2012 Wrap Up, Looking Forward to 2013 and Beyond

ImageImageImage2012 is the year I almost killed the blog.  On my fourth and last post of the year, we were looking forward to a great year of gardening.  Things went well early on.  I remember scraping lots of mud off my shoes on one weekend of weeding.  And then there was no rain for weeks. The watering nearly killed us.  We had only one kayak outing this summer.  Even if we’d had time, the rivers were so low, river trips would have proved challenging.    We still had some luck with tomatoes and a lot of blossom end rot.  The strawberries and leeks were both a total loss.  The garlic was early and plentiful.  Butternut squash was plagued by vine borers and the yields were low.  Yields on lemon cucumbers were pretty good despite the cucumber beetles.  Onions and potatoes were really small and harvested early.  The apple harvest started early, ended early and was small.  Furthermore, the apples were really sweet.  Our 2012 hard cider is in bottles and though we sampled some at dinner last night and found that it really isn’t ready yet, it is promising.  We planted close to 100 evergreen seedlings and lost more than half of them.  In the fall, we replaced a good number of them and we had some rain and now a thick blanket of snow, so hopefully they’ll have a better chance in the coming year.

Once the growing season was over, we turned our attention to demolishing the farm house.  We removed all of the windows, saving the ones that are intact for cold frames, we saved some of the boards with the name of the old lumber company.  D. salvaged quite a number of newer 2″ x 4″s from the upstairs, the metal roof and some 4″ x 4″s from the porch, we pulled out all of the electrical wiring and electrical boxes out as well as a small amount of copper piping and all the PVC pipe.  Some for recycling or scrap, some just because it doesn’t need to go up in flames and emit toxic smoke when the fire department gets around to using the house for a practice fire early in 2013.  By far the most difficult thing that D. did and which we needed to do before the permit to burn the house could be granted was to remove the asbestos siding.  It took him about four different days to pry it off.   Outfitted with a respirator and gloves, he ruined three Tyvek suits in the process.  Near the end of November, he boxed it up in a plywood box that we’d built on a pallet which was loaded onto our trailer and we drove it away and paid for it to be properly dispatched.  All 1820 pounds of it.  Then we turned our attention to the small barn on the hill whose foundation is failing.  It’s a quaint little barn, but we can’t save it.  The best we can do is to salvage the upper door and its hardware, some of the siding and the beams.  These things will all reappear in some form or another when we build.  Maybe a mantle and book case, a headboard for our new bed and who knows what else if we can get the siding off without breaking it.  The good floorboards will end up in the existing barn where some of the floor is in need of repair.  Some of the metal roofing or siding will likely be used to repair the pig shed which has problems but isn’t beyond hope.

We’re beginning to assess building sites and thinking about what we’d like to and can afford to build.

I’m cautiously hopeful about 2013.

This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Ecology, Gardening, Invasive Weeds, Kayaking, Prairie Restoration, the farm. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s