Monday, October 18, 2010

More Winter Prep

Weekends mean WORK, at least this time of year.  We have so many  projects to accomplish before winter arrives! Happily, the weather has been very accommodating so far.

Rog built three wonderful new compost bins outside of the loafing shed.  Last year, we realized that siting the compost bins a shovel's throw away from the source would be much more convenient and better for the back than hauling wet animal bedding across the farm! (unless, perhaps you have a front end loader.)  Plus, I plan to move the cow feeding station to the spot where the compost bins are currently so I won't have to haul hay so far through the snow this winter.

We don't ordinarily spend much time this side of the building, but working on the compost bins I got a good look.   I saw that the paint on the loafing shed was peeling pretty badly on the south and west sides. I actually like the texture of weathered wood, but the farm looks so much more spiffy and well-cared-for when the buildings are freshly painted. It was a beautiful day -maybe our last opportunity  - and I was procrastinating my other major project, so I decided to paint. Our strategy is to paint a little bit every year so we aren't overwhelmed with all these outbuildings needing paint at the same time.
Before painting, I power-washed off all the loose paint and dirt.  The windows on the west side needed some repair, too!
Finished! My last significant experience on a ladder  (3 years ago) was not so great--I tipped over and ended up with both bones broken in my right wrist and both bones broken in my right ankle.  So, I was a bit nervous about being way up there painting the peak, but I was extremely cautious and had no mishaps.

Later, when we let the cows back into this yard when we were done, they were absolutely goofy--very curious about the new compost bins, rubbing on them, climbing inside, racing in circles around the yard.  I think it met with their approval.
Next. I tackled the chicken coop. Usually I just change the bedding but this time I totally cleaned everything out -- swept out  out the bedding and took out the  waterers, the feeders, and the nesting box shelves.  I power washed the walls,  floor and all the accoutrements.
(My normal a camera lens is broken;  I need a wider angle lens to capture the entire inside of the coop, but with the telephoto lens I could get  the coop windows, propped opened to let the breeze dry everything.)
That power washer has to be one of my very favorite farm tools. We got it last summer to clean the patio when the chickens decided to roost there every night.  The power washer has come in so handy for cleaning garage floors, barn stalls, lawn furniture, cars and bikes (we live on a dusty gravel road.)   It is great for  blasting the green algae off of the inside of the duck's kiddie pool, cow water tanks and birdbaths.  It is also  invaluable for cleaning the bottoms of your muck boots or shoes after gardening or barn-cleaning... or compost-moving!

What a productive and satisfying weekend.  In addition to these projects, Rog baked a batch of sourdough bread, I mowed the lower pasture, Rog performed music Friday and Saturday nights.  Sunday evening, our friends Tom and Jean came over for wood-fired pizza and we relaxed.

A few more weekends like this and we'll be ready to hunker down for winter!


Becky said...

You have been so busy and productive! I've been loving reading all of your posts even though I don't often have a chance to comment. The barn looks beautiful with it's fresh coat of paint. The cows sound so hilarious!

katiegirl said...

The barn looks great painted! You guys sure do keep busy!