Flutterbys & peas

Howdy doody. How is everyone today? or this evening? Wherever you are? Here in our little corner of the world, it’s Autumn & raining, we very much need the rain, the days have been just warm enough to keep the paddocks & gardens producing, much to our delight & obviously to the delight of the wildlife around us, fodder for everyone.”yay”

0[1]Peas & butterflies, not necessarily on your plate together, but always a treat in the garden. The peas seeds amongst others, came up beautifully in the newly built greenhouse, as a result I have put in more seeds. Anticipation is torturous isn’t it?0[3] (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The butterflies have been stunning, more than what we have ever had before. All varieties, all sizes. This stunning one followed me around all day. There were a number of times we almost collided & if the fluttering of wings were anything to go by, all I can say is, “I’m so glad I don’t speak fluttery”.

 

 

Coming in for breakfast after the morning chores; It was too early to take off Walters pjs & Princess flew out the door & being deaf now couldn’t hear me calling her back to get her pjs on, before going out to the freshness of the morning to get the chores done. She’s a tough country little princess. There is an ever so slight mist of rain that catches the sunlight like a sprinkling of diamonds, rain here is as precious as diamonds. The glare of the sun bringing a promise of warmth to help things continue to grow.

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No its not cemented in yet, the brickwork, not the dogs, haha. Whomever had built a fire place in the front yard(Bless their cotton little socks) used the wrong type of bricks. The top was trimmed with the right type, giving the illusion that all was well, till the bricks started cracking & the structure became very loose, upon closer inspection it was found, that the angels were obviously kept busy, as we were very fortunate to not have had any of the bricks used explode on us, the few times we were able to use the barby. We needed a rethink & here we have it.

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I almost don’t have the heart to fill the space with wood suitable for the gorgeous little pizza oven(my son bought for me) perched on top. Where will the dogs rest while we pot up at the greenhouse or gather with friends at our little Tuscany? Princess scratched & dug & turned in circles, till it was to her precious precise idea of outdoor comfort, to which when she was done, Walter was ever so grateful for the effort. I will redo it & add bricklaying to my portfolio, haha, if I had a portfolio, or is resume’ the right word or is it a cv. I think I’m safer just blogging on.

Its not the most glamorous of photos, but this is my Zina. I started doing some ground work with her yesterday. She is very obliging although is a little pushy at times. She responded really well. I get soft nuzzley kisses & when I’m brushing her mane, she will swing her head around & give me a hug. I’m yet to dust off & polish up the saddle. In the mean time I am working on my core strength & fitness. She is a little woolly coming into our winter, that just makes her more squishy. She has done cattle work & shows with her previous owners & I have ridden her at  a Australian Stock Horse clinic. She did great.

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Its a little pixelated, but after her workout & brush down I let her go. She wandered for a bit & then couldn’t contain her excitement anymore & took off bucking, kicking & farting as they so elegantly do. I’m sure, to tell Ole Danny boy of how excited she is about how close Mum is to taking her out for a ride.

 

 

Last but not least.

William bought his dog Princess a new bed, well not according to Turbo. Princess didn’t quite fit, but that no skin off Turbos nose. She has a new happy place. Look at that dreamy little grateful face.

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It only takes a couple of tools.

Good morning beautiful people, I do hope everyone is feeling great today. I am a little excited at just how much I am able to get done of lately. Whether it be the fact that I am a little on the agoraphobic side & this staying home business agrees with me totally, (I do feel for those who are not this way) or my age, a smidge over 50 & all that that entails or is it the fact that, “I am getting so much done”. Maybe a combination of all of the above. sorry to start with so much (I).

Today, who knows what will be done. Let me tell you, well show you what was done yesterday.

3 long reasonably straight sticks from the acre woods (its not 100acres, sorry Winnie the pooh). We actually have 5 acres which is slowly providing for us. Where was?, now singing the Winnie the pooh song as I type, “Tubby little chubby all stuffed with fluff”,  oh yes so 3 long reasonably straight sticks. Choosing 3 sticks gave me a spare in case one snapped.

