In about 10 days we’ve had over 20 inches of rain fall, 2 inches a day average! It’s wet around here as you can guess. The geese are happy campers but the rest of us are ready for some dry time! Looks like most of the next 6 days is set to be sunny but two days have a chance of rain. Ugh. Both of our lake spillways have been running all out for the past 10 days, our bridge and lower road are washed out pretty bad. The other night I realized 2 of our kayaks were left to close to the water and when it came up they went out. I realized this when I woke up at 3:15 in the morning. So I ended up in the last kayak at 3:30 going across the lake with a flashlight in my mouth trying to find them. You don’t want a pair of kayaks clogging up your spillway or the culverts under a bridge that is already washing out! Didn’t find them but at least verified that they were not in the spillway. Found them the next morning at first light, one washed up on shore and the other in some brush by the dam. Close call. So, kayaking at 3:30 in the morning, 45 degrees with a bit of drizzel? Not recommended! And that was after spending 2 sessions in the lake Saturday and Sunday inspecting for leaks. Our dam has held up very well for the past 20 years and has weathered this recent storm like a real champ! We do have to do a bit of routine maintenance to take care of though. Dams need to be kept clear of trees but covered with grass or some sort of ground cover to protect the clay.
The hugelculture beds are coming along fantastically! Lots of kale, lettuce, spinach and chard in full swing with eggplant, peppers and tomatoes ready to go in once we get past this last cold snap. They handled all the rain really well and my plants are not at all water logged thanks to the elevation. Not only that but those buried logs must be full of water which will help keep the soil moist for many weeks to come. The food forests are all coming along, most notably the one just out my front door is really filling in perfectly with plum, currant, comfrey, lemon balm, yarrow and sage. All the blueberries have come up looking great too.
Our last construction project is nearly finished. The shower house is almost done with only the last bit of plumbing to do. The walls, shower, sink are all in and it’s painted. We still have to paint the outside and then finish the upstairs loft where Jake/other guests can sleep. The red cabin is finally totally finished on the inside with a little kitchen sink and cabinets. There’s a bit more to do in terms of an outside roof to keep the door dry and an extension on the back side covered area so that the full length of the backside is covered. After that we should be done for a while with construction stuff! Will be nice to spend more time relaxing rather than filling the weekends with constant work. There’s still maintenance to do of course but it will be nice to not have air compressors, nail guns and saws constantly running in the background.
Oh, and an animal update. I’ve had the pleasant tweet tweet of 5 chicks in my cabin for the past 3 weeks! They are growing up fast and so cute with their first feathers in. Petunia is definitely pregnant and will be having her first fawn in the next 30 or so days. She’s been around most days for a bit of corn. The two canada geese have also been hanging out by the font porch every day as well, a nice addition! In fact I’m looking at them both right now as they lounge around in my front yard. I love their personalities, mannerisms, and constant vocalizations.
I really enjoy your blog, and I am particularly interested in your hugelkultur beds. It looks like they're coming along really well! I'm thinking of trying a few at my place, where I have very thin soil over limestone bedrock.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Bev, thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoy the blog! I think huge culture will work well for you if your soil is thin. The main ingredient is ready access to fallen wood, anything but cedar or pine should work. You can also plant many things directly in straw bales! With that method you have to be starting with plants not seeds unless you want to add a thin layer of soil which would then allow for planting seeds. Its a very similar concept just replacing the wood of hugelculture with the straw!
I have experience with straw bales – I'll be doing that again for sure. I have lots of wood in various states of decompostion, and I even have a pile of topsoil (filled with weeds, roots and rocks, mind) to top them off. The thing I lack is a couple of enthusiastic, strong-backed young lads to do the heavy lifting. I understand they're in short supply everywhere, so I'll manage.