Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Home Stretch (pool update)

About 18 inches to go

We are within sight of the end of the natural swimming pool project. We ended up washing and wheeling 60 tons of gravel, plus quite a bit of field stone to fill up the area outside of the wooden wall. This gravel gives the plants something to get their roots into as well as acting as a filter and giving the beneficial bacteria a place to colonize. We did have a little setback with the pool when we noticed that the rubber liner was begining to float. It didn't take too long to figure out that water was getting underneath the liner, probably from the gravel washing operation and off of the shed roof. I ended up having to cut a whole in the liner so that I could pump the water out from under it. I bet there was between 500 and 1000 gallons under there. I put a drain pipe set in gravel around the uphill side of the pool to catch any surface runoff headed in that direction. Then we patched the whole in the liner and quickly got the pool filled so that the weight of the water above the liner would keep much water from getting underneath.

Waterfall in the larval stage

I think all that we have left to do is put the plants in, build the fence around it (this weekend), finish hauling gravel, finish the waterfall and hook up the pump, waterfall and skimmer.

Finished Water Level

Cold Turkey

We got a pretty good thunder storm on Tuesday. I think we got about 2 inches of rain. Unfortunately the turkeys ended up getting caught out in it because their pen door slammed shut in the wind. They are not very big yet, so once they get wet they get hypothermia pretty quickly. After the storm I went to check on them and about 8 of them were hunkered down looking like they were fixing to die. Normally in such a situation I would get them under a heat lamp and they would be fine, but our power was out so I ended up taking the truck down there and putting the cold ones in the cab with the heater running. So anyway, after about a half hour they were warm and dry and ready to return to their pen.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm

It has been a while since I posted anything period, let alone anything about the farm. Things are just kind of perking along. We still have 4 pens of chickens out on pasture. I have started letting the turkeys out of their field pen into their poultry netting cell during the daytime. I have 13 little pigs down in the greenhouse barn. And the cows are across the road grazing the little bit of grass that grew back after the first cutting of hay back in June. It has been a less than stellar year as far as grass production goes, but we should make it through to Thanksgiving or so without having fed any hay. So I guess a miss is as good as a mile. It sounds like lots of places have been a lot drier than here. We have been aquiring freezers for the store like crazy. I am going this morning to pick up 2 more. That will bring the total up to 4 chest freezers, 4 uprights, 1 two door commercial upright and a 6 by 7 walk in that we still need to set up. Plus the two that we have for our own use in the cellar. The store is starting to look like a used appliance warehouse.