Fence line clearing and building

The north property line fence was finished this February. We had very mild weather this winter so I cleared a lot of blackberries and Lee took down a lot of wild hazelnut trees. Sidney got overdosed on cartoons one night and we threw up the wire field fencing by flashlights and headlamps.

Field fencing

Behind our house was a section of old horse fencing interwoven with blackberries and thorny Purple Robed Locus trees. We cleared that all out (other than a few sticking up stumps we need to finish removing) and later this summer we will put up a new fence. It’s all about child containment now.

Fence removed

On the east side of our property we have an old Cottonwood trunk that is covered with blackberries. We had never completely beaten back the blackberries to our neighbor’s property until now. The tree is holding back a sea of more blackberries but that cleanup will have to wait. If we finish ringing the back yard in fences this summer, then the east property line fence down to our neighbor will be next on the list.

Old Cotton wood tree

Posted in Cleanup, Farm Structures | 4 Comments

Raspberry relocation

Lee dug up the raspberry patch and moved it yesterday. It’s been in the same area for five years and has done diddly squat. We think the lack of thriving is caused by the deer. At least we hope so as otherwise we stink at growing raspberries.


Another reason we moved the raspberries is they were in line with a new fence we are building this summer. I call it piece of mind from all the, “where did the child just go?”

Old raspberry trench

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New baby chicks

Last winter we barely got any eggs so it was time to get some new chicks. The new peep cheepers are in the brooder house getting fat and sassy.

Baby chicks

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Breaking ground

The summer garden is officially started. Woohoo!

Tilling the garden

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Tasty garlic in my belly

We planted six varieties of garlic last year and somehow they managed to survive. I think I weeded them twice and watered and side dressed them once with fertilizer.

Garlic drying

The six varieties we grew were Elephant, German Red, Blanak, Duganski, Susanville, and Chinese Early Pink. The Chinese Early Pink was the most disappointing of the bunch as they never thrived and grew small heads. Maybe they would have liked more pampering than we provide.

We’ve grown garlic lots of times before, but lost our two nameless varieties to weeds and rodents in the spring of 2013. (We were busy with a different project.) The six varieties this year were an attempt to find some new favorites. We’ll probably scale up a couple these in the fall and try a few more varieties for good measure. Anyone have recommendations?

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Kitchen progress

Work has been steady over here and projects are starting to get close to wrapping up. The kitchen is nearly complete. The counter tops and window sills were installed last Friday. They are Silestone composite quartz.

silestone composite quartz marengo

The pulls and knobs were attached on Saturday. I have no idea why our builder was there on a Saturday.


The tile back splash was installed Tuesday.

Liquid marble tiles

We went with “liquid marble” subway tiles to continue the monotone theme for the kitchen.

Pulls and knobs

After cooking on a wood stove and hotplates (balanced on a washing machine) for six years, we are beyond excited to finally have a usable kitchen.

Interior wall of kitchen

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Misadventures in water

They came. They drilled. They left a huge mess.


But sadly, they did not find the water we were looking for. The whole point of this exercise was to find rust free water. All of our neighbors have clean water, but apparently our whole property is sitting on a slightly deeper bedroock which is criss-crossed with rust deposits. At 80 feet, we were getting 7-8 gallons per minute of green-brown slurry. It seems far worse than our existing water, so we are just going to replumb our current well rather than use the new one. I’ve been looking into backwashing iron filters. Anyone have any recommendations?


There were two further insults after we finished drilling. The first was that the rock was so crumbly we had to add a liner or it might have collapsed upon itself and become completely unusable. It’s rusty, but I’d still like to keep my options open. Maybe a hand pump? The second insult was a letter from the Oregon Water Resources Department. It turns out that there is a separate “well recording fee” in Oregon, added in 2009, to be paid after the well is drilled. That’s a total of $525 in fees to put a hole in the ground. Yay! At least we get to keep the pools of rock slurry.


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Work in progress

Kitchen outer wall

Kitchen inner wall





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Upstairs floor

The upstairs flooring is done. Trim work, tiling, cabinets, and staining is happening this week.

Flooring down

Upstairs half bath

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Looking for water

On Friday the well diggers came and went down 20 feet without finding bedrock. They also didn’t find much surface water, which is surprising as the river is about 400 feet away from where we are drilling.

Looking for water

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