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Once you peel the bark off timber like this, it is absolutely stunning, the variations in the timber markings are so pretty. Who knew something called a widow maker could be so pretty. These branches can fall without making a sound, the impact so hard it can penetrate up to 2ft into the ground, believe me I have thought some were small dead trees they were so hard to pull out, that’s how great the silent velocity is of which they land. Hence widow makers.

Its not the best photo, you can just make out how pretty the markings are throughout the timber.

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Using an electric plane tool, I found this to be the quickest & most gratifying way to get the most out of the pattern in the timber & take off the knots in the wood without cracking it.

Yes I am one of those woman who lovingly receives Bunnings voucher, tools as well as many other blessings that go along with celebratory occasions. My electric plane being one of them I received a few years ago. It doesn’t chip or splinter the wood, making for easy sanding in the end.

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Have you guessed what I’m making yet? well the next will be a bit of a give away. The hooks. It took me a bit longer to find these, which were eventually found in a pile of firewood timber that had to be moved to make way for the??? That’s another tale to tell.

The hooks are perfect & by planning the straighter longer side flat gives the perfect flat edge to screw to the wall. The idea in doing a project like this is it is never to be exact in size texture or colour rather, allow its unique character to show. Each hook was planed back on it’s longest side, sanded back using my little $20 Bunnings sander, a job that was done after this photo was taken, you will see the difference in the final photos. 

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The final product. How pretty do the grains look against the white of the walls. I chose, 1 thick hook & 1 thin hook for each rod. The purpose being that when the curtains are pulled back they are quite thick, by having the thicker hook at the end brings the rod just a little further off the wall allowing for the gathered curtain to sit further back.  The white paint on the door frame is yet to be cleaned off. One day white timber French doors.

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Now to hang the curtains, “hey, it looks great” the uneven flow of the rods may drive some people nuts, which the previous store bought black rods we had, did have a bow in them & drove me nuts, somehow because it is from nature the flaws add character & the timber colour is soooo pretty its not such a big deal. The timber is so smooth the curtains slide easily. I may cut the back of the hooks down to be in line with the top of the door architrave but I’ll wait a bit to decide, mmm what do you think?

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Over all I am loving the look & the rods & hooks with the exception of a bit of labour were free, the curtains were another second hand shop find, $15 the lot. I have them draped over the rods, there is enough material & it creates a beautiful dark cosy warm ambience. It will be so easy to take them down when they need to be washed & lets face it if it works & creates less effort in the long run why not.

Had to have a giggle to myself, yes I could have moved the roll of wire that has been there for over a week now, hahaha. I have nowhere outside yet to store it & I was so exhausted after doing this job, I just didn’t have that extra bit left in me to move it. haha

Winnie the pooh,

 Winnie the pooh,

   Willy-nilly silly old bear.

 

We had a visitor.

We hadn’t had one in a while, a visitor that is. We were all getting ready for bed each of us our own routine. When My William the great, came out of his room a little flustered asking me to come see who was in his room.

This flamin thing was huge we have had bigger but like I said not for a while. Its like take your pick, rats in the house or these huge suckers (rats eat them) I know ewe & ugh.

I had to be the one to get rid of it they don’t overly bother me as long as they are a broom handle length away.  Sorry for the pixilation as these photos were taken rather quickly in dim lighting.

I stayed & kept an eye on it whilst Wil went for the spray & the broom, doesn’t hurt to have reinforcements in these times. Wil & Mum hid in the loungeroom whilst I sprayed (only half a can) & when this thing hit the ground I swear it was like one of the neighbours had dropped a tractor in the paddock, the house shook.

