I know I’m spoiled coming from BC and thinking weather like this is “normal”, but even the weather here in Newfoundland lately is better than BC standards, at least compared to Vancouver Island. In the meantime we are still planning for the worst. I have one old 20×96 Hoophouse to put up and have our fingers crossed for funding from the government for another one or two…more than anything, these hoophouses will allow us to have more variety earlier and later for sale without worrying about the plants being frozen solid, buried in snow or hail or, as is happening now with our small vegetable garden, being flattened by the constant winds. We will also use the space between the hoophouses as a protected area for growing crops and plastic mesh safety/snow fencing with vines growing on it as windbreaks. Depending on funds, will also use what are known as low-tunnels for protection…they are like small temporary hoophouses that offer protection from the elements and bugs.
During the summer we can use the hoophouses for tomatoes and cucumbers.
Gross day yesterday, got our compost piles built with the tandem load of chicken manure we bought a few weeks ago. We are trying out a “passive aeration” method for half the manure. We layered manure with grass clipping and wood chips on top of some old pallets and, about half way up, set in a length of pvc pipe with holes along its length…the pallets and pipe, in theory, should aerate the pile, allowing oxygen into the middle of the pile for the composting process, without us ever having to turn the pile.We’ll also keep it covered with tarp to trap heat and keep the rain from washing away all the good stuff.
We left the rest of the manure where it was, spread it out a bit and will continue to add some chips and grass clippings, turning it and making compost the old fashioned way. Then we hosed off the tractor and ourselves while trying not to gag. Mmmmm, farming.
Finished passively aerated compost pile. See the pipe sticking out the end?
The day before, Evan and I put in a 6×6 foundation, held to the ground with 2 feet of re-bar for our shed that will be moved from its current location (somehow???), near the Murray greenhouses, to the back meadow next to the irrigation pond – it’ll be a lakefront shed! Considering how hot its been, might be a good place to keep swimming shorts, tubes and towels too! The shed will have part of an old hoop house attached to it use as starter shed for seedlings next spring.
And those were our normal days off! We did spend yesterday afternoon, after the manure work, hiking through the Battery and up to Signal Hill and back, then had a birthday dinner for a friend downtown.
Did we ever sleep well last night!