, where there are often solid wood furniture and country painting bargains, I noticed about 50 double insulated small windows each 2 ft wide and  31" high.  Available for $1 each.  I bought 22.  And have spent a lot of time figuring how to use them effectively in a cold frame. My greens are growing very well under an Agripon row cover - it allows air and rain through, protects against frost, keeps the temperature higher inside than out and allows some Read more [...]

new chicken coop – completed

I completed the chicken coop project over the past weekend. I did all the work myself except for the assistance of a friend who helped me hoist 5 of the 6 windows into place and fit the entrance door. In previous posts I mentioned my progress on its construction. It is built on sloping ground so I started by using my bobcat to build a level pad, half of which was cut into the slope and the other half was infill from soil removed from the slope. Then with my trencher/stump remover attached to the Read more [...]

progress on the coop and a simple replacement fix

Chicken coop The future chicken coop is progressing. I installed the windows and door with the help of a friend. Just outside of Atlanta there is a large employee owned window manufacturer and they custom manufacture windows which are occasionally returned because of wrong specs, finish, customer couldn't pay etc. Nothing actually wrong with the windows. These returned windows are stored separately and are advertised on Craig's list. I bought 6 of these windows (dimensions 4 ft by 4 ft) for Read more [...]

support the little guy!

Today I finished installing the roof of the future coop.  For the rafters I used 2"x6"x12 ft kiln dried wood, not pressure treated; for the purlins I used 2"x4" pressure treated, and for the roofing 2ft x12ft galvanized steel crimp roof panels.  I painted with exterior enamel paint those parts of the rafters which would be exposed to either rain or carpenter bees. I deliberated long on how to transport the 12 ft lengths of wood and roof panels.  My pickup has a 6 ft bed so either Read more [...]

new chicken coop

I am making slow progress with construction of the new chicken coop.  The present coops are well located for summer weather since they are at the bottom of the hill with large trees to the east and west and well screened from the sun, except when it is overhead.  The coops are enclosed by walls on two sides and netting/fencing on two sides, so cold winter winds will easily find the residents.  I considered closing in the remaining sides, but decided an extra coop will be handy in the future and, Read more [...]

rainwater harvesting from an old deck

I acquired an adjoining piece of land which had an old mobile home and, attached to it, an old deck.  The land was uphill of my property with full sun exposure and well suited for growing and rainwater harvesting.  The timbers of the deck were protected from the rain by the roof of the deck and from the sun by an overtowering maple and were therefore in good condition.  I decided to sell the mobile home and keep the deck, though for what purpose was unclear to me at the time. The purchaser Read more [...]

2nd chicken coop done

Arrival of the egg laying chicken My neighbor offered me her 6 chicken and nesting boxes and metal waterer for a reasonable price and, because of the age and size difference between her mature egg laying chicken and my youngsters, I built a second chicken coop to receive them as well as a separate fenced outdoor exercise and grazing area. I refurbished a horse stall into a chicken coop using scrap lumber and wire fence leftovers.  I used screws rather than nails since it is easier to undo Read more [...]