As many of you in our local area know, we've had some severe thunderstorms recently. Well, we were unfortunate enough to get hit by straight-line winds about 2 weeks ago. 80 MPH gusts! It sounded like a train was going to hit our house. Unfortunately our greenhouse, which Ben built just a year ago, took the wind head-on and lost. See below for before and after.
The winds lifted our greenhouse, tossed it about 100 feet, before it crashed into our creek! :(
But we try to make lemonade out of lemons. After salvaging the lumber, paneling, and the intact door, we reused it to build a tall chicken coop. (We know; it looks a bit like an outhouse!)
On a brighter note, a friend of ours raises rabbits and donated a ton of rabbit poop to fertilize our future hoop house. Literally, there was over 1 ton of rabbit poop weighing down Ben's truck. Don't you wish you had friends like ours. :)
We're staying busy here at Four Flags Farm! About a month ago Ben rented a mini excavator to start digging the drainage for our future hoop house. Unfortunately about half way through the digging, the drainage trench collapsed on one side, sending the excavator into the trench! We called the excavator owner, and he was able to break it free (sorry no pics of it getting stuck).
Below are pictures after digging the 2.5 foot deep trenches. Two 72 foot sections (the sides of the hoop house) and one long 420 foot section that drains to our creek. You might notice that the 420 foot section has a couple of bends in it. That's due to a last second realization that the sides of the hoop house were 72 feet, not the 70 feet we originally thought! You might also notice that there is standing water in our trench. This is the normal depth of our water table, which is addressed further down.
Here are the PVC pipes and the FIRST load of gravel (30 tons). We have a helper in one of the photos!
The pictures below are the same trenches with a bed of gravel to just above the water table. Additionally, a 4 inch perforated PVC pipe was laid on top of the bed of gravel.
In other news, this past year was a success for firewood processing and collection. We had 23 ricks of firewood at the beginning of Winter. (A typical rick in this area is 16 inch long pieces stacked 8 feet long and 4 feet high. A full size pickup truck bed is also about one rick.) One of our biggest challenges for us is finding a flat location on our property, in the sun, that is not going to be used to grow food. Since we have excess dirt from our trench excavating, Ben used the opportunity to enlarge our firewood area. It's now about 50% larger!
We are Four Flags Farm, Armonda & Ben Riggs!