Monarch caterpillar update

Monarch butterfly chrysalis

Our Monarch caterpillars are no more.

But do not despair.

Because we are a big step closer to having Monarch butterflies.

We have two chrysalis.

Monarch butterfly chrysalis

Over the past week, EdWING Encarnacion and Kevin CATERPillar grew a lot. They decimated their daily milkweed rations.

Monarch butterfly caterpillars

Towards the end of the week they started to wander, looking for a spot to hang their chrysalis.

Monarch butterfly caterpillar

Eventually, Ed settled in. But something went wrong. He fell off the screen that covered the bowl. We found him curled in his J lying on a leaf.

We could see the webbing that he’d used to anchor himself to the screen hanging off his tail end, so we wrapped that over a stick and taped it in place careful not to touch him with the tape. It seemed to work, because a few hours later he had transformed into a chrysalis, and Kevin had climbed up onto the stick too.

Monarch butterfly chrysalis

By the next day, we had two chrysalis hanging from the stick. The black speck at the top of Ed’s chrysalis is actually his outer caterpillar skin. The chrysalis is inside the caterpillar, and he sheds his outer skin as he transforms.

Monarch butterfly chrysalis

It has been so, so cool to go through this process with our caterpillars. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Getting in the mood

I had planned to share the final post in our waterproofing project today, but some of the finishing touches have been delayed. So instead, inspired by the project that took us away from the basement, I’m going to be sharing some thoughts on DIYing.

As I sat down to start writing this post, the announcers who are calling the baseball game on TV were talking about one of the players taking some time off for family problems.

Matt added his own commentary. “Family problems? What, did his wife make him dig a trench too? And complain all afternoon about not having a backhoe?”

Now, in my defense, I did not make Matt dig a trench. I came up with the brainwave to add a hose connection out at the garden this spring. I also advocated for renting a small backhoe or hiring out the trench (I even got a quote). Matt’s the one who came up with the brainwave to hand dig the trench for the new waterline and to do it on a humid 30+ degree afternoon in August.

As much as it might sound from my description that we’re sniping at each other, really we’re just teasing each other. This is part of our rhythm. When it comes to working around the farm, we are very much a team.

Trenching a waterline to the garden

But the thing about DIYing as a couple is sometimes we’re not both in the DIY mood at the same time. And that was definitely the case for me when we were digging the trench.

It was hot, between a cold (I hate a summer cold) and a lurking migraine (thank you, humidity) I wasn’t feeling great, our clay soil is super hard and full of roots and rocks, and the distance from the hose hook up at the driveshed (where we’re tying in) and the garden is loooooong.

But because of all of the things I listed above (except for how I was feeling), I didn’t want Matt to have to do the whole trench all by himself.

Plus, I really want a hose out at the garden, so if Matt’s in the mood to trench the waterline, I’m going to take advantage of that, no matter what mood I’m in.

So I grumbled about a backhoe, how hard our soil is and my bad mood. I took breaks to sit and lie down in the shade. I kept refilling our water bottles and planned how we’d reward ourselves with a post-trench refreshment. And I also kept swinging the pick while Matt wielded the shovel.

And Matt was understanding. He didn’t begrudge me slacking off. He got extra drinks for us, posed for pictures and encouraged snuggle breaks with the dog.

Farmboy lemonade reward for a hard day's work

He also recognized that even though he said at various points, “Why don’t you go in and watch the Olympics,” there was no way I was going to leave.

Relationships are about give and take. Add in a farm and a heap of DIY, and we need to be even more flexible. For Matt and me, recognizing where we each are at and supporting each other–no matter our moods–allows us to accomplish everything we do around the farm.

How do you get in the DIY mood? What’s your secret to DIY success? Are you part of a DIY duo? How do you make a partnership work?

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How to grow tomatoes vertically

This season in the garden, we’re all about growing vertically. I’ve shared how we’re keeping our raspberries upright. Today, I’m talking tomatoes.

How to train tomato plants to grow up a string

I love training my tomatoes to grow tall. They take up less space in the garden, and I think they’re also more productive due to increased air circulation, better sunlight and less contact with the dirt.

Since moving to the farm, I’ve used various methods to stake or cage our tomatoes, but this year for the first time we had space to build a proper trellis. This method is not new for me. I learned from how my Dad grew tomatoes in his garden.

