Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas, sick monsters & more greenhouse pictures

Christmas is over for another year and what a year its been for us. We are pretty much all settled in to the new place and are trying to get the finishing touches done on the greenhouse to be able to put the plastic on. We are putting up two layers of plastic and I've been told we pretty much need no snow and no wind but frost in order to successfully put up the plastic. That could be interesting!!

We got the trench dug last week and laid down water and electrical lines. We were going to rent a trench digger but when we priced a local source it was pretty much the same to get a professional to do it, excellent!! We laid the water hose and electrical ourselves which turned into an adventure in its own right. We knew it was supposed to rain the following day so after we got the boys to bed we went outside to bury the water and electrical lines. Head lamps, shovels, and four hours later we were pretty much done. The rain came sooner than we had expected so we got nicely soaked.

I'm not sure if it was because of that or probably just that did not help but the next day I was so sick. I could hardly move, no energy and just felt like anll I could do was sleep. Derek had to come home from work to take care of the boys and I basically slept the rest of the day and night. Jake also was not feeling very well due to a bad head cold and his conditio continued to get quite a bit worse and lasted all through the Christmas weekend. He's starting to come around but his sleep pattern at night seems to be off which makes for a long sleepy day for me!!

We did have a good Christmas despite the mountain of kleenex that seemed to pile up. The boys were still not really into opening presents but really enjoyed seeing new toys. We went back to our woods in Brookvale for our annual Christmas tree hunt but Jake was not really in the "spirit" so we just took the first one we saw that we liked. It looked great in the woods, it was very full, but when we got it home we realized it was way too big, especially when we tried to bring it into the house. It pretty much filled our front living room.

Here are some pictures of the greenhouse progress since the last blog

Derek and Larry working on the end walls


End walls finally done

Derek and I working during a chilly afternoon while the boys napped

Using self tapping screws to attach the plywood to the end greenhouse hoop. It was chilly up there

Trench digger

Water line ready to be buried

The trench was about 200', looking towards the house

Looking toward the greenhouse

The skidsteer ran into a big rock and could not dig a clean line so we ended up borrowing a pair of post hole diggers to finish the job. What alot of work!!

No need for a gym membership now

Almost done, and yes I helped too

Ben helping Daddy with the big drill

Drilling the hole for the water line

We rented this drill and it worked like a dream!!

The hole almost done, it took about 4 minutes

It seems like there is not much left to do before the plastic goes on but it all still takes time and the weather is slowing us down. So basically here is our to do list before the plastic goes on
1. channel lock on end hoops with drip edge under the channel lock
3. checking for smooth edges on everything
4. installing big doors & little door

Hopefully the next update shows some real progress.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Greenhouse update

We have been steadily working on the new greenhouse for the last few weekends. We have been very fortunate that the weather has stayed so nice. Although the warm temperatures meant we were trudging through lots of mud, made a tough job just that much harder with all that extra weight attached to your boots!! The days are getting colder so we have to kick it up a notch. We have had some great help which has really speeded things up. A big thanks to Andrew Waugh, Andrew Chappell, Natalie Woodburn-Heron, Larry Lecky, Gerry Reicheld, Mike Cormier and my Dad, Gordon Waugh. I also can't forget to mention my Mom who has watched the boys so I've been able to help out as well. We are still a fair bit away from being finished but we can definitely see the end in sight. We have to get a trench dug for power and water which is a pretty big job but hopefully I can find someone locally with a trench digger who can do it for us. We could rent one but time is getting to be a bit of an issue!!

The greenhouse is 30X96 and we purchased the kit from Multi Shelter Solutions in Ontario. They have amazing customer service and are always ready and available to help when issues come up. We can't say enough about how great they have been to work with. We are building the end walls using pretty heavy materials but knowing what our Island winds are like we decided to build it extra strong to hopefully sleep better at night during those nasty Island gales!!!

We are very excited about the new greenhouse, it is something we have been wanting to have since we started farming in 2006. We are looking forward to spending time in there basking in the sun during the chilly winter days. We will be able to expand our CSA offerings greatly by being able to add an extended season that the greenhouse will be able to provide. We are also really excited to have so much more space to grow seedlings for early spring sales and CSA plantings.

Here are some pictures of our progress.

Waugh's Construction getting started to level the ground

Working away

Two hours later, almost perfectly level!!

Tractor trailor dropped off alot of material

More stuff

Lots of smaller stuff too

More materials

Getting started

Setting up the hoops

The end of the first day, sure looks impressive for one day

The next day was very cold, poor Mike's fingers were so red while he and Derek started putting up the top level of supports

Derek and Natalie working away on the top layer

Just about finished

Getting the holes dug for the 6X6 end posts

Derek treating the end posts, organic standards do not allow for pressure treated wood, hopefully our homemade recipe will work!!!

Larry Lecky came to help us with the end walls. Carpenter extraordinaire!!

Getting started on the end walls

Roll up side material all installed

Dad working on the header for the man door

End walls going up

Both end walls pretty much done. The west door still needs the header to be completed.

So pretty at sunset

Dreaming of what yummy goodness will be growing in there soon

The weather this weekend is supposed to be rather chilly but we're hoping to have the man door installed, plywood all installed on both end walls and the channel lock installed as well. Hopefully everything goes according to plan!!

We'll keep the pictures coming as progress continues.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Life is busy!!

The CSA wrapped up with a successful last pick-up and it was great to see everyone take home extra veggies to keep their fridges stocked up. We still have a few veggies left in the fields and I'm hoping to have an on-farm u-pick soon for the members who may want to get carrots or beets for winter storage. The carrots are so delicious right now, super sweet. A big thanks to everyone who filled out the CSA survey, what great comments and suggestions. We really appreciate our members and the effort they put into making our program a success.

We have been busy getting the new land prepped at the new farm for next years plantings. Seems like there is never enough time in the day with Derek working full time and with me chasing the monkeys and keeping them entertained but I got the garlic planted this week with help from Kim & Natalie and my Mom who tediously separated cloves. Dad was kind enough to plow the new ground
which was a big help.

Freshly plowed ground

My new soil

Some of the 2500 cloves planted this week before the rain

The view towards Summerside

Natalie working away

Ben & Jake have been enjoying all the trips to the "new house" and I think are starting to feel pretty much at home. We are planning on moving within the next few weeks so hopefully they will still feel the same when we get there!! Just a picture to end off the blog of my sweet little Halloween cutie pies!!