Sunday, April 29, 2012

Barnwedding Countdown - Less than 2 weeks

We made lots of progress this weekend with finishing the barn in time for the wedding : 
  • Painted the railing on the crush pad
  • Painted siding on the front and side of the barn
  • 3rd coat of drywall put on and sanded inside
  • Window frames built from old boards we took off the horse stalls
  • Cut and painted boards for wedding signs

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Landscaping for Barnwedding Started

back fence row with mulch
Lars weed whipping around grape vines

With less than 2 weeks to go, we are making weeding, mowing and planting a priority at this point.  Did not want to start too soon, so that new weeds would not have time to surface through the mulch - plus it was still too cold to plant flowers.  But this weekend we started in the back part, where guests will park and walk to the pond for the ceremony.  Thick layers of mulch were spread around the last remaining tulips (unfortunately they all bloomed too early because of the warm spell we had early in April).   Supplemented the plantings with hostas and will add petunias in the sunny spots and impatients in the shady spots.  Sam also mowed the pond side of the farm in one afternoon!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lars: "I Got Promoted"

After helping Tina empty wagon load after wagon load of mulch with a pitchfork, Lars finally got "promoted" - and a happier and prouder kid cannot be imagined.  Jeff allowed Lars to not only drive the tractor, but use it to scoop up mulch and carefully dump it onto the wagon.  Everyone watched his first attempt - which did not quite result in a full scoop.  Jens, who was working with the sheeting of the barn, spray painted "3.5" in huge letters on a full sheet of plywood and held it up high, Olympic style.  But Lars did a great job and by nightfall had a system down:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Transplanted all Seedlings - Finally!

The process of transplanting seedlings from flats (I just sowed them in little rows), into individual pots has taken well over a week.  For "pots" we use either the 9 oz or 18 oz plastic drinking cups - after we make a hole in the bottom of each cups. Holes are made by holding a long nail in a pair of vice grips over a small torch, to heat the nail, and then punching it through about a dozen cups at a time.
Here is what we transplanted:
  • 46 "Oxheart" tomatoes
  • 24 green peppers "Big Dipper"
  • 20 red sweet peppers "Sweet Ruby Hybrid"
  • 65 basil plants
  • 45 "Roma" tomatoes
  • 36 "Black Plum" tomatoes
  • 32 "Brandywine" tomatoes
  • 36  "Amish Paste" tomatoes
  • 101  Leeks

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Drywall in the Barn

We finished pressure washing the rest of the barn ceiling early Saturday and  also worked on the wiring some more.   While the walls were drying off, we worked on the back fence row, cutting down low hanging tree branches and weed whipping.  Also mowed around both ponds, between the grape vines and the blackberry rows and drug load of brush to the burning pile behind the garden.

The rain started late Saturday afternoon, and we worked in the barn after that.  Jeff continued pointing the rocks on the back wall.  Jens, Tina and Lars worked on insulating between the studs, and then cutting and hanging drywall.  There were a lot of "tricky" pieces to cut, but Jens did a great job working around old crooked barn beams.  By Sunday afternoon, the drywall was up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Garden Planted - Right Before the Rain!

Luckily we got the following seeds planted before the rainy weekend:
  • Detroit Dark Red - red beets
  • Bloomsdale - spinach
  • Green Ice - lettuce
  • Danvers 126 - carrots
  • Hollow Crown - parsnips
  • Basic "onion sets" (around 250 bulbs)
Each row in our garden is approximately 150 feet (about 45 m) long, the above seeds covered two rows, with the onion sets and carrots covering the most, then red beets and parsnips.  We planted only 1/4 row of lettuce and spinach.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brassicas, Potatoes and Onions

Our garden as of this evening:
  • 48 broccoli plants - Emerald Jewel
  • 48 cabbage plants - Hercules, OS Cross  (matures in 82 days, avg, 10 lbs)
  • 300 Candy onion plants
  • ~ 40 lbs of red potatoes - Pontiac
  • ~ 40 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes
All the plants are in the plastic covered beds, 3 rows of potatoes are in traditional rows, that were hilled up, one row of potatoes was planted in plastic - just to see how it would work.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wiring the Barn

Jens, Jeff, Lars and Jens's friend Kevin worked on wiring the barn this weekend.  We bought wire that already had the flexible aluminum conduit around it and so far they used up about 375 feet of it.   All the ceiling fixtures are up (twelve of them), and outlets are installed on the wooden walls.  They ran additional wires for outlets on the wooden support beams, but those still need so be wired to the actual outlets.  Light switches are already installed and a complete new fuse box was set up and connected as well.
Jens connecting main line to barn
Jeff wiring light fixture

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Future Christmas Trees?

