Spring Weather

While my friends in Wyoming and Colorado are being pummeled by a snow storm this weekend, we have enjoyed temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.

I do not miss the spring storms in Wyoming. Just about the time you’re done with Winter, Wyoming says, “Wait, I forgot the snow.” Most years more snow falls March through May than the entire rest of winter. Even worse, it teases you. You get to experience a week or two or several of glorious weather, and about the time you are lured into thinking winter’s done, it dumps another two or more feet on you in a weekend. Then it does it again – lovely weather, massive snow storm – over and over through May.

This was what their weekend looked like.

We took advantage of North Carolina’s fine weather to get things done outside. After all, with the return of Spring in the South, you get the return of bugs. So, we’re trying to get our big outdoor tasks done early in the season before we get overrun.

One project was completed that has been on the list for nearly 10 years. The previous owners had tossed an old porch and deck into the back woods. Last weekend, we finally cleared it out of there and loaded it into Old Yeller, the truck. This weekend, Oscar took the wood to the dump. It definitely took longer to get around to than it should have, but, it’s done.

Last weekend, I assembled and filled my Greenstalk vertical planter with dirt. Each level takes about 1 liter of dirt – that’s a whole bag per level! I wasn’t willing to spend the price for potting soil, so I made my own by combining my bags of significantly less expensive garden soil, with peat moss and perlite. I got the “recipe” off the internet. I saved a lot of money doing it that way and it was only a little extra work. This weekend, after thoroughly soaking the dirt in each level and topping each off with a scoop or two of soil, I planted some of the seeds for my spring vegetables.

I planted carrots on the top level, followed by peas, then broccoli, then mixed lettuces, and finally, on the bottom level, Easter Egg radishes. Grow, little seeds, grow!

I cleared out more of the unwanted growth from the raised bed we covered a couple weeks ago. It’s not quite ready to plant yet though. I also scrubbed out a large planter I brought from Cheyenne (I have used it for everything but planting since I’ve been here, smh). I hope to plant both with more spring vegetables next weekend.

The big project I wanted to get done, though, didn’t get done. We were supposed to build the extended run. It was one of those comedy of errors that leaves you trying to decide if you should kick yourself or laugh.

Last year, after finally finishing the chicken coop, I discovered the “hoop coop” while watching a You Tube episode by Living Traditions Homestead. It is much easier and less expensive to build than the coop we built, which was less expensive than anything else we had found up to that point. I decided back then that we would build a hoop coop for the extended run.

We’d collected almost all the necessary supplies over the past few weeks so after one last trip to Home Depot for some L-brackets and screws, we got started on what should have been a couple hour project.

The first complication came when we ripped the Chunnel off the coop but couldn’t let the chickens out to free range because a hawk was hanging out. (I think it got one of the Three Amigos as I haven’t seen the white hen for a couple of days.) So, they had to stay in the coop while we worked.

By the time it got dark, after making the fourth trip to Home Depot for the day, this is all we had accomplished.

Isn’t that just pitiful?

The unfortunate thing was that we couldn’t leave it until next weekend. Since we’d removed the Chunnel the coop was not secure and the chickens could not be left in the itty bitty run of the original coop for a week. So, we continued working the next day.

The idiocy continued the next day when our extra-spiffy metal zip ties disappeared. The annoying thing was, we had them the day before. We looked everywhere (including the freezer; you know, just in case) but they were no where to be found. These ties had been recommended by our friends at Wilding Acres Farm because they are better to use on cattle panels than plastic zip ties. Under the circumstances, we had to revert to using the plastic ones but, naturally, we didn’t have very many of them.

We did just enough to keep the chickens safe for the week. We got the hoops up. We got the gaps covered with chicken wire. We put a tarp over it for protection from sun and rain. But we didn’t build the entrance. We worked a temporary solution with some plywood that let’s us go in but, hopefully, keeps the boogie men out.

It sure looks stupid

Oh, and yes, when we were putting things away, we found the darn metal zip ties.

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