House, Farm & Garden

Birdhouse Extraordinaire

Oh, the satisfaction of designing and building things. This simple looking structure is the result of a transformational process – taking abstract ideas and converting them into a usable and effective product.  A series of challenges overcome through the application of innovative…(sigh) Okay…it’s a chicken coop.  But it’s a really good chicken coop. My vacation...
Sweet Potato Epilogue

Sweet Potato Epilogue

What do you do with a sweet potato surplus?  Certainly share them with friends and neighbors, explore new recipes for preparing them…could even sell some.  But an imaginative person would find a way to do something worthy. My wife Melanie came up with an idea – sell raffle tickets to win sweet potatoes.  That’ s...

The Birdhouse

The egg & poultry project is moving forward, and the chickens are getting bigger.  Soon they will outgrow the dog crate in which they have been living. Since my vacation is almost over, I’m hurrying to build a house for the birds. After studying a variety of designs, I came up with one of my...
Sweet Potato Harvest

Sweet Potato Harvest

Ah, the sweet potato harvest again.  Since starting my garden (2008), I’ve tried growing several kinds of vegetables and fruit, with mixed success.  But sweet potatoes have been my fail-safe staple crop.  And this vegetable is one of the most nutritious things you can eat. The sweet potato is a source of complex carbohydrates and...

Operation E&P

For a long time we’ve talked about getting chickens for the farm, and we almost did get some this past spring.  The feed store had a nice selection too – Barred Rocks, White Sussex, Rhode Island Reds, and more. But spring and summer went by, and we still had no chickens. Well, during a routine trip...
Barn Cabinets Installed

Barn Cabinets Installed

After all four cabinets were completely assembled, there was enough lumber remaining to build a fifth.  So building one more unit gave me a chance to time a complete iteration of the entire process – start-to-finish . All the cutting, gluing and clamping required 5.25 hours.  Then the unit had to dry overnight.   These first steps...

Barn Cabinets Assembled

The third phase of this project has been the most time consuming.  Parts had to be glued, clamped and allowed to dry – several hours minimum. A bottle neck resulted from an acute shortage of clamps.  I only have two.  Ideally, each 41-inch door would be held together with three clamps each.  But with the...

Cabinets for the Barn

Barn owners invest a great deal of time and attention in their animals, facilities and equipment. The price of that dedication is often a cluttered house with mud-tracked floors.  A cluttered barn, on the other hand, will not to be borne. Our barn aisle is swept clean daily, tack suspended neatly from hooks along both...
Summer Vacation 2011

Summer Vacation 2011

This year, my to-do list is benefiting from an extraordinarily long summer vacation…fortuitous, since the list of things to do is also extraordinarily long.  I spent a couple of leisurely days editing, reviewing and prioritizing my list.  Then it was time to plan and execute item one – the garden fence. A few searches on...

Arena Lights

Another backlog project has been finished:  The riding arena now has lights. In winter when days are short, the barn crowd still wants to ride their ponies.  Perching a spotlight in the hay loft doorway and casting the beam onto the dressage ring my be marginally effective, but isn’t practical.  Unless there was a full...

A farm needs a wind vane

When we first moved in, our little farm consisted of three plain buildings and some fencing.  That was significantly more than the armpit-deep weeds that covered the landscape when we purchased the lot.  We’ve made improvements since then, but something has been missing.  Well, there is always something missing or in need of change.  In...
New Farm - 2004

New Farm – 2004

In November, 2003, Melanie found a lot for sale that was perfectly suited for our dream farm. The following is the the step-by-step preparation of the land for building the new farm.