Sunday, February 27, 2011

Clean Blueberry Patch

Took advantage of a beautiful warm afternoon and hoed and rototilled our young blueberry patch.  We have 45 plants that all are showing signs of budding leaves - so hoping they survived their first winter.  

hard to see the little plants, they are close to the irrigation lines

Waiting anxiously now for the arrival of our new blackberry plants - all 500 of them should be shipping sometime next week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ditch Digging

We rented a jackhammer over the weekend, to break through the concrete and dig below the barn foundation for putting in drainage pipes and water lines.  Luckily Jens came over to help as well - he and Jeff took turns running the jackhammer, while Tina and Lars dug away the loose dirt.  It really did not take as long as we had thought - got it all done before the weather turned ugly again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Filling in the Barn Floor and Setting Posts

rock pile after 70 loads were taken
On days that the weather was warm enough to melt some of the gravel, Lars and Tina filled up wheelbarrel loads of gravel and carted it into the barn - where Jeff distributed it and tamped it down.  We are over half way done - and so far pushed 70 wheelbarrel loads (yes, we counted!!!).

barn floor with 70 loads dumped
Once the back third was gavel filled and leveled (we used our handy laser level to make sure it stayed even), we mixed up some cement and poured two slabs (into a form which Jeff had build), as bases for setting new support beams.

 While the concrete hardened, we started jacking up the barn some more to get the cross beams level.  We had borrowed two barn jacks from one of Jeff's friends, and eased up on the cross beam a little bit each day for about 1 week, until it was level - we had to move it up nearly 2.5 inches at the far end, about 1 inch in the middle. 

We used some of the old (Beford) barn beams we still had left over, cut them the right length and set them in, next to the old beams.  To get these in, we had to jack the crossbeam even higher, until we could slide the new support beams in, and then lower the jack until the new beams were able to support the barn.  It felt a bit like playing JENGA, as the old beams toppled. We set 6 new posts so far, for the back third of the barn, and it looks great!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Digging Out the Barn Floor

It took four wagon loads of old straw, hay and crusted manure to get the barn floor down to the hard dirt level.  We had to use the small rototiller to dig out the very last layer (and this was only for one third of the barn floor, as the rest of the floor is cement). 

The four wagon loads were spread on the garden - which means we not only had to shovel the stuff onto the wagon, but shovel it back off as well.


Lars had two snow days in a row and he worked hard at it - but had some fun too!

We had ordered 15 ton of gravel, which was delivered earlier this week - and now the hard part starts:  spreading the gravel in the barn with a wheelbarrow and help from a laser level.  What fun!