How to train tomato plants to grow up a string

I used 2x2s to build a frame. Matt hammered three 2×2 posts into the ground leaving about 8 feet between each post. The posts were about 5 feet long, and he hammered them in about a foot, giving us a final height of roughly 4 feet. Then we screwed 8 foot pieces of 2×2 across the top of each post. This gave us rows that were 16 feet long.

Here’s a photo from back in the spring of the trellises in place.

How to build a simple tomato trellis from 2x2s

We then planted our tomato seedlings underneath the trellis. Once they grew about a foot tall, it was time to tie them up.

Using twine, I tied a very loose knot around the base of the tomato stem. It’s important that the knot is loose as your tomato plant has a lot of growing to do, and you don’t want the twine to end up too tight.

How to train tomato plants to grow up a string

I then wrapped the twine around the stem a few times, making my way up the plant. Leaving a bit of slack, I tied the other end of the twine to the 2×2 crosspiece directly above the plant.

From then on, it was about basic maintenance. Every few days, I’d walk the row and continue to wind the tomato plants around the string.

I’m also pretty vicious when it comes to suckering my plants. I remove the lower leaves plus any “suckers” that sprout in the crotch between branches and the main stem.

Tomato sucker

Suckering allows the plant to put its energy into producing fruit rather than more leaves and keeps the plants a manageable size. Suckering usually depends on whether you have determinate (bush) or indeterminate types of tomatoes. I always just assume I have indeterminate tomatoes and rip those suckers off.

However, we tried a new kind of tomato this year–Sicilian Saucers–and they did not take well to suckering. They kind of rebelled when I started pulling off their leaves, so I backed off and tried to let them do their thing a bit more.

I was still able to wind them up the strings fairly well, which is helpful because these plants and their fruit are super heavy. Our giant tomatoes would definitely be lying in the dirt if they weren’t supported by the trellis.

How to train tomato plants to grow up a string

Now that the plants and the fruit are very well established, I did go through and clipped off a lot of the lower leaves. I’m trying to get a bit more sunlight onto the Saucers to encourage them to ripen.

As the plants have grown, some of them have exceeded the height of the trellis. I’m tying them along the top 2×2 and just trying to support them so the stems don’t bend or break.

How to build a simple tomato trellis from 2x2s

So far this season, we’ve had a great tomato harvest. From the looks of our Sicilian Saucers we have much, much more goodness ahead.

Do you grow tomatoes? Are you into suckering or do you leave them alone? Have you ever tried to grow tomatoes vertically? What method do you use to trellis tomatoes?

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Raising Monarch caterpillars

We added two new members to our family last week.

Meet Kevin CATERPillar and EdWING Encarnacion.

(I advocated for Troy TuloWINGSki, but it was deemed too hard to pronounce. For anyone who needs an explanation of their names, refer to the Toronto Blue Jays roster).

Monarch caterpillars eating milkweed leaves

These are little Monarch caterpillars that I found walking our fields. They started very small–just a few millimetres long. With fresh milkweed every day, they’ve been packing on the weight and the length.

Since I found them as caterpillars, I have no idea how old they are. According to Karen at the Art of Doing Stuff who did a series on raising monarch butterflies, Kev and Ed will spend 10-14 days at the caterpillar stage.

So far, I’m loving seeing how much they grow every day. I’m really excited about seeing the chrysalis stage.

I’m also excited to see their namesakes live this week. Matt and I are heading to the Jays game on Thursday. Kevin CATERPillar and EdWING Encarnacion will be staying home.

Have you ever raised a Monarch butterfly? Who else is a Jays fan? What Jay/Monarch names can you come up with?

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How we waterproofed our basement from the inside

So far in recapping our basement waterproofing saga, I’ve shared a glimpse of the problems and the options we considered to fix them.

As I said in my last post, we decided to go with Omni Basement Systems, a company that would fix the leaks from the inside (for the most part… more on this below) and would guarantee the leaks would never come back (and never is a pretty long time).

Full disclosure, the basement waterproofing project was not sponsored. We paid for the work ourselves and didn’t receive any discounts or compensation.

We had three things we were looking to fix:

  1. Leaks along the south wall of the house and around the perimeter of the cold cellar that seemed to be coming from where the poured foundation wall met the slab of the concrete floor.
  2. Leaks in the laundry room where the bottom half of a former doorway had been bricked in to become a window (at the complete opposite end of the house from the other leaks).
  3. New sump pit and pumps (plural) including a battery back-up system for when the power goes out.