IMG_20200504_190735_9You see now the dilemma was, it had dropped behind Wils bedhead but I could hear it scurrying, yes I could hear it & scurry it did straight towards me of course, I may have to borrow the tractor at this stage to kill this dam thing.  I slammed the broom on it with an even greater thud not to be out done by its apparent show of might. All I can say is I’m glad the neighbours are a distance away as by now it could have been reported as a domestic dispute. ” Wil open the front” my voice had only a slight tone of anxiety with a dash of drill sergeant. I was not messing with thing. With a mighty flick of the weapon, (the broom), the mighty beast was flung out the front door, only to scurry under the house & into the dark.(“really” your kiddin mate). Where I’m sure it is breeding an army to plot out its revenge. At this point I think I may just put the house back up for sale. haha (I laugh nervously).

Wil having seen the enemy flung out the door, declared his room a no go zone & he may have to live in the loungeroom forever….. the one family member that couldn’t be happier about this outcome was Wils ever faithful companion in traumatizing times, his Princess. Sorry for the photo quality my nerves of steel went out with the beast.

 

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To end on a happy note you will be happy to learn that Wil moved back into his room the next night & we haven’t had a visitor since.

Sweet dreams everyone….

Almost original….

It was a poor old ratty thing, faded, torn & thin with tears & holes, it had served us well over the years. Survived many a wild storm tossed to fro only to be stood tall again as if with pride at how truly resilient it was. We bought it from a second hand shop years ago. $40 it cost. Came with a heavy cast iron ornate base, not sure what they cost new but I know the top can cost a couple of hundred on its own. This was a bargain that couldnt be missed. Treasured & well loved it had served its purpose on many searing hot days under our great southern sky. Some things are meant to be kept & appreciated & with a little elbow grease & more second hand shopping (really is there ever enough) brought back to its almost original glory.

Here goes so in the picture below is the top that unscrewed, a relief as ultimately a less tedious completion.  It was quite faded but well preserved with no cracks given the life it had endured, much to my relief as it was going to make the whole process that much easier.

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I’ll show in one full picture. On the floor is the old weathered covering, extremely faded, worn & thin. It stayed together long enough for me to be able to lay it over the new material & cut out the same pattern. Isn’t it a butte, at this rate I’m thinking its almost large enough that if the loungeroom lost its roof this would come in quite handy. Hang on I just have to let the cat in….. ok I’m back. Were was I? oh that’s right, I was also thinking at the time, best fort, cubbyhouse ever.

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The new material is rubber backed curtaining, no hemming needed. “Thank crickey for that”. I did only ouch out loud a couple of times as the pins were well hidden amongst all this grandeur. That’s a lot of material & heavy, but I’ll take a heavy bargain any day, yet another second hand shop wonderous find, all that material for just $15 it would curtain two large double glass sliding doors, it was heavy enough to know there was a lot of material anyway. Plenty of material to do the job & a little left over (cushion covers????, I don’t want to over kill). The pattern & colours are pretty dated, will be a great contrast out in the greenery that is the yard. Stay tuned there’s more.

I could have stitched pockets to slide over the ends but I wasn’t putting anymore pins in the material or me. I’ll just work it out later.

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There it stands with a newly painted red top just to add a little pizazz I may add glitter. Oh by the way note the roll of wire(vegie dome cover), that arrived the day before. It is all slowly coming together.

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And it was placed in its new home & the sun did shine upon it.

IMG_20200505_120701_7It does need a bit more tweeking, (as does the area). The ends were attached by pulling the material over tying it off with black shoe lace & using hot glue gun for that extra added strength. When the finances allow I will spray the base a shiny black & add glitter to the top, cause i just cant help myself.

The umbrella & the pizza oven you see will become the best of friends I’m sure. Why just the other day I moved the umbrella so as to shade me whilst I did some more potting up for the green house & it was just a delightful place to be. Like our own little slice of ?????.

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When its all done & the herbs are planted under the fruit trees & the cast iron table & chairs are jazzed up & put in, it will be

“Our little taste of Tuscany”.

 

A heap of hard yakka.

