Garden Re-Vamp is finally underway

After this week last frost should be behind us, so we are getting the garden ready to transplant the seedlings from the crafts room to the outside world.


Last year we tried straw-bail planting. It was semi-successful. But at $4 a bail, limited planting space based on the structure, and then of course the fact the decompose into mush. We decided to do raised beds (soil is terrible down here).

Step one was to start cleaning up the mashed up bails.


There where cardboard boxes under the bails but they apparently decomposed after less then a year. Only problem w cardboard boxes is that if you don’t think of it and remove the tape, your left with tape after everything is decomposed. So as I see it, I pick it out.

Soil and Straw


Next step is to start putting together the raised beds.

 view one

view two

We are making 14″ x2’x18′ (height, width, length) boxes. I took all my practice boards from the sawmill threw on some Thompson waterseal the day before then started building. After the structure was completed and placement done, I took scrap plastic from other projects and lined the inside of the box to help with dirt control and help prevent rot.



Once that was completed I confirmed a second time that placement was OK w the Queen (It is all for her, so I really want to make sure she is happy before committing to a location) and then pitch-forked in the old straw bails. When she is ready to plant we will top it off with compost from last year and soil from bags as needed.


Now its time to start on the next box


This one is going to 18′ (L) x 4′ (w) x 14″ (h).  I still need to put in middle supports across the bottom , another row of boards. I think all boxes I make will need at least one upper support to keep the sides together. If I wasn’t using first cut/learning boards ID have used 3/4″ boards instead of the 1/2″ I have here.

 You may have noticed our messy bags and failed rain barrel. We will share that experience when we upgrade that to version 2.0…  

That’s it for now. Cheers


What the pork?!

Its been a while since we talked about the little porkers, which have been renamed Jerry (because he not nice like our neighbor Jerry) and Ben (because it matches and he really is sweet, always runs over to get pet)  . I am still in the process of finishing up their pen setup,  partly because it isn’t in its final spot yet and I need to process more timber.

First you must enter via the wood door made from scraps from their pen housing

gateway to the world of pork

gateway to the world of pork

We had bought a corner sink for the basement bathroom, got home and realized we needed the old faucet hardware, which was $100+ from the net/big box stores. So we use it to feed the pigs table scraps. We just holler “I smell bacon” and they come running.

The still unfinished pen's backside

The still unfinished pen’s backside

As you can see we ran out of the  shingles we bought from our local habitat for humanity and I had to use some that have been kicked around the chicken coup and shop since we moved in (from previous owners).  To date (other then the roof plastic, shingles and screws) all the lumber for the pen is from trees cut down behind the shop and processed with the Alaskan chain saw mill.

inside view of the pig pen

inside view of the pig pen

As you can see, I still need to finish processing lumber for the one side, and then put the finishing touches on. Pigs seem pretty happy, keeps the wind and rain off of them. I was in the process of putting in more straw for their bedding, as well as feeding them when I took this picture. They really are a playful bunch, loved knocking around the empty 5 gallon pale I kept their food in

pigs lovin the simplest of things

pigs lovin the simplest of things

Lastly their 2nd main purpose of life on our mini/micro farm. To root out all the grass, weeds and bugs from our in-ground garden area. They haven’t been that good at it, but they are rooting around eating up all the nasty’s that are bad for our garden. An added bonus is they poop like crazy, so they are fertilizing as they go. Once we are ready, I will till the whole area.

The pigs are grubbin

The pigs are grubbing

You may have noticed that we have electrified the base of the exterior fencing, areas we don’t when them to burrow under. So far it has been working and they are aware of the shock they get if they don’t mind the fence.

Well that’s it for now. Till later, Cheers.

Log to lumber

So with the help of our neighbor Ed and his son Brian we where able to bring up one of the last pine logs (only one left).

First step is to lob off the sides and turn a round peg square.


This left me with a 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 post. From that I cut it into 1 1/2 inch thick slabs. Then using our circular saw took the slabs and turned them into 2x4s.


I’ll be using these to make the frame of the greenhouse. Which will be 20’x15’… I should be able to get the rest of the base framing lumber from the last pine log that’s down. After that I will needed to start cutting down more of the pines.

That’s it for now. Cheers.

Repurpose peat pellets

So only half of my herbs an veggies took off this year leaving me w tons of used peat pellets and after saving them for months I finally thought of a use for them.

   I had some small indoor lemon trees that would be getting big and they really don’t like being repotted ( as I learned from last year) so I started them in a big pot this year. And being of frugal mind did not want to waste my $$ soil. At last a use for my used pellets