Another sunny day here, almost all of the snow melted (we only got about two inches after all, I knew the Weather Service couldn’t be right two times in a row!) so we’re back to mud :-) Oh, the joy of it…at least it means that spring is coming.
Well today I slept in till about 8:30am, and got going kinda slow but tomorrow I’ll probably be up by 5:00am, to get ready to cut wood all day–so it sorta averages out over time I guess. The guy I cut wood with–Mr. Joe–is a fifty-odd year old bachelor who lives with his two dogs (the dogs eat like royalty, and so does anyone who he has over to eat) on his folk’s farm (although they have been in paradise for some 10 or 15 years) and works at a lumber mill in town as a mechanic and truck driver. He is having surgery on his foot (for the third or fourth time) in a week, so we’re trying to get all the wood cut we can before that, and before thing get too muddy (or the fields are planted). We met him when we started going to Ainger (Bible Church), and I helped him with haying a year or two until he quit. Now (and then) we cut wood together. He just has a small wood stove in the kitchen and so just burns small stuff (we cut up buzz poles and buzz them up on his buzz saw). The saw is belt driven (off of a Case SC) and makes quick work of linking up the long poles.
This afternoon I spent a few hours working on my version of an electric lamp brooder, (just need to quickly attach the light fixtures) and a adjustable growing light hanger. I think I’ll need to move the chicks outside sometime tomorrow as well. Here’s a picture of them in the basement quarters:
A chick’s eye view!
(they sure didn’t want to stand still!)
Here you can see better all the different colors and kinds that the hatchery sent this time:
They kinda took exception to the flash :-)
Here’s how I built the brooder:
First I sketched it out roughly and listed the materials I would need.
Then I cut out the pieces on our table saw (don’t mind the mess–it’s not as bad as it looks, we can still climb through it all ;-) and the tractor (the thing with the snow blower) makes a great auxiliary workbench)With all of the pieces cut up on the floor, I got out the tools I would need. Now were did I put those screws I wonder…..
Once I found the screws (they were hiding under the turkey deep fryer (to the right of the tractor in the photo above) the deep fryer, (a fancy one with a drain even) that we picked up at Lowes for about $16–it had a price sticker on it for that amount, and they honored it without any question, quite amazing really, considering that it was originally on sale for $79.99! What a find–thanks Mom, I would have walked right past it!) I started putting pieces together:
Then I realized that it wouldn’t work that way…so I tried again…
And then I put it together again. And realized it wouldn’t work. (are you beginning think I like to just try stuff to see if it will work, rather than waste, I mean spend time trying to figure out if it will work in the first place?) And after taking it all apart and cutting some off of the long sides, and reassembling it this is what I had:
Now for the sides (1′ x 2′ and 1′ x 4′ ):
Here is the interesting corner I ended up with:
I’m sure that if I did it again I would do it a little different, but this seemed to work out all right in the end:
Some friends had actually let me borrow their old commercial style brooder
but when I tried it out, it seem to have only one setting–just barely warm. The thermostat must be going bad.
As you can see it’s an old coil thingamabob type (similar to the whatchamacallit style) :-)
Then I started in on the plant light stand.
Screw a few more pieces together and viola!
From concept to finished product in use in only about three hours.
I like projects like that! It seem to work well on top of all that. An extra bonus.
On the tomato front, someone asked about what I used the egg shells for–here’s picture.
Just gently break out one end of the egg and rinse before leaving to dry. Then pack with soil, add seeds and let ’em grow. Then when you want to transplant just crush the shells and then remove (or not) and put the root ball into the new potting stuff. I understand that this method works especially well for melons etc. that need extra calcium. These are Ground Cherries. For the tomatoes I just sprinkled the seed over a flat (of the homemade improvised kind–meat trays, old plastic berry containers, and of course egg cartons) of potting soil and covered with wet newspaper. I do have a special place set up for germinating seeds–an electric blanket covered with plastic, on which I put free-after-rebate boot trays to hold water and the flats. You can see it pretty well in the picture of the light stand-hanger thingy.
Maybe someday I’ll get around to showing how we cobbled together our not-so-permanent hoop house–not tonight though! :-)
Well I must be off to bed,
So long for now,