Great day at the homestead

What a gorgeous gift of a day! Nov. 12th, but sunny and warm (60, by mid-day). Last week’s snow jolted us into realizing a number of chores that really needed to get done before winter set in, and we did pretty much all of them today.

Our neighbor, Gary, came over with his tractor and moved the giant pile of wood chips (20yd dropped off for cheap by a local tree service) to the various plantings that needed a fresh coat: the oak berm, the berry berm, and the apple/raspberry bed. When he was done, he moved the remaining chips (8 yd?) to a back corner of the property so they’re out of the driveway. As he did that, Scott and I started to take the pergola “roof” down, which lets the sun into the house and also keeps the pergola from collapsing under the weight of snow – I don’t think 4 year old willow fencing can handle a foot of snow!

This is always a shaky job – our ladder is just barely tall enough to get to one end of the pergola, and it sinks into the ground. It’s nerve-wracking and not terribly safe. Finally, Gary says, “I can’t take it any more! Scott, get in the bucket!” And in a move that looked more dangerous (but both guys swore it was better than the ladder), Scott gets in the bucket of the tractor and Gary lifts him up level to the top of the pergola, which we can then dismantle in record time. (I’m on the roof at this point, managing the slats that hold the screening on the top of the pergola, thinking I’ve got the safest perch of the bunch.) And heck, while I’m up there, I cleaned out the gutters, too.

When that was done, we trimmed a couple branches overhanging the deck, and finally called it a morning. After showers and lunch, Scott ran off to do Scott things involving coffee, and I decided to flop on the couch with a book, or the internet, or something. But! The living room is cold.

No worries! There is wood, and a fireplace. But! There’s so much ash in the fireplace that it’s hard to keep a fire lit. No worries! There is a shovel, and a tin for the ashes.  But! Now the ash tin is full. No worries! It is beautiful and sunny, and I can go dump them out by the greenhouse.

Oooh, greenhouse. I wonder how things are going in there? Pretty well, as it turns out. There’s actually a serving of green beans to be harvested, and the winter savoy cabbages are starting to head up. Hmm, cabbage – that reminds me, I was going to transplant the Storage #4s from the garden to the greenhouse to compare how they keep “live” to in the root cellar. Did I mention it’s beautiful and sunny?

And so on, for at least another hour.  And now the cabbages are transplanted and watered, one water barrel is empty (I don’t think they’re big enough for warm thermal mass, and since this one is on the north side, I’m betting it would freeze, making it the wrong kind of thermal mass), beans harvested, greens for dinner picked, and three cookie trays of herbs (oregano, rosemary, and sage) are drying on the kitchen table.

I’m a couple hours late to my flop on the couch, but so what? Now I’ve got fresh green beans to eat as I putter online. 🙂



  1. sqwook said,

    November 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    “No worries!” XD ❤ This all sounds lovely.

  2. Ed Bruske said,

    December 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    That’s lovely, Emily. Looks like an actual home.

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