Friday, April 24, 2015

Seasoning, part deux...

Still have a few days of seasoning the straw bales to go.  It still is around freezing at night so they may be ready before the temps let me plant into them. I guess they'll just keep "perking" away until Mother Nature gets her act into gear.

Steve took this picture of me forcing the water into the bales.  I usually don't put any pics of me onto the blog because I have a phobia about pictures of me. It usually involves me cold-cocking anyone with a camera that comes within arms reach.

Still, it does show what you'll be doing if you decide on trying a straw bale garden.  As I sit on them to water them, I can feel the heat that is starting to generate from all the biological action going on in them.  

This is a closeup of me forcing the fertilizer, and water, into a bale.  The water is on full force.  I can get half a bale soaked before my thumb gets weak and I have to change hands.  

Let me also remind you of the "cold" facts of doing this the first 2 days.  You'll be wet and cold as the bales are almost impervious to water and you get water shooting back onto you.  Days 3 and on, most of the water goes into the bales. Those are the days I start to look forward to.  

Another thought...straw bales come with 2 or 3 cords holding them together. Buy bales with 3.  They are going to disintegrate over time and the extra cord gives you a little more time, and support, before they start to dissolve.  

Even though it's still freezing at night, the days usually get into the high 70's. This makes the coop really heat up.  I was worrying about the chickens getting a heat stroke if they needed water and food.  So, all the insulation is now off the coop.  I also removed the second perch they had inside.  They all are grouped on one perch together and have their feathers, so I'm banking on them staying cozy warm at night. 

With the summerizing of the coop, we moved the light to the outside.  It's inside in winter because the insulation in the windows would keep the girls from seeing it.  I, then, put a black nylon footie over it to dampen it.  

In the summer, the light is outside the door so the girls can still see a light at night, but it's not really keeping them up.  Steve also decided to move the solar battery for the light to the top of the roof's peak.  It's out of the way and will work for summer, or winter, sun tracking.  

Now that we are ready for the gardening to start,  I'm having trouble sleeping at night.  

"What will I plant?"..."What am I going to find at the stores?"... "When will it be warm enough at night?"...questions keep roiling through my mind.  

I'll be glad when these questions can become actions....

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