Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sluice Gate

We found this
hidden under a pile of this.
We had heard there was a concrete box of some sort made many years ago to divert water from the stream into the inground pool.  The pool was pushed in and covered up in the 1940s or 50s so the concrete diverter is older than that.  On Saturday, while Alan and I were splitting and stacking a half cord of firewood, Chester came over and showed us approximately where the diverter was.  We found it pretty quickly once we knew where to look for it.
This morning I spent a few hours clearing out wild rose bush and honeysuckle and digging out most of the concrete trough.  There was some nice soil that I think I will let dry a little then move it to the new location for the greenhouse.
The "sluice gate" has a wheel on one end to control the flow of water into the pool.  A pipe was attached to take the water down to the pool.

What I find really exciting about this discovery is the possibilities for getting water out of the stream for the animals and plants.  The stream is very shallow and just about impossible to get more than a few inches of water into a bucket.  During power outages it would be nice to be able to get water from our stream for the animals.  If I have a concrete tank 16 inches deep I will definitely be able to get water into a bucket.  Alan is also looking at the possibility of putting a pump on the sluice.
I am eager to see what we can use this for in the future.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What do you do with an old Christmas tree?

Well, first you sniff around it.
And then you call your pals to check it out.
Hey wait, you can scratch your head on it.
Yummm, it tastes pretty good too.
Oh no, it's all gone! Guess we have to wait for next year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Seed catalogs

One of the best things about this time of year is all the seed catalogs that come in the mail.  Just as the excitement of the holidays is ending, we gardeners can start dreaming of seed starting in February and planting in March.

I have way too many seeds on my wish list, but I have time to whittle them down.  I need to bring my planting starting lights and heat mat over from the old house.  I have a nice place in the basement to set up a seed starting area, but have to figure out how to keep the cats out of that area since they love to dig in soil and I don't think the new seedlings would appreciate being mauled by our cats.

One of the best reasons to garden is the variety of veggies and fruits that you could never find in the store.  But is it crazy to track down a catalogue that grows an obscure thai pumpkin just so I can make a recipe for thai pumpkin custard? I figure it will take me 10 months of planning and prep before I can even think about making this custard.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day Hike

We've been meaning to hike to the top of the big hill to our north since we moved in.  Today was the day.  The picture above doesn't really show the scale of the hill very well.  This photo taken about halfway up shows the steep pitch.
We climbed in elevation fairly quickly.
We hadn't seen the new place from this angle yet.
We skirted along the north east slope to avoid a large tangle of brush and had to climb over quite a few trees that fell over in Hurricane Sandy and before.
This big Cherry tree above fell perfectly up hill.
Nothing much special at the top. But the view was pretty.
The walk back was a little easier.  We basically hiked a circle around the top of the hill and came in the back of our property.  Only saw one hunter, but tons of different animal tracks.