From a neighbour/friend that we have known for, well the whole time we’ve lived here, you know the old saying, “one mans junk is another mans treasure”.  The cage had taken me months to work out how to get it down their bumpy little driveway & across the road, to our shorter bumpy littler driveway. A lot happened on this day. Here goes….

We took a trip to our neighbouring town, 20mins away to pick up what is now the little feed shed & a chook pen cage & other bits & pieces $100. We took the horse float thinking it should all fit???. Alas, it was not that easy. We got the little shed pulled apart & into the float & 2 rolls of chook fencing, a nesting box, a tin bin for food storage & a couple of other bits & pieces.

We then had to drive home, unhook the float, go to our nearest servo & hire, the car trailer in the photo. Then back to pick up the chook pen, lol, i dont know about you but I’m warn out just reading this.

We got the chook cage dropped off & much to my wonderful sons delight (Did I mention how great my son is & my daughter of course). I decided while I have paid for the trailer we may as well go get, the big cage. 

And a big cage it is, just short of half a ton, thank goodness the trailer had a winch, (not all car trailers do). With timber planks & much pulling & manoeuvring we got it on the trailer & home. To put it where??????

Pig pen

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We slid it off the trailer & then after a while of course, I needed to manoeuvre it slightly. I had stripped off as much of the wire & tin as I possibly could & got to work on reinforcing some of the joins with metal plates & screws. At least until I get my arc welder going, that’s gonna be fun.

It took me about 3 days to finish. Working out where to put the door & then the shelter for mmmm what will it house?

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I will be taking off the bits & pieces sticking out of the sides. There you have the door, there is a pipe out the side underneath for drainage, if needed & I have planted arrowroot for extra shade & fodder.(didn’t get a photo of that).

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Isn’t it the cutest. The wire around the top is only temporary & where the tools are leaning I will put a wire panel in, instead of the tin, just so there is a bit of airflow & view.

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Completely reinforced all the way around. I pulled the old chook house off the rusty falling apart old trailer, reinforced that & attached it to the back.

I can get all the way in through the door at the front for cleaning & maintenance when needed. Don’t worry about the tree stump that’ll be moved, not by me.

Can you guess what its going to be for, I know its too easy. PIGS.

My dream will come true I have always wanted to have a go at keeping pigs. I may only have them once (lol, we’ll see) & never again lol, or I may have them forever. Isn’t it dreamy.

It may look funny facing that way, the greenhouse will create a corridor for moving them in & out. Once I have the pigs trained to electric fencing, I have a huge roll of electric net fencing, which will give them an area about 4 times the size of the cage itself. Plenty of foraging room. If they do get out they will only be out in our house yard, to start with anyway.haha

I may put tin panels like sleds under the sides of the cage so as I can tow it anywhere on the property, only if this all works out first.

I am all about the prep, I have watched tones of vlogs on farmers with pigs & read up a lot. I even have an old pig feeder that treasured friends gave me years ago. I have some scraps in the freezer &  fodder growing around the property & there will also be the excess vegies from time to time. I will be putting in heaps of foraging material before I get them. We are on 5acres so there will always be plenty of forage. I know there will be lots to learn when I eventually do get pigs. So stay tuned for more fun to come.

For now, the chooks are quite happy in it, until I build their new pen. Its all coming together slowly but surely.

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Whatever your weekend holds may it be fruitful, fun & full of much frolicking & feed.

 

Too much for Teddy….

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Its a little pixelated, well, ok so its a lot pixelated, but it is the start of something, just a little cool or maybe a lot cool, too excitement.

The large post in the middle is really tall I didn’t measure, it is dropped about two & half foot into the ground & the soil around pounded in nice & tight this post ain’t goin nowhere. The outer posts are just star posts. I have screwed the top rails to the middle post & the outer posts. Even Teddy looks exhausted at this stage. Wake up Teddy we got a lot more to do yet.

