Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Got Wood?

Muzzle loader season closed Dec.19 and that was the last day I was at the hill farm until yesterday. Needed to take a break for Christmas and to spend time at home with the family. Today we woke up to a dusting of snow here in the low lands, first snow since the freak October storm. Usually we are under a white blanket this time of year.

My efforts are now on producing lumber at my flat farm. The log pile has dwindled and I need to get into the woods with the tractor and bring in some pine logs I have on the ground. My Amish friend has a couple of Larch logs that he is sawing for me to use as plate lumber for the out house I have to put up. Larch is Mother Natures pressure treated lumber, it does not rot when used as ground contact lumber. I do not see a functioning bathroom until maybe next fall and doing my business in the woods is getting old, plus if I want female help on site I better have a nice spot for the girls to squat. An out house will get a lot of use even after the bathroom is in. The one we installed at the flat farm for our music weekends gets used all the time and the house has all the creature comforts. When I am working outdoors or hunting on the flat farm it is my spot! A properly vented outhouse does not smell and the pit will last a long time before the house needs moved. The one for the hill farm is going to be a bit fancier then the one at the flat farm, insulated, heated with a small non-vented thermostat controlled propane heater, an a real door instead of a curtain!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Here is one of my shed moving projects for my Amish friend.

Things are different on the hill

It has been a while since I posted to my blog, mostly because I have not had the time or even electricity for that matter. Work on the homestead proceeds even though the weather does not cooperate. My oldest son caulked all the hemlock siding from the inside to stop any drafts prior to insulation going up and the little building took 60 tubes. Who would have thunk it? On the floor we put down 90# tar paper to keep the drafts out as the wood dries and it works well, spent several nights there so far. The wood burner does a great job even without the wall being insulated as a couple of nights got down in the 10's. Most nights I could get 6 hours out of a fully loaded fire box and still stay warm. Also getting quite good at wick trimming and using oil lamps as I have not even used the generator the last four nights.
The biggest thing I notice about staying on the farm is the quiet, very little traffic noise and no neighbors close enough to hear. At night the stars are a sight to see, no street lights or other light to dull the brilliance, make the sky seem bigger some how. Woke up one morning to 60 or so wild turkeys in the "Yard" and the camera in the truck so no pictures. If you have never been in the woods when a flock is sweeping for food the amount of noise they make will amaze you. Also a turkey on its roost sounds like a plane crash as it takes off. I wonder how they don't break their wings.
My Amish friend has commented to me how much he likes what we are trying to accomplish, the thought that has gone into orientation of the buildings, and our "green attitude." He also likes the fact that I have increased his cash flow having sold 4 of his sheds so far. That works well for me too. Our deal is I get $100.00 for a direct sale plus I get paid for delivery by the buyer, most often so far another $100.00 or better depending on the work and time involved. When ever I do any type of work for folks I am up front with what the cost is going to be and I encourage them to get other prices. Very few do not hire me and this approach saves on hard feeling.
We are chomping at the bit for spring and winter has not even officially started yet. Some small changes have been made to the original plans, mostly involving locations of rooms and such. It is nice to have frozen ground hiding the mud. My grade work has allowed the site to drain nicely, but until I get grass growing and the rest of the stone in mud will continue to be a problem. My open ditches on the high side are still running water in this cold snap. Tells me they are doing the job. It will be nice to get pipe and stone in them.
Next week I am working at the flat farm running my sawmill. The best thing is I have a cut list and will be sawing with a purpose not just making lumber. We will be adding 10 feet to the south side that will be a deck for now and closed in later. On the front of the building the plans for the entrance are drawn up. A 10'x26' combination mud room, storage area, laundry room over a basement that will serve as a root cellar and dry storage area for can goods and the like.
So for now this is very much a work in progress. I feel good when I have wok in progress!