Numbers 1 and 3 were going to be tackled from the inside, while number 2 was going to be tackled from the outside.

The laundry room window/door was located very tight to a corner. There wasn’t space to access the seam of the old doorway from inside the basement.

Working from the outside entailed digging down to the base of the foundation, a tough job at the best of times, but particularly unpleasant in the intense heat and humidity that has been this summer. This job was made doubly tough as the crew uncovered the original concrete retaining walls that had bordered the exterior stairwell and the slab at the base. Because of all the concrete, water had nowhere to drain and was seeping through the foundation into the house. The crew had to break up the extremely hard concrete as well as waterproof the foundation.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the outside

Waterproofing involved filling the joint with special polyurethane polymer sealant. The sealant will never dry out or recrack even if the foundation wall shifts over time. A membrane called Blueskin was laid over the wall and then all of that was covered in “dimple sheet” and then the top edge was sealed with a thick line of tar. After that, the crew backfilled the hole. You can read more about the process on the Omni website.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the outside

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the outside

For the interior waterproofing, the first step was to access the foundation wall. In the long room (where our pingpong table lives), that meant removing the drywall. Matt and I did that ourselves, and I admit my heart broke a little bit after how long it took us to drywall the basement in the first place.

The crew then peeled back the carpet, scraped the sprayfoam insulation off the bottom of the wall going up about 16 inches, removed the bottom plate and cut about 16 inches off the studs.

With a clear shot to the cement floor, they started the jackhammer. The object of the game was to remove the concrete floor about 8-10 inches along the base of the wall and expose the footing.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

Breaking up concrete is dusty work. To contain the mess as much as possible, the crew went the extra mile, laying plastic over the carpets, pingpong table, piano, up the stairs and cordoning off the area where they were working.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

All of the concrete, dirt and gravel that was excavated had to be loaded into five gallon pails and hauled up the stairs out of the basement. Outside, it was dumped into larger garbage pails that were then loaded onto the truck at the end of the day. Such heavy, heavy work.

Brute garbage pails for a basement waterproofing project

The cold cellar is unfinished, so less prep work was needed and the crew could begin jackhammering right away. However, extra jackhammering was required as the cold cellar is the location of our sump pit. The old pit was described as a “farm-special.” We’ve encountered a few “specials” around the farm. They work, but they’re not always necessarily quite the right way to do things. The pit was thick, solid concrete, so it took a lot of work to get rid of the old pit.

Below you can see the pit and our new liner ready to be installed. Note the holes in the sides of the liner. These allow ground water to flow into the pit, whereas before with our solid concrete pit, water had nowhere to go and ended up seeping in through the joint between the foundation wall and the concrete floor.

Replacing a sump pump pit

As part of installing the new sump pump, the crew replaced our old discharge line and extended it far out into the yard. Previously, the pipe had just dead-ended underground, and it was only about 10 feet from the house.

Old sump pump discharge line

The new line extends nearly 50 feet, and the end is capped with a sturdy grill–a “LawnScape outlet”–that sits at ground level. Obviously, ground level is not below the frost line. The whole pipe is just under the grass. We weren’t able to lower the discharge line at all. We didn’t have any issues with our old discharge line freezing, and we’re hoping we don’t with the new one. The sump pump won’t kick in until temperatures warm up in the spring, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

(“You really want a picture of me, don’t you? I’m much cuter than some pipe.”)

New sump pump discharge line

Back inside, once the footings were exposed, the crew dug a small trench around the perimeter and started to lay new weeping tile around the foundation. All of the weeping tile flow to the new sump.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

Part of what led us to choose Omni Basement Systems to handle our waterproofing was that they used some different types of materials  and systems than other companies.

One of these was the WaterGuard Perimeter Drainage Channel. This channel sits on top of the footing, so it’s away from the dirt and there’s no risk of the line becoming clogged over time. However, it turned out that the WaterGuard didn’t work with our footings, so the crew went with traditional weeping tile instead. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get the assurance of a channel that will never clog, but the warranty still applies.

