Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Nice Fall Day (Oh, It's Spring?!?)

It was a cold, gray, windy day. Quite a nip in the air. And boy, was it windy. Really, really windy. Like 40 or 50 mile an hour gusts windy. (you get the idea?)

Well this morning I awakened to my dear Mother telling me that the plastic was loose on the hoop-house. (for the umpteenth, no gazillionth, time) Did I mention that the chicks are out there?!? And did I say that there is (or rather used to be) probably half a ton of rocks holding the plastic down?!? And did I tell y'all that it was rather windy?!? It was almost a disaster. Thankfully, the chicks didn't seem to suffer too much under their brooder in the hoop-coop (which is inside of the hoop-house) PTL!!) So I dashed out there (after throwing on some clothes and dragging myself out of bed (Umm, better reverse the order on that :-) ) --I did mention that somehow I stayed up till mid-night last night? And this was shortly after seven?--I dashed out and assessed the damage. A lot of damage. Almost enough to collect the
wind damage insurance we don't have on the thing.

Well, it was way too windy to do much other than pull down the first layer of plastic and batten it down as well as we could and go back in and wait. And did I mention that it was quite cloudy and depressing? (and very windy!) And that the weather last night called for Sun to day?? Anyway, not the best start to the day! This afternoon the wind finally died down to a gentle breeze of about 15 or 20 mile an hour gusts, and Jonathan helped me get the second layer of plastic back over the hoops (several of which are now displaced and/or broken) and weighted down with about six or eight 150+ pound blocks of wood per side. (those hard maple blocks that I didn't get split yet sure came in handy to day)
So now we have the blocks of wood and all of the rocks we started with on there. Now I think (hope/pray) that anything shy of a tornado can't do much more damage. We definitely need some design improvements--more metal to start! (we don't have any in the current flawed design)

(With all of these *great* things happening to our version of a hoop-house, y'all probably can't wait 'till I tell y'all how to make your own! It would work great someplace that never gets over a 2mph breeze. Seriously though, maybe you can learn with us from our mistakes, and not make as many yourself! When the plastic stays on it seems to work well--our rhubarb has leaves about 5 or 6 inches across and the really greening up. )

The chicks are doing well (getting quite big, and growing lots of feathers), I really do want to get some pictures posted of them out--they're really a riot. Our new entertainment is to dig up a few worms and dangle them by the brooder 'till one of the chicks grabs it and runs off. Then all the rest will chase after the one with the worm. Kinda like football or something. It's really great if you get about 6 or 8 chicks with worms and the others chasing. In and out of the brooder, into the corners, (there are a few that are really good at stealing the "ball,") and ever out of the coop into the general hoop-house! Maybe I can even figure out (read get Jonathan to figure out) how to post a video of them--no promises though. I just ordered a batch of meat birds too, should arrive May 19th. Now I need to think about getting more feed...

Tonight, after supper, Dad went out to watch the show. And then we played Frisbee (using ice cream pail covers) with the dog. Kinda hard in gale force wind. It was just like a day in late October or early November. Felt just about
like time for deer season ;-)

That's all for now,



Goodolboy said...

Hi Matthew, Ah yes, wind. I did the same deal last year. We had some terrible spring/summer storms. My chicken tractors stood up but it was hard on the birds. I am going to..... let me rephrase that, I want to build some houses on skids. Tryin to work the design out in my head. It has to be simple and cheap. We still have snow on the ground here. Suppose to be nice today so hopefully most of it will go. Our dog dragged home a deer head last night. Nice little bucks head. Don't know where the rest of the deer went. He can eat alot but not a whole deer. I don't think he can anyway????

Talk to ya soon.


Goodolboy said...

Hi Matthew, Just sittin here eatin my lunch. I have always lived in Manitoba, Canada. My Dad was born in ND but came to Southern Manitoba at an early age. Ya can't move back and forth between the USA and Canada now without alot of red tape. In the olden days people moved back and forth without too much thought or effort.

We actually only raise a small portion of our food but what we do is purchase much of our food from local farmers. Like yourself, I think this is taking forever to get rolling but little by little it will come. As long as we don't go backwards I am content. Thank you for the compliments about my family. Truth is, They are no different than most. Brother and sisters fight too much and I have to fuss with them to get their chores done. I would love to pack in my day job and farm full time. Reality is, I don't have the knowledge or the resources (read money) to do that. I never will (unliess I win a lottery and I don't buy tickets so that ain't goin to happen) but if I get a good start at it my children may have the opportunity. Your parents should be very proud of you and Jonathan. A young person with confidence and respect is refreshing. Many of the young people in our public school systems seem to have little respect for themselves and others. (this observation comes from my wife's experiences at her work in a public school) It seems home schooled young people are much more mature and focused. Not sure why. Maybe because they don't deal with the peer pressure. Anyway my lunch is over and got to get back at er. Talk to you soon.

That would be great to visit with your family. Planning a summer vacation? Manitoba, Land of 100000 lakes. Tell your Mom and Dad. We would have a great time.