Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Late February at the Farm

As the first days of Spring get closer, and the weather begins to ever so slowly warm up (hopefully this week), we continue work on the tractor conversion, greenhouse growing, dog training and house remodeling. With the anticipated 50 degree temps by Saturday, and the longer days, winter is losing its grip.

The onions are growing (they actually like it a little cooler), and the greenhouse has also seen the first lettuces germinate. On Tuesday, volunteer Jeff Hunter came out and helped us plant our first batch of broccoli, dill and cilantro. On Saturday, the cabbage gets seeded.

The tractor conversion project is proceeding too. After more studying, and getting a copy of the wiring schematic that wasn't included by the equipment supplier (a big help), the task at hand seems much more clear. Today (Wednesday), we will weld up a platform for the batteries and begin wiring the tractor. From the photos you can see the work that we did last Saturday--attaching the pully system to the motor drive, and then attaching the whole thing to the tractor.

And then there's Rocky. He is doing well, though his training is quite time consuming. Puppy that he is, he needs somewhat constant attention to keep him amused, and to make sure he isn't doing things he shouldn't. As we work more outside it helps, but he has a lot of training to go if we are to make sure he doesn't run into the road, eat our laundry off the clothesline, chew up our irrigation supplies, and/or damage our plantings. We have bought a shock collar, but have not tried it out yet. We want to break him of the habit of running toward the road soon. We are hoping that many of his other habits will disappear as he grows out of puppyhood.

We welcome our members out to help socialize him and keep him amused. He seems to be great with kids, and is trying to buddy up with one of our cats.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

G Conversion Day 2

On Saturday 2/16 member Lorne Carroll came out to help with the G conversion. As we kept warm by a propane heater, we emptied the boxes of parts and began assembling what we could.

The basics of this conversion is to remove the gasoline engine (done last week) , and tie an electric motor to the drive shaft of the tractor. You can see the shaft in the picture at left.

As a part of the G conversion kit we purchased, we have the pully unit that will attach to this drive. Then, the new electric motor will drive the pully, and the wheels will move! Just that simple, except for the fact that we have 6 eight volt batteries to wire up, as well as safety fuses, controllers, and other pertinent equipment. So, we are still on the first step--installing the motor and new drive system.

The video at left is of Lorne securing the new electric motor to the plate that will attach to the tractor. It was then we found out we were shipped a part with some missing components, so work slowed a bit. This Saturday 2/23 we start up again as we weld up a platform for the batteries to sit on, and start installing more parts.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Greenhouse sprouting

Eight days, some water and warmth, and the onion seedlings have begun to push through. For most of the trays it looks like a good germination rate. Others are still getting started.

We continue our seeding this week with herbs and a try at black currants.

Rocky is doing well, though it turns out, not especially obedient. Due to his many escapes, we have begun letting him out during the day. He has learned to stay around the house but has been getting into trouble in the home garden (eating row cover) and chasing our cat Sunny.

Still, he's doing good for less than 2 weeks on the farm. He also was spayed this week. And those are puppy paw prints next to the size 11 boots, not mountain lion.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rocky in the snow

Here's Rocky in the snow.

The season begins

With the arrival of our seeds, and the warming of the greenhouse by the strengthening winter sun, the 2008 season has begun. Onions are the first to be seeded, over 5,000 tiny seeds. Started on February 4, they have begun to germinate, pushing up out of the potting soil on their way to your plate.

Thousands more seeds are destined to be nurtured to maturity. So we hope for the best in 2008.


this is our farm's new blog. patience is key while we figure out what the heck we're doing.