Monthly Archives: January 2012

Garden Preparations: Phase One

Our plan is to turn the front pasture, where the previous owners turned out their horses, into our future garden. Unfortunately, horses are heavy animals, and the soil here is mostly clay… so the future garden is currently a hard packed clay field, with a special circle around it where the horse was lunged on a very regular basis (regular as in, you can see the circle from satellite photos from the last 15 years or so). So the first phase of a successful garden is to try to add some dead plant material and some less compacted soil. We’ll be using a sheet mulch approach for the first year, to try to beat down the existing grass, and to add as much new soil materials as possible.

To try to make it maneagable, since we’re upgrading from a small deck to a very large garden, we’ll only be gardening in half the field this year. The rest will be sown with a green manure of mixed clover and radish seeds, in an effort to passively improve the soil.

We started by spreading a layer of bedding from an old stall in the barn – mostly straw, and goat poop.
Step One: first mulch layer laid out over the half of the field that will be our garden in 2012.

Step Two: cardboard boxes (leftovers from moving, how convenient) laid out over the straw.

Step Three: local mushroom compost (really local – the farm is less than 2 miles from us!) laid out 3-6″ deep on top of the cardboard.

Once this year’s garden area is covered, we’ll leave it until spring!

Work It Out

With Talina up in Seattle during the weeks, I’ve been trying to use my time at home to finish up the details. A few things were accomplished this week…
We finally acquired a file cabinet, so maybe we can stop keeping our important papers in various shoe boxes distributed in every closet. A four drawer file cabinet is such a grown-up thing to own.

The excersize equipment in the Spare Oom finally was liberated from it’s corner and set out to be used. Does that mean it WILL get used… remains to be seen.

The boys are definitely keeping up their end of the hard work around here…

Sunday Brunch

This Sunday we hosted our first Third Sunday Brunch at the new house. We had such a great crowd, I spent too much time enjoying our company and not any time taking photos! So, no documentation, but so many grateful thanks to the guests who came all the way out to join us.

A quick reminder to send muddy boots to the mud room.

A deer, my first sighting, on the property by the crossroads at the spring.

Snow Aftermath

We went for a walk with my dad today, to inspect the damage from the snow storm. Not too bad, but it was impressive to see the huge blackberry mounds laid flat by the snow weight. Because they were still down, we could walk right on them! It offered some views we hadn’t been able to appreciate before.


My feet, on a two foot stack of flattened blackberry canes. And yes, I did fall through a time or two. And yes, they still have thorns even when they are flat.

A panoramic view from the north border of our property. The horse barn to the right belongs to our neighbors.

Talina and John, amongst the blackberries.

Snow Storm 2012

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

This week we’ve had an amazing snow storm. Talina had to leave Monday afternoon to get safely back to Seattle, but we went for a walk Sunday afternoon when the first snow hit, and then I continued to document all the weather for the next few days. It’s really melting today, so all the snow is mostly gone, but it was fun while it lasted! Glad we had firewood though, although we never lost power it was good to know we had food in the pantry and wood in the shed.


Since we moved up here in winter, all the responsible adults in the family have been concerned about our weather preparedness. There’s a great wood stove in the house, but the seller took all the firewood with him! So we arranged to get firewood, and just in time, because a snow storm is coming tomorrow!

Pile of firewood before we started stacking it.

First row going into the wood shed.

Finishing the last row of the cord in the shed… looking pretty warm now!

My Dad brought us up a small electric chainsaw to use on the smaller limbs we had laying around the property.. here’s a video of Talina learning to use it safely!

New Years Day 2012

Traditionally, Talina and Megan spend our New Years Day watching TV and working a puzzle at home. It’s our way of focusing on accomplishing tasks together, a symbol for how we’re going to try to get through the year. Since we had guests this year, we didn’t get far on the TV series (sorry, West Wing. We’ll catch up later), but we had lots of hands to help with the puzzle, which was very appropriate: we’re going to need all the help we can get this year!

We also took a break and went for a walk on the property. Since we’ve been so focused on the house, I thought I’d put all the photos we took together so you can see why we REALLY bought this place!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

And bonus: a short video of the incredibly cute goat pack who came with us for the hike. Can’t wait to have them here full time!

Day Fifteen: New Years Eve Party!

To celebrate 14 days worth of progress, we threw a New Years Eve party in the new house! Here’s some great photos of the clean, unpacked house, and all the lovely friends and family who came out to join us in celebrating. At the cusp of the new year, we had lots of hands to bang pots and pans in every room, scaring out the evil spirits.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.