We picked up 20 Frazer fir tree seedlings at the Cumberland County Conservation District annual tree sale and ended up planting them in a somewhat random pattern on the steep slope by the small pond.  They are still rather small and we put a lot of mulch around them so that we can "find" them and not accidentally mow them off.

Also cleaned up the elderberry patch and took out about 20 new shoots for transplanting.  These were planted around the perimeter of the small pond - where the wetlands start the and the ground is just a bit soggy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Installing Drip Irrigation

Those six rows of new grapes are actually pretty long!  About 500 feet, or 150 meters each.  This evening we drug two drip irrigation lines and connected them to the main feeder line, and then just had enough time to  install the emitters for the top row.  Every one of them is working and the irrigation is running right now, we'll probably leave it on for 4 hours this evening yet.

Berries Starting to Blossom

Our blueberries and strawberries are beginning to bloom, just as most of the fruit trees are done with their blossoms. Hope the frost warnings for tonight won't hurt them!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Like a TV Make-over Show...This Old Barn

Before ....

What a crazy and productive weekend we had - and still found time to celebrate Easter!  Our barn underwent a total makeover, including new windows, new walls, new "deck" and new landscaping.  Plus we planted over 50 pounds of potatoes, mowed and weeded, painted fences, moved stacks of lumber and fitted a wedding dress.  All because we had so many helpers:
  • Omi worked on the wedding dress mostly, but also found time to weed and paint fences.
  • Anja baked tasty cookies, painted, sowed grass seeds, raked and watered and helped with fitting the dress.
  • Gracie made Easter dinner with an amazing ham... and patiently stood, and stood, and stood to have the dress fitted, and refitted, and refitted (and had to go to work)
  • Sam had to work a lot over the weekend, but found time and did most of the family laundry (our washer broke and she and Anja had to go to the laundromat), photographed progress and got us straw for the newly seeded lawn
  • Duff powerwashed for 3 days!!, helped with rebuilding the barn walls and stacked a lot of lumber
  • Jens, Jeff and Lars worked mostly on rebuilding barn walls, putting up the "deck" railing and moving debris
  • Tina rototilled and raked the area around the barn and worked with Anja on planting the grass seed, mowed and weed whipped around the house, the grapes and around the garden and elderberries

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Easter at the Long Shot Farm

    Easter Breakfast
    Tulips by the Fence

    Flowerbed with Old Plow
    More Tulips, Different Fence

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Finished planting 500 Vidal Blanc vines

    It took a little longer than anticipated, but we finally managed to plant all 500 vidal blanc vines.   I checked the almanac just for fun, and this actually was listed as a good day for planting vines!
    Right now, they are just little brown sticks in the ground - but with buds - and they all had very nice root systems.  Next we will need to run the irrigation hoses, add emitters and install the trellis system.  Seems like planting the vines was the easy part...

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    More Progress on Barn

    After preparing the inside walls all week (jacking up the outside corner of the barn, cutting new posts, and cutting a load of 2x6's for supports), we spent Saturday and Sunday tearing off half the downstairs wall of the barn. The new posts and supports were set, and the jacks carefully removed. 
    Jeff, Jens and Lars worked most of the weekend on this.  By Sunday afternoon, half of the wall had been rebuild with sheeting, and the new windows were studded in and installed.  Hoping to get the remainder of the wall rebuild next weekend.  While this was going on, Tina raked up all the left over gravel in the yard and dumped over a dozen wheelbarrow loads along the swampy edge of the lower pond.  Also rototilled the first segment of the "barnyard", spread grass seed and covered it all in straw and soaked it, even through it drizzled all day.  And we got some weeding and mowing done, and cleaned up a lot of the brush and old wood, which Jeff had cut into firewood-sized pieces.
    and after!