Once the weeping tile was laid the crew added some membranes over the concrete wall (the white panel and black strip in the photo below). These membranes form a barrier between the concrete–and any moisture that may be running through or down the wall–and the studs and drywall. The membranes curl over the weeping tile, funneling water into the pipe, and then concrete is poured on top.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

The concrete is smoothed and leveled so that it lines up with the original floor.

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

And after two and a half days of work, that’s where the job ended. Next, it was over to Matt and me to finish the rest of the basement by repairing the studs, insulation and drywall.

But that will be for the final post. Stay tuned for the wrap-up where I share the finally finished basement, the results of the waterproofing and our experience working with Omni Basement Systems.

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Chicken update from Illinois

Sarah in Illinois has made it through her second week of raising chickens. She’s back today to report on what she’s learned and how things are going. See her first post introducing her flock.

So far things with the chickens couldn’t be any easier. Each morning I open the coop, make sure they have water and some food. Each night they return to their coop about 7:30, and I close it back up. That’s it. They are not laying eggs yet. They should be old enough in the next couple weeks so I look for eggs every day just in case.

I will give you a quick tour. We made a coop inside one of our barns.

I have access with both a full door and a lid to lift off of the nesting boxes.

The chickens have a roost with plenty of ventilation. I do plan, however, to add another roost up a little higher.

They have access outside to the pen that was for Treu. I knew from the beginning that they would easily be able to fly over the fence, since there is no top to it. I was just hoping that with all the room and shelter under the trees that they would just prefer to stay inside.

Have you ever seen chickens laugh at you? I am pretty sure I have.

Here they are very clearly not inside the pen!

And the funny thing is, once they get out they don’t always remember how to get back in.

I mentioned in my last post that Toothless may be an issue. And she has been. I don’t think she has any intentions of hurting the chickens. She just thinks of them as her own personal toys. She loves to run right up into them when they are huddled together and just watch them go flapping and squawking away.

Here she is sneaking up on them, you can see one of the chickens has hopped the fence to get away from her.

It was funny the first time, but it is not something I want to encourage and I can tell the chickens are nervous when she comes around.

One night I went to close the coop, and I only counted 3 chickens. I quickly ran outside to see where the fourth one could be. Toothless had her cornered in the bean field.

I knew at that point I had to do something quickly.

I now have a squirt bottle of plain water that I keep out at the pen. Any time I see Toothless lurking around I give her a quick squirt of water and she goes running. Obviously I can’t sit out there all day and keep watch so I am hoping she gets the hint quickly.

Otherwise, I am just enjoying them. I go out to their pen every day after work and watch them peck the ground. I have given them tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and I love to watch them chase each other and play keep-away.

So far they haven’t found our garden. They can’t see it from the pen. I am hoping it stays that way. I don’t want them to have their own private buffet. But as I mentioned above, have you ever seen a chicken laugh at you?

Anyone else new to raising chickens? Have any advice on getting Toothless to behave? Any predictions on when I will get my first egg?

It sounds like your girls are doing well, Sarah. With our chickens and ducks when I was growing up, my Dad put a mesh roof on our run. Treu’s run looks pretty big, but a covering of some kind would help keep the chickens in and Toothless out. We also put straw in the nesting boxes, even when we had shavings in the coop itself. I’m not sure if that makes a difference for encouraging them to lay or not.

A look at life on 129 acres

Due to some technical difficulties too ridiculous to explain (and a wee bit of procrastination), I had not set up an Instagram account.

However, I finally changed that last week… and I see what all the fuss is about.

I’m loving seeing what people are up to and sharing a bit of what’s happening in my life.

Here’s a glimpse of a few of my first posts.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see more? Follow me at @juliaon129acres.

I love finding new people to follow. Feel free to suggest your favourite accounts in the comments.

 

Comparing interior and exterior basement waterproofing

Last month (who else can’t believe we’re already almost halfway through August?) I shared some of the water leaks we’ve had in the basement. Starting today, I’m going to go into a bit more detail about the waterproofing process.

Up first, I’m going to talk about the different waterproofing options we considered and what we ended up choosing.

Option 1: Exterior Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the outside

I don’t have any experience with waterproofing, but exterior waterproofing is what I was at least passingly familiar with.

In this approach, the foundation is dug out from the outside. You dig down the full depth of the wall all the way to the footing. Then weeping tile (that black corrugated flexible pipe) is laid in the trench along the base of the foundation. The idea is that water flows into the the weeping tile and is funneled around the foundation and into a sump pit.

