Entry for April 03, 2008
I finally got a bit of a break in the weather yesterday and got some things done outside. I got out the rake and started clearing the area I plan to use for transplanting wild blackberries. I am going to put them along the front of the area the mrs and kids use for parking. This will be a total of 32 feet long, which should give me more than enough room. I forget what it is, but there is some kind of ground cover plant there that will need moved, then I can till the soil, install the posts and trellis (wire fencing), transplant the berries from my folks place, then cover with plenty of compost and leaves from the yard.
The spot is already plotted out for the grapes, and will get the same treatment in the front yard, about 20 yards from the blackberries. For now, I am only putting in 24 feet of trellis for the grapes. I'll see how they do, then possibly do more next year.
I got a trash bag and started walking the front yard, picking up trash blown from the wind and thrown from car windows. Of course, I got half a bag of garbage as I do every spring, and even though after close to 9 years here I should be used to it, it still disturbs me how much I have to pick up that people just toss out the window with not a care in the world. I raked up 2 or 3 good sized piles of leaves, which will stay where they are till I get the berries and grapes planted. Probably friday I'll have to gather up all the limbs & sticks from the trees and take them out back to cut up for the grill & fire pit. I'll have some tree trimming to do too. Some of the pine branches are again nearly touching the ground, so they'll need cut. And also I need to cut some just a tad higher since I am finally bringing home the International tractor from my dads place.
I'm hoping that the tractor will be a good addition to the garage. Its a '72 lowboy with a belly mower and snowplow. My dad always said for years that it was worthless to plow snow with the wide turf tires on it, but when I talked to my uncle yesterday, (who gave dad the tractor), he told me he plowed with it many times with no problems at all. I don't own a snowblower, and our drive is exactly 100 yards from the street to the garage,plus the 3 parking spaces, just way too much to shovel by hand.Usually the neighbor plows for me with his 4 wheeler as a trade for tomatos and peppers lol, but he isnt outside during winter as much since he has been sick for so long. Maybe at the least I'll have to buy or make tire chains for it. Along with the tractor and plow, there are quite a few spare parts for it sitting in dads old shed. There's a spare starter, radiator, wiring harness, misc covers and plates, (that dad took off to do work and never put back), and the origional seat, (which dad replaced with a high back seat from my boat that was stored there). Even if I don't get a lot of use from it, I am saving it from an early death of dads 50+ year old ransack shed falling in on it. When I walked in there last Sunday, I noticed that it had fallen probably another 2-4 inches, and that part of the roof had fallen in. So, sometime this summer, I'll get the chore of taking the rest of the junk out of it, and tearing it down. My packrat gene is really showing itself at the idea of this project as I stood there staring at that 6x8 bin of misc nuts, bolts, screws, connectors, and other handy little things my dad collected over the years. I got most of the tools out of there last year, but I still need to get all of his old concrete tools out of there. Also, mom wants to tear out a tall flowerbed she has in her backyard. This thing is 16x6 railroad ties, and 2 high. They're in good shape, so I'll get these home too to line more of the driveway.
After I finished a bit more raking, turned the compost piles, picked up lawn trash, laid out berry and grape beds, and pulled out those &^%$#@! dead morning glories from the dogs fence, I went in for a cup of coffee. I was in the living room and heard a thump and knock at the side door. Oh joy, it was the UPS guy dropping off my 50 strawberry plants that I didnt expect for another week or 2. Looks like I have to get that bed ready as well. I made sure the plants had plenty of moisture, and put them in the crisper drawer for a few days. I went back out and made sure I had enough timbers to make the bed, and I have plenty for a 50x8 bed. Luckily I get all the landscape timbers for free at work. Anytime we get a delivery of pipe on an 18 wheeler or flatbed, its always supported on timbers so truck forks can get under the pile. They're 8 footers and untreated, so the go right in the van and home to be used around any plants here that aren't in the main garden. I don't like the idea of using treated lumber around anything edible, so these are perfect and free. At last count yesterday, I had over 20, so I have a decent start on what I plan to get done. I'm still looking at jobsites at work, and as I drive around, looking for old windows to make the cold frames I want. I haven't had any luck yet, but I have all spring and summer to get this done, so no hurry.
I just walked outside to start the work van since its still a bit chilly this morning. (34) It's still somewhat quiet here this early, and as I walked out the door, I was greeted with the sounds of birds, wonderful spring birds telling me that my time is almost here. I hate winter here most of the time. Since we dont have any livestock or a greenhouse, for the most part I am stuck in the house. I do plenty of planning, reading and research, but at times, it just gets plain boring. I didn't get around to getting the woodburner installed in the garage, so I wasn't able to do much in the garage, but that WILL change this year. I'll either install that woodburning furnace that Ben gave me, or the old potbelly that my uncle offered. Either way, I won't be stuck inside when winter rolls around again.
Ah well, enough babbling for today. I have to go fill my coffee mug and head to Cleveland for work. UGHHHHH I hate Cleveland.
BTW, is anyone reading any of this? or am I just typing away for myself lol
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