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I know this is rushing ahead as far as pictures go of the process(note the grass), I have no idea where the other photos have gone. Like everything built here its not symmetrical, its our normal to be a little odd, “oh ok”, yes maybe a lot odd. haha

I screwed all the sheets of tin together as I went around & like the greenhouse bent the tin where needed to save on measuring & cutting. Then screwed the tin to the support posts.

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The tractor tyre will be moved to the goat enclosure & the stump removed as its right in the middle of our turning room to be able to bring the car & trailer down when needed. The goats will love playing around on the tyre. I may even put the stump back in the middle as well. Oh such fun to be had.

Inside, yes its our new vegie dome, I am waiting for the chicken mesh wire to arrive that I ordered & I will be replacing the chicken wire & netting that I have put up temporarily. You see if you want to grow anything around here or to get started anyway, it has to be protected from bush rats & their entire family species & an array of bird life that are not beneficial. I may leave tiny holes in the top that can be closed at night for the teeny tiny birds to come & go as they are great at keeping the insect life to minimum. Anyway its really a matter of just waiting to see what works best.

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As you can see the top photo all the grass that I had to dig out, I put the terminators chickens in for a few days to help out. Some grasses were really tough as we are in need of more rain. Our land is  little sloped & in this area many years ago I had put a huge load of wood chip down which has created beautiful soil. I used my trusty A frame & have laid the soil out on the contour. Even in a small area like this it will be hugely beneficial to the way the land holds the moisture.

Its even like God is pleased with what I have done casting a ray of sunshine over the top.

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The doorway is to the right just out of the frame beside the blue sign. It has taken between 3 & 4 hrs work per day, sometimes longer, before the heat of the day or late in the afternoon before the mozzies moved in. To get the hard yakka done. That’s in between all the other chores that need to be done as well, nothing is a burden when it comes to working on the land & looking out for the family.

A lot of the grass I tossed to the lowest part of dome, laid cardboard over the top & I will of course put a layer of top soil over that. I don’t normally like to do that here, as rats love it, but this is rat proofed? so I’ll see how it goes?. A little compost area for the weeds, using a sheet of tin bent at both ends & jammed up against the back wall with a post will be used for those times I’m too tired to make it too the livestock or main compost pile & it will produce soil over time for the dome.

I will be bringing the good soil up from the patch out in the paddock as nothing is going too well out there as it is too exposed to the elements. (I cant stand all that good soil just sitting there not doing much, though some good soil will be left to feed the land & carry on its job) more on what I will be doing there another story.

I have had this old bin that I put a tap on ages ago. It is now near the door way of the dome & will be full of compost water, worm castings from the worm farm, comfrey from the garden even a few kitchen scraps & livestock droppings, has made perfect soil feeder in the past will be great to incorporate it again.

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Here’s a little sneak peek at what is almost ready to be the first planted into the dome from our greenhouse…..

I’m too excited really at how well everything is coming together.

IMG_20200424_122732_5                                            Turbo & Teddy at the end of a hard day.

I hope everyone is keeping well & safe & have a fantastic week.

 

 

 

 

 

No mozziombie apocalypse in here.

I measured up an area very roughly, you see, as my feet are a perfect size 9 & as far as measurements go constructing buildings in the yard its perfect. My finger tip to elbow is another great measurement & ground to hip, for height, so a tape measure is not always needed. I have a little wagon that I load tools into & over the years working anywhere on our little 5 acre lot, I have always, forgotten something & there are times when I am beyond exhausted & to go back & get 1 item which was usually the tape measure, is just too much effort. There are sticks everywhere that I can snap & use to. Anyhoo… back to what I’m about this time.

I’ve done it finally, well I did have one before, but putting the house on the market required that I tear it down,(since I have seen lots of houses on the market with them) well this one I am not getting rid of even if we do sell.(that’s not a vow either just a very strong opinion .lol)

So using my ever perfect thank goodness they stopped growing feet, I was one of those teens that went to bed 4ft nothin & woke up 5ft9 scared the living daylights out of myself.

