A small, diverse permaculture farm in beautiful SE Minnesota - our dream come true life focused on Local Food, Local Art, Local Music.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Clear and Concrete Progress!
We have been working so intensively all over the farm--planting the garden, reseeding grass destroyed by all the construction, preparing the fish gazebo for the aquaponics set-up, establishing the new pond...but for now I will update you on the greenhouse and kitchen.
Saturday was a glorious day and we had a wonderful group of friends helping us on the greenhouse.
Rog invented a bent ladder-like support structure to enable us to install the peak - but we didn’t get far enough along to actually use it Saturday.
Kelly (our new WWOOFer) and Elizabeth power-washed the panels
and rattled them to help water drain out of the channels.
Jerry and Beth slid the connector pieces on
and sprayed the groove with WD-40 so the panels would slide together more easily.
We figured out that it was easiest to install the upper panels by threading each panel into the bottom of the adjacent panel and sliding it up, while applying constant pressure so it didn't pop out sideways.
Pushing from the bottom and sides; pulling from the top.
Randy, muscles and nerves of steel, at the top.
Rog and Dave attaching the last upper panel on the south side!
Surely the north upper side will go easily now that we have our system down. And then we just have the peak...and the ends...and the vents, fans, electrical and lights and doors...
For the past two months, lots of work has been going on in the commercial kitchen, but mostly work that had to be done by electricians and plumbers, and that doesn't really show any tangible progress. Finally, all that work was done and inspected and approved. Tons of sand were hauled in by wheelbarrow, raked smoothed and compacted, in preparation for the concrete floor pour. Yesterday morning, the cement mixer arrived.
First, the foundation for the wall by the new oven was poured.
The area where we had sawed and jackhammered out the concrete for installation of electrical and plumbing (now under all that sand) was re-filled next.
Finally, the north end of the barn - which will be the storage room, bathroom, and wood-fired stove area - was poured. The concrete was a hauled in batches via wheelbarrow and Rog, Kelly and I screeded it and troweled it smooth, with a bit of help from the cement mixer driver.
Kelly and I troweling the last stretch of concrete around the oven.
Finished -- not bad, for a bunch of novice concrete workers! It looked even better this morning after it had cured a day. Now we can start tiling, building the walls, installing doors and equipment-- and we will have some tangible progress! But it is still going to be a Herculean feat to have this kitchen finished by the end of May.
In September 2008, we dived into our dream of creating a small, sustainable farm. Neither of us has previous farming experience, but we have enthusiasm and many ideas for this little 10-acre farmstead.