Friday, September 30, 2011

All Digits on Deck

Yes, the cats helped measure the plastic for the 3-H.  I'm sure they did.

Oh, Is It Autumn?

I prefer to think of it as late summer.  And under the double protection offered by our 3-H once it's completed, it will still feel like late summer.

Paul installed part of the plastic on the 3-H today.  We needed to get all the spinach and lettuce seeds in the soil today.

We also planted the first of our radishes and onions.  Only two more weekends are available for successive  plantings.  In the meantime we're waiting for seeds to plant our m√Ęche, which is known as corn salad in the United States or lamb's lettuce in England.

If all goes as hoped, our winter garden will mature enough in the autumn for us to harvest in winter, when our boxes will be further protected with floating row covers.

Can you imagine dining on fresh homegrown salads in the winter?  We can.

As we bask in the glow of hope, it's time to call it a day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Framed: I Really Did It

The height of the windows from the inside is one thing.  The height from outside is just a little bit more.  Look carefully, and a small person in navy blue should be visible next to that red space elevator leaning against the building.  Near the top of that ladder is where I've spent two of my recent afternoons.

In preparation for winter and to protect the wood storm window frames and trim from its effects, I've been scraping out old glazing and paint while trying to balance comfortably on the narrow ladder rungs.

The view from there isn't always pretty, either:

What is that cloudy stuff on the inside of the glass?!  I don't know, but I really didn't want to leave it there.  We hadn't been planning to take the storm windows down, and Paul was reluctant to undertake that project, even though it would be the only way to clean it up.  What to do?  Leave it there to spoil the look of the freshly painted windows?  Or spend a lot more time on each window than we'd originally thought?

The answer came in a way I would have rathered it didn't:

Yes, that's a crack.  I applied to much force on the putty knife in trying to get out that old, stubborn, dried-out glazing, and I cracked the glass.  Argh.

Long story short, Paul climbed the ladder to take a look at the situation and began taking out the panes of glass.  Now I'm cleaning the windows (I still don't know what that stuff is, and it's awfully stubborn about coming off!), and he's being more particular about removing the old paint from the wooden frame.

It would seem that to do the job right we can't just paint the weathered wood; because of its age and condition we need a wood restoring product that will allow the paint to properly adhere for years to come.

It's not that I don't like hanging out with a paint scraper in the upper strata of the troposphere, but I'd really prefer to do the job right the first time and do something more enjoyable a second time.

Wouldn't you?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Introducing the 3-H

Remember this?  This past spring it became this:

and this:

Then this:

and this:

What a great spot this is for growing things, and what a great blessing it is to have fresh, homegrown greens!  We've enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we decided to enlarge on it.  Now it's become this:

and this:

It's what I call "The 3-H", or sometimes "The Triple H".  I confess I can get a little funny with household acronyms, but you can imagine how cumbersome it would become to keep calling it what it is:  a half of a high hoop.  Not a greenhouse, exactly, because there won't be any artificial heat or forced ventilation; just wind protection and solar heat retention.  Then, coupled with some floating row covers or some full-fledged cold frames, we hope to someday plant some cool season crops for a winter harvest.  Paul holds out hope that we aren't too late to try it this year, but I'm not so sure.

Work is still unfolding, so I'll continue to post pictures so you can see how it all comes together.

And now that the temperatures are cooler, we have a lot of work projects going on.  I should have plenty to write about!