Monday, January 31, 2011

Barn Building

Like the days of old, barn building, my parents came out to the Compound to help us build a fence around our pond. Since something decided it was OK to snack on our pond liner, we had no alternative but to fence around it. Since we were going to put a fence around it, we decided to expand the garden area, should we need or want more space. It took us 6 hours, but we had 24 new post holes dug and posts up. Next step is the wire fencing.

We took a bit of a break and got on the boat and took a tour of the canals around the area. I think everyone enjoyed some time away from the hard work. It was a great end to a very tiring day. Thanks again to my Mom and Dad, without them, we wouldn't have gotten nearly so far.

Our small citrus orchard, looks like something out of a horror film; dead and gangly. It's very sad. We hope they make a comeback. They'll get trimmed back later in February.

We added two additional fruit trees as well, another apple and peach. They look really good and healthy compared to the citrus. I also planted two raspberry plants. We'll see how they do in the Florida heat.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another one bites the dust!

Well, we got another project off of our list; cleaning out the wild blackberry area. We bought fence posts, and tied up the canes to get them off the ground, to help ease picking and keep the fruit clean. We started with 8 posts, but quickly found out, we need at least 8 more to complete the project. It looks ten times better already, and it turned out like we wanted it to; easy walking paths between the plants. We cleaned out the dead branches, and leaves from the area. As we put in more posts and tie up some more loose canes, we'll be able to clean out some additional space.

This past week we cleaned out the pond. It was virtually empty, so it was a good time, to pump out the remaining water, and clean out the dead leaves and debris that seem to find there way in. While cleaning out the pond, we noticed some critter decided he was going to taste test the liner, down by the water line of all things. I guess he couldn't decide if that was good enough, so he tried a few other areas along the top edge of the pond. We're not too concerned about those at the top, but the one at the water line already proved a problem.

A storm blew in, dropping between 3 and 4 inches of rain, right over the top of the hole in the liner. So we spent part of Saturday, lifting the pond liner up, so we could patch the hole. It worked, it's patched. Now we'll see if it holds. Murphy's Law; if something can go wrong, it will. We'll be fencing around the entire pond. We've decided since it needs to be fenced in, we'll be expanding our garden and incorporating the chicken coop into a couple of it's walls. Stay tuned...

Here's another picture of Miss Izzy. She absolutely loves going to the Compound! She spends her time hunting field mice and lizards. She wears herself right out. Once we get home, she heads straight for her kennel and sleeps for hours.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Well, we spent most of Saturday burning the giant brush piles that have accumulated over the past month or so. We had three piles at least 4' high x 10' wide. We spent some time cleaning up around the camper and yard, as well. I'm glad the mess is gone, it looks a hundred times better. The warm weather and sunshine was wonderful!

I have 1 brussel sprout plant coming up in the greenhouse already. Now that things will warm up this next week, things will be growing like crazy. The next project is to get the garden prepped and ready for the transplants, which should be in the ground by the beginning to middle of February.

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Check, Check

We accomplished two projects off of our list this weekend; build the greenhouse, and get the seedlings started. We opted to build the greenhouse at home rather than the compound, so I can water and monitor as often as necessary, without having to travel to the compound more than necessary. It'll only need to be up for about a month, which should keep the neighbors happy.

We did run out to the compound on Saturday, watered what's left of the garden, and inserted this new gadget my oldest daughter gave me for Christmas. It's really cool! Plant Smart by Black and Decker, It's taking readings of soil moisture, fertilizer level, and sun hours based on recommendations for strawberries. I need to let it run for a few days, then bring it home, hook it up to my computer and it downloads the data, letting me know what I need more or less of.

I'll be doing this same type of reading over the next few weeks in other areas of the garden, