Thursday, April 3, 2014

March Picture This

Here we are in April.  So, it must be time for a MARCH picture this!  You're going to have to cut a little slack on this one.  We haven't been all that gung ho to go out and take pictures for most of the month of January and it wasn't until the last weekend that we did a bit more with it.  Something about just being tired of everything being white.  Then, after it was white, it was dirty white....  not an improvement.

Here we are as of Sunday, March 30 - with snow drifts at the north line that might actually reach up to Tammy's armpits in spots still.  They are about half the size they were a few weeks ago, but that's still alot of snow to melt.  The good news is that these continue to melt - and if we get some rain, it will accelerate the process.

Tammy and Mrranda give perspective to drifts on the farm.
While some of the drifts on the farm weren't quite as big as the north line, they were big enough.  The drifts by the high tunnel were also sizable.  We tried a little bit of walking through these drifts, but they are no longer as solid as they once were.  The result is that you sink most of the way in.  And, it isn't that easy to move once you've sunk into 3 (or more) feet of snow.

Remaining snow looks solid, but it just doesn't work to walk on them.
We also took a moment to see if the frost was leaving the ground where there wasn't snow.  One good indicator that the frost is still there would be the puddles the snow melt is creating.  We were curious and tried to push a stake into the ground.  We got to 3-4 inches and were stopped cold...literally.

4" Soil Temperature Report - FREEZING (still)
We were finally able to check some of the trees.  Unfortunately, the rabbits were able to get at some of the apple trees.  Some of the issue was the amount of snow.  It allowed the rabbits to reach branches we didn't do anything to protect.  In other cases, we just didn't do a good enough job protecting the tree.

Well, that apple tree won't come back.
Temperatures over the weekend were very nice.  Even though Saturday was cooler, there was much less wind.  So, it was much more attractive to meandering around without a coat

The cats suggested a picnic
We were able to get out to the high tunnel and do a little repair here and there before the winds ramped up again.

I think the plastic is on its last legs
There was one fairly large rip in the plastic that we knew had to be addressed immediately, so we took the time to do it.  The biggest issue is trying to put the tape on the outside without creating more holes.  For those who do not know, we put poly tape on both the inside and outside of a repair like this - if we can.  But, it's often tricky to get to the outside.

Stakes are great! Test frost depth AND repair high tunnels.
Hey!  Now you know what we really were doing with the high tunnel - despite what our April 1st post might have suggested!

The inside of the tunnel has some green and growing things.  But, they are still slow to get going.   The spinach is small and most of the kale is barely coming back.  Clearly a rough winter for overwintering things in the high tunnel at GFF.

Blue Scotch kale attempting a comeback

Spinach!  Soon we can pick a little of it.
And, slowly but surely, progress is being made to install a bath on the second floor of the farm house.  While we don't go into all of the motivations, one would be the fact that the shower we do have froze up several times this year because of the location of the plumbing.

Ooooooh!  Who messed up that wall?

Aha!  The culprit is found!
So, plaster and lathe are down (thanks bro!) and plumbing is roughed in.  There is still alot to do, but we're hopeful that we'll at least have the basics for most of the summer.  Here's hoping!

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