Friday, March 25, 2011

Timber Frame Raising - Faces, etc.

Here are the last of the timber-framing pictures I'm going to post. I took over 400, but that's a few too many to share. ;)

We had plenty of lovely photographers on site, all sporting their Nikons.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the whole day. Daniel is such a good sport, always ready to give me a funny pose.

I still haven't taken a picture of the building that is the result of all this hard work. I never think of it at the right time. We are planning to use this building as a pavilion, as soon as we put a roof on it.

Praise the Lord for a fun and successful community project, for a new building, and that no one had any major injuries!

-Tricia Ann

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Timber Frame Raising - Part 2

Here's the second bent, assembled and ready to go up.
There were lots of spectators.
By this time, the number of workers had diminished significantly. So, they used a bobcat plus manpower to get the 2nd bent halfway up. At that point, the bobcat wouldn't go up any further, so the guys braced it and stopped to evaluate the situation.

They decided to just go on and push it the rest of the way. Being the rugged and mighty guys that they were, they gave it a shove, and it went right up.

Okay, so that's not how it really went. ;)
It was getting rather dangerous, and Granddaddy insisted that they call a crane.
Even with the crane, there was still a lot of work to do. In fact, I don't think they could've finished it all in one day without the crane to speed things up some.
Emma re-stained some pegs.
The whole building is held together with pegs - there are no nails.
The 3rd and final bent.
It was dark by the time they were done, so I don't have a picture of the final result yet, but I'll try to get one soon.

Stay tuned for the final timber-framing post.

-Tricia Ann

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Timber Frame Raising - Bent #1

Last March, Jacob went to a timber-framing workshop with some friends. Before they went, they cut down a bunch of oak trees from our property and used the sawmill to make the timbers. They loaded the beams on trailers and hauled them to NC where the workshop was. While they were there, they cut two out of the three bents. When they got back home, they planned to finish cutting the timbers and assemble the structure, but the flood happened shortly thereafter. To make a long story short, we didn't have time to finish and erect the building until now.

Yesterday we had a big Timber Frame raising here at our farm. Here's the first installment of pictures.


They built this brace-wall to hold the bent in place, once they got it up.

Raising the first bent, which weighed about 2000 pounds.

-Tricia Ann

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shamrocks and Greensand

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all!

Here's Gimli sitting in a patch of crimson clover. He likes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, even though he's Scottish.
I thought today would be a good day to write about greensand, a soil amendment that we use. Greensand is a rock powder. It's green color is caused by the high levels of glauconite it contains. It is a good source of potassium and trace minerals for plants. We use it in our soil mix for growing transplants. We've also spread it in the garden before.

Greensand is hard to find. Fertrell is one of the only companies that offers it, and there just aren't many Fertrell dealers around. Nourishing Harvest Farm recently started carrying it, so we got our last bag from them.
Here's what it looks like - Green. Sand.

-Tricia Ann

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oats don't die easily...

It finally dried out enough between rains to do some much-needed tilling. Back in October, we seeded plot B with oats and clover as a cover crop. From some reading I'd done, I thought that the oats would die in the winter, leaving the plot ready for early planting. However, despite all the unusually cold weather, the oats survived beautifully with hardly a dead blade and had begun to re-grow vigorously by the middle of February. We learn a lot by the trial-and-error method. :) So, we tilled in our green manure as soon as possible. The oats were so tall that Jacob had to bush-hog before he tilled. Hopefully, we can begin planting out there in a couple of weeks.

Some clover in the oats
No comments from the IL peanut gallery. :)

-Tricia Ann

Saturday, March 05, 2011


I'm so happy! We harvested our first microgreens of the season, and they are gorgeous. We sold every last bag of them at the farmer's market today. These are not "microwave greens" as one customer surmised. :) They're called "micro" because they are tiny. Our microgreens are a mixture of baby plants such as kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, radishes, beets, onions, etc. They only take 2-3 weeks to grow in the greenhouse, but they can be a little finicky sometimes. Maybe I'll do a "how to grow microgreens" blog post one of these days.

Want to try some of our delicious, nutrient-dense microgreens? Stop by our booth at the Franklin Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

-Tricia Ann