Saturday, June 12


It was bound to happen.  The plastic I used on the greenhouse I bought off craigslist.  The guy said it was greenhouse plastic which is specifically designed to hold up to abuse it will take on a greenhouse, such as a UV protection, but I had my doubts.  There were no brand names on the box, no logos on the plastic.  One day this week Jennifer came home to find it had failed.  It split along one of the creases from when it was folded and the wind did the rest.  The good news is we had shut down the use of it for the summer so there were no losses of plants.  I did have to quickly weatherize things as you can see the fan boxes have tarps secured to them and various other things have been sealed individually from the elements. 

Now I need to take the old plastic off and replace it with the right stuff.  This time I'll buy something with UV protection, a warranty, and enough to do a double layer for extra insulation.  Since we don't plan on using it until late August I'm tempted to wait until then to make the purchase but it's a bit of an eyesore without the plastic on it, so it will probably happen relatively soon.

I spent a good part of this last week in Chicago attending the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (for my day job).  As I stood in the crowded airport waiting for my luggage on the way home I kept thinking about how nice it will be to get home, to peace and quiet.  It's fun to travel occasionally, but it's good to be home.

Sunday, June 6

Baby goats

Sometimes I wish I could just hang out and nap like the little one's pictured here.  We've had a ton going on lately.  Most recently we hosted two WWOOFers for a couple of weeks.  I've mentioned having WWOOF volunteers before, but for those that don't know it's a network of organic farmers (WWOOF host farms) and those interested in learning about organic farming (WWOOFers).  The WWOOFers volunteer their time and energy in exchange for a learning opportunity as well as room and board.  I understand we're on the luxurious end of the accommodations (we have an extra private bedroom and bath in our home) as some just provide tent space.

Ken and Amy, our WWOOFERS, are doing a summer of WWOOFing. They left yesterday after a two week stay.  They helped us get a ton of little extra projects done.  My lovely wife Jennifer said it best after a day of projects with the WWOOFers and my cousin Aaron helping out that we got more done that just the "have-tos" that we usually get done with a typical weekend.  Some of the projects marked off the checklist include:
  • taking down the old barn tin
  • cleaning out the old barn
  • creating two large compost piles out of the bedding from the barn
  • rebuilding fence around that barn
  • tearing down an old compost bin and building a nicer one in a different spot
  • planting lots of ornamental plants and trees
  • mulching
  • building new raised beds
  • moving hay to the new barn
  • cleaning out the chicken house
I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the things we accomplished.  The place looks great as a result and we learned a lot and had fun with our guests, I think they would say the same.  Amy is a second year vet student and got a nice introduction into the world of goats.  Jennifer and I laughed when she said her favorite goat was Etsu, because she's "so outrageous."  Jennifer also arranged for Amy to meet our local vet and she spent three days riding and helping Dr. Mozier.  Ken is a recent grad with a degree in history, he's looking to get into urban planning and I hope his experience on our little farm helps him along that journey.  They plan on blogging their experience and I'm waiting for a URL to link to.  

We have another set of WWOOFers scheduled for sometime in July, they're biking across the country.  They only plan on staying for a few days and we're looking forward to their visit.