The foundation wall is coated with sealant and/or membrane. And then the dirt is backfilled.

Option 2: Interior Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside

Due to my inexperience with waterproofing, the first time a contractor suggested an interior approach my reaction was, “But don’t I want the water to stay outside?”

It turns out, you can’t always keep the water out. But you can manage it once it gets in.

The method for interior waterproofing is somewhat similar to exterior, except for the digging. In interior waterproofing, the concrete floor is cut along the perimeter of the wall. The concrete is removed and then the dirt is excavated down to the footing. Weeping tile is laid along the footing and is funneled around the wall and into a sump pit.

The trench is filled with gravel and the floor is repaired with new concrete.

Option 3: Interior Waterproofing 2.0

As we went through the meetings with various waterproofing contractors, we came across one that had a slightly different approach. They worked from the inside like the other contractor had recommended, but the materials that they used were a bit different. The conduit that they laid along the footing were guaranteed never to become clogged with silt. They had membranes for the walls that funneled any seepage or humidity into the pipe. They had all kinds of informational videos and patents on a lot of their materials.

Their sales pitch was that they had invented a better mousetrap waterproofing technique. And they would guarantee it for forever.

Basement waterproofing cartoon

Our decision

The first time a contractor mentioned interior waterproofing to me, I admit that my reaction was something along the lines of, “Uh. No way, Jose. Do you see this finished basement? Do you know how much work we put into this? I’m not ripping it up to waterproof from the inside.”

After I calmed down, here were some of the other considerations we weighed in making our decision.

  1. Given the damage we’d had to the drywall, studs and baseboard, I was going to have to do some repairs inside. Waterproofing from the interior would allow us to have one disaster zone inside, rather than two, inside and out.
  2. The two contractors that recommended the interior approach also recommended focusing just on where we had problems, not on the whole foundation. Again, my reaction was a bit skeptical, as I wanted to waterproof only once and make sure we never have a problem anywhere ever. However, no one could guarantee that except for company #3.
  3. Over time regular weeping tile, whether inside or out, can get clogged with dirt. It may take a couple of decades, but when that happens water may once again seep into the basement (see no guarantee above).
  4. In exterior waterproofing, after backfilling the dirt will eventually settle. So a year or two after waterproofing we might have to do more work in terms of adding dirt and regrading.
  5. If we worked from the outside, the whole perimeter of our house would be dug up. I didn’t love the idea of sacrificing all of our flowerbeds after I’ve spent so much effort establishing them (although it did give me an excuse to skip weeding this spring). On the flip side, I liked that the disruption would be confined to the exterior, rather than our finished basement.
  6. All of the methods were within roughly the same price range. Money was not going to be the determining factor.
  7. Company #3 offered a lifetime guarantee that we would have no leaks in the areas that they waterproofed. Options #1 and #2 would only give us a 20 year warranty, but I wasn’t sure that was quite enough for me.

We decided to go with Option #3, Omni Basement Systems.

Omni basement systems truck

Coming up, I’ll talk about the waterproofing process and then share the results.

I’d love to hear your input. Have you ever gone through a waterproofing project? What option did you choose? If you haven’t gone through waterproofing, what solution would you select?

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Mid-summer garden update

Basket of potatoes and zuccini in front of marigolds in the vegetable garden

It’s been awhile since I shared what’s up in the vegetable garden. Deep in the middle of summer, lots is up. As in lots of beautiful vegetables.

Looking back at my last update from the end of June, I’m amazed at how much things have grown. Here’s the tour ’round the ring.

Quadrant #1, where the first three of the five rows of potatoes are ready to be dug.

Potatoes in the garden

The raspberries along half the centre axis. I think that the black raspberries (the mess on the left) will be coming out to be replaced with either more raspberries or something entirely different. We have enough growing wild around the farm that we don’t need them in the garden too. And they do not seem amenable to being tamed.

Two rows of raspberries

Quadrant #2 which continues to be weed central as there’s nothing planted here beyond asparagus and grapes in the perimeter beds. I actually broke down and mowed this section last weekend. Let’s pretend I’m a really sophisticated gardener and we’re intentionally letting this section lie fallow this year, okay?

Weedy section of garden

Quadrant #3, which also continues to be quite weedy. However, no mowing is happening here, as this is home to our watermelon, which have totally taken off (more on this below).

