Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fencing, shade, gardens and Nature

Catching up. Gardens getting planted, more sage being cleared and lots more to do.

shade in the sage
The past two weeks out on our new land have been about clearing more sage and trying to get ready to put up the fence on the west border. I'm getting accustomed to wielding the heavy axe. It didn't take long for us to realize how incredibly hot it is out there in the unforgiving sun, so we have decided to make a shade structure one of our priorities, although the umbrella works in a pinch. It blows away on occasion and looks like a rainbow kite skimming across the sage. Richard has devised a great way to tie it down, weighted with the post pounders and tied to a sage bush.
cleared for shade structure

After we put up our shade structure, we can build a cistern to catch the water off the roof! In this desert place, any water we can get and store is a wonderful thing, so every single structure we build will have a water catchment system of some variety.
northwest corner h-brace
Richard finished the corner H-brace on the northwest side of the property and finally we even got the fence posts up. Next is the unrolling and hanging of the fence. Great fun to come.

strawbale compost bin
Our compost bin is growing quickly and with a neighbor's added horse and goat poop, by the time we finally move out there, we should have the beginning of some kind of useable compost.

We found and bought a generator online (free delivery) to give us power to work. Bonus: now we can use the generator to boost the batteries at our off grid rental house when the cloudy days build up.We are thinking of holding off on installing our wind generator and just putting it up on the new land.

prickly pear
not a rattler....bull snake maybe

Even though we only get out to the land once a week, our work is fulfilling and we seem to accomplish a lot in a short time, considering. This last week I was rewarded with a little bit of nature on the way home...a pretty cactus in bloom and a snake crossing the road.

Little ones plant potatoes

And at home, at the other end of the valley, we have been getting the gardens in. Richard and the kids planted potatoes, and this week we hope to get our tomatoes out...sooner rather than later.

nest with baby peeking out
There is also some wildlife around the homestead...this morning a huge raven woke us. He was on the roof and we thought for sure some kind of four-legged creature was running across the Earthship roof. And, the nest of baby birds above one of the outside lights has been taking flight. They leave early in the mornings and return at dusk. There were five at first, but now I only see three babies, when I see them. I hope they are out there finding their freedom and didn't become prey for some critters.

Also the Cicadas are singing, crazy loud, and scary thing, they sound like the rattle snake I saw on an early morning walk with Honey. Or the snake sounded like them. Who knows. I don't walk the tracks through the sage anymore. I stick to the wide gravel road that gives me room to see and avoid any snakes!

So this next week is about fencing and shade out on the land and planting tomatoes and peppers here at home. Still so much to do in so many places.

We are so thankful for the work share of produce Richard gets every week form Cerro Vista Farm, seeing how our gardens are slow going in, and much smaller than we had hoped they would be.

We anticipate the space we will have to put in greenhouses and huge gardens at our new place, and look forward to the days when we can hold classes on homesteading on our own land.

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