Posted By Jonathan on April 11, 2016
Spring certainly has been taking it’s sweet time getting here. Temperatures have been very chilly with highs barely getting into the 50’s at times but mostly staying colder. Winds have also been high the past couple of weeks and we’ve had plenty of wet to go with it. Pretty miserable overall.
This past weekend we finally had some decent weather (sun!) and so tackled part of a project we’ve had on our list – building new, large compost bins. We cut all the 4X4’s we needed to make 3 large bays and cemented them into the ground. I got to try out my geometry skills.
These compost bays are sized at 5 feet across and about 6 feet deep, so we can make a lot of compost in the coming years. We currently have 3-4 foot square bins that are made from old pallets. We routinely fill them beyond capacity and have been having a hard time with room to flip the piles. The pallets are also falling apart and have began rotting. Our new bays will be made with corrugated metal sides and so will last for a long time.
These bays also are at the back of our property which will make it more inconvenient to walk back and dump our compost. We might have to put everything into a 5 gallon bucket and make bulk trips. We are building them along the back side of the area we are going to be putting fence around, just at the back of our orchard.
We are thinking that we’ll add a 4th bay as well for chicken manure since that needs to rot down for about 6 months to a year before you use it.
We also added two new apple trees to our homestead last week. We received our order from Trees of Antiquity and we were both very impressed! The trees look great and were very large. You get what you pay for. We purchased two trees – Crimson Gold and Kandil Sinap which is the one I am most excited for. We will definitely be purchasing more trees from them in the future.
We planted these trees in front of our chicken coop and plan on espaliering them across the south side of the chicken run. This will provide for a lot of shade for the chickens in the coming years and a great architectural feature for us…along with great food.
Last but certainly not least we are making some more structural changes to our homestead. We have a large area that we want to fence in and we are beginning the process of taking down the individually fenced areas. We are thinking the plan is to use 10 foot 4X4’s cemented into the ground 2-3 feet and then use two layers of 4 foot wire fence around the perimeter of our homestead. This will allow us to keep deer and other pest animals out and to keep our chickens (which we want to free range) in. This will be a huge undertaking, however, so we’ll see how much we can do this year. The area to fence is probably over 100 feet long and 50-75 feet wide and so will take a lot of time and material.
This is a picture of our fruit garden, which is need of a great cleanup. With each area fenced off from the rest it really limits the time you want to spend in each area. Having the entire area fenced into one large whole will make the entire area feel like it belongs together.