Watermelon vines growing in the garden

The other half of the centre axis is our squash A-frame. The vines are climbing! I’m very excited that the trellis seems to be working. We have baby butternuts, acorn squash and gourds.

Squash growing up an A-frame trellis

Quadrant #4 is the best looking, especially after Matt spent hours last weekend pulling weeds. It’s home to our very bushy tomatoes, peppers, beans and more zucchini.

Vegetable garden

I tried to pick a few highlights to zoom in on a little more. A few is hard, as I’m super excited about everything.

Most exciting is our watermelon. As in we actually have watermelon! They’re about the size of softballs right now, so they’re not quite watermelons, but they’re on their way.

Baby watermelon

Another vegetable that is exciting just by its presence is our yellow bush beans. Last year all of four plants sprouted. This year we have a whole row and each plant is loaded with beans and blossoms. We’re going to have more than enough beans to freeze for the winter.

Yellow bush beans

Also on their way are our Sicilian Saucer tomatoes. I picked up these seeds on a whim, so I’m not sure what to expect. The blossoms were huge, befitting the “saucer” name. We have some catfacing on the bottom of the fruits, which I’ve learned is common with big tomatoes. The fruits aren’t saucer-size yet, but I feel like they’re on their way to being quite large.

Sicilian Saucer tomatoes

The plants that I’m watching most closely are our grapes. A few of the vines have finally reached the top of the fence, and some tendrils have even started to wind themselves around the wires.

Grape vines

These are the highlights, but there are a few lowlights.

I planted the bunching onions in the raised bed, which are filled with the dirt we bought this spring. The onions did not like the dirt at all. They’ve looked like blades of grass ever since they sprouted back in June. Last weekend we transplanted those wee little sprouts into the main section of the garden. They’re already looking perkier.

Green onion sprouts

A few of the raspberries have been hit by Japanese Beetles. The damage hasn’t been too bad, and we have so many canes that I’m not miffed to sacrifice a few leaves. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not on a campaign against the beetles. It only took me a couple of days to get over my squeamishness at the crunch they make when I crush them.

Japanese beetle damage on raspberry canes

This one may not be a lowlight, but some of the tomatoes that we purchased as sprouts are growing oddly. The plants are all the same type, but the fruit are all different sizes. Everything from the size of a marble to the size of a pingpong ball.

And then we have a few plants where the stems that support the trusses have taken a turn and branched up into “suckers.” You can see the stem looping around and up in the photo below. I’ve never seen this before. Have you?

Sucker on a tomato truss

One final highlight that I have to share. As I was photographing the garden, I came across this guy in the watermelons. A frog in the garden is a good omen, right?

Frog in the garden

What we’re loving most is eating the garden–the vegetables and fruits only, no frogs. We have so much desire to cook in the summer, and our meals are so fresh and full of variety.

How is your garden growing? What fresh produce are you enjoying this summer?

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Things I think about while splitting firewood

We’ve been gradually amassing firewood on our side patio.

Unsplit firewood on the side patio

On Saturday, I was away from the farm for a few hours, and when I came home Matt was deep into splitting. In all, he spent 7 hours splitting. I put in 5 hours stacking.

Matt splitting firewood

By the end of the day, we had three rows of wood split–my goal for our annual firewood allotment.

Firewood piles

Of course, by Sunday one of the rows had partially collapsed, but on the bright side I cleaned up most of the wood chips, bark and small branches that had littered the patio.

Collapsed firewood piles

I’ve been thinking about making a little sitting area here.

Cleaning up the side patio

We’re not really good at sitting, especially when we’re outside, but maybe that’s just because we don’t have a spot. That could be, right?

It has nothing to do with spending a whole day splitting wood or the next one picking up bark or weeding the garden or… or… or…, right?

The mosquitoes haven’t been bad this summer, so sitting outside is actually a possibility.

I love this patio makeover from Love Grows Wild. Back in the spring I uncovered some huge slabs of 6x6s that had been bolted together. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but then I saw Liz’s chunky rustic table and was inspired.

Love Grows Wild patio

I feel like this post has been building to a reveal of a relaxing new patio area… or at least our own rustic table.

Ha-ha. Yeah right. Projects do not happen that quickly around here.

But we still had a productive weekend. Getting that much firewood put up is a huge accomplishment.

What did you get up to this weekend?

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