I measured out an area, as even as possible between each post & the sledge hammer was suffice to get the posts into the ground. You see the original greenhouse posts, did I mention, its going to be my greenhouse?  the original posts are yes, “still packed in the very back of the shipping container”, I was getting ever so frustrated at not being able to get things completed. I decided to check out what I had in my treasure pile & low & behold the old metal pipes that were the old chook pen frame, the ones I had managed to save turned out to be just enough to frame up a greenhouse.

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My fantastic measuring feet.

As you can see I had sheets of tin laid out to basically fit the sides & back & the one at the front obviously shorter to allow for a door. The dilemma here was the corrugated iron would allow gaps at every corner for the rats & mice to get in…. I went & had lunch…

Ok, having stepped away for a moment, gave me the opportunity to rethink my approach. That’s a lot of tin to be dealing with, really! if I laid the longer pieces so they just overlapped & attached to the middle posts on either side, I found I could actually bend the tin around the corners thus eliminating any predator entry gaps & each piece of tin met at the ends perfectly.

This was achieved by laying the tin on the ground after measuring where the bend needed to be, hitting along that line with the sledge hammer, leaning the tin against a tree & standing on the line the tin bent perfectly. The tin is buried & tapped about half a ft into the ground & inside is lined with wire in parts.

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Where you can see a gap in the tin I was able to lean push & pull it flat & screw it to hold.

I tried using string across the top to support the mesh, enough said about that. I’m tired its late afternoon, I need to get tea ready.  Recalibrated the brain, I wonder if I have enough post/pipe to go between each frame. Ahhh, yes perfect & that also meant I could stitch the join of the mesh together in the middle & attach it to the post/pipes. Perfecto.

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It resulted in nice tight mesh that I could just imagine the insects using as a huge awesome trampoline, can you picture them?  Whats with using the perfectly good screen door you ask? on closer inspection this one had really passed its use by date & didnt fit anywhere I needed on the house, rather than procrastinate about it, I just went ahead & used it. It still had the hinges on it, so it was just a matter of screwing them onto the post. It is also wide enough for my little wagon to go through to collect seedlings ready for planting.

The mesh around the tin is rolled onto pieces of timber which are then screwed onto the top of the tin(no gaps whatsoever). At this point I am exhaustedly excited as nothing was getting into this sucker & literally the little suckers weren’t getting in. This became evident, as it got quite dark, I was inside the greenhouse finishing the tying off from the inside, hearing the distant hum of what I thought was a distant motor vehicle & wondering why the sound wasn’t changing & hang on, I wasn’t getting eaten alive?. I allowed my eyes to focus through the mesh to see a little black cloud above my head, a swarm of mozzies had gathered, talk about mozzie zombie apocalypse, this lot were nuts. That was it, I was sufficiently creeped out & when done made a run for the house thankfully unscathed.

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Its done, characteristically crooked & free of creeping, crawling & flying critters.  We have been saving the milk cartons as, yes all the potting pots are you guessed it, “in the back of the shipping container”. I have planted 2 types of lettuce, radish, tomato, peas, mini cabbage & tagasaste(a tree fodder for livestock). I have a 44gallon drum up near the house collecting water, which I gravity feed to the greenhouse. (works perfectly). The bench has a sink underneath it & the bucket collects any water used. The crate is holding the door shut for now & is handy to sit on whilst potting up.

Behind the green house is the compost, been sitting for about 5yrs now, just kept adding & adding & adding & now, the soil, when scooped up brings with it handfuls of beautiful worms, no more purchasing potting mix for us. Beside the compost is the worm farm, made from an old box freezer which I will collect worm casting for fertilised water.

Eventually I will build a little shed over the bench so that, you will walk through the shed to get into the greenhouse & it will give me a shaded dry area to work & stack all my pots & tools for the greenhouse. For now I’m supper excited as all my little project are coming together beautifully. Next the enclosed garden…or the pig pen? or the goat pen?, maybe the shed???????

To all my friends & family may you stay ever well, safe, occupied & critter free…