Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall is a busy time

So Mary Beth, my girlfriend, and I have been working hard and making progress on various projects in the last few weeks.

I started out a few weeks ago doing more demolition on a local barn to get wood for my house. I was able to salvage enough barn siding to side my garden shed, which looks much better with a face lift. No more ugly OSB. Now I just have to do the same for Wisteria Lodge, the house I've been living in. Anyway, I'm hoping to get some good posts and beams from the barn, and possibly a lot of firewood. It's sad to see beautiful barns like the one we are dismantling fall into disrepair. Because of a bad roof, most of the wood, hundreds of 2x6s, 2x8s, 2x10s, and tongue-in-groove flooring, is rotting away.

We put tongue-in-groove flooring in the second floor of Wisteria Lodge a few weeks ago as well, we finished up the trim around the window and door, and now the house is ready for the finish coat of plaster. We have a plaster party planned for tomorrow and hope to get help from community members so we can finish the plaster in a short time--maybe even in one day.

Last week we had the concrete poured for the bond beam on the foundation for the other house I started last year. We spent a couple days building the forms over the urbanite foundation and they did their job well, as the bond beam looks solid and level. Now that I've got a lot of wood, I should be ready to do the framing. I didn't make it as far as I thought I would this year, but gathering the materials can be the biggest challenge here, and that's what I've spent a lot of time doing. I plan to frame the house partially with post and beam from the barn and partially with 2x6s and 2x10s from other demo projects.

A couple weeks ago I mounted my solar panels on the roof. With a donation of metal framing pieces from Tom, I was able to set up the panels so that I can adjust their angle to make them face the sun as it move lower and higher in the sky. The amount of energy the panels are collecting has increased greatly since I moved them up to the roof, since on the ground they were getting shaded out by trees.

With late season warm weather, the garden has continued to flourish and provide tons of delicious veggies like eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, and tons of sweet peppers. Now the fall crops are beginning to come in and we'll be planting garlic soon. Next year I won't be gardening for my eating co-op, and I'll focus on building, the vineyard, and my own garden. I would like to garden on a larger scale, but would prefer to be at least a little mechanized, because it was a lot of work handling the Skyhouse garden, and I still felt like we didn't produce enough food simply because of space limitations. I'd love to grow beans and grains in addition to veggies. Of course, it will be easier when I'm not having to grow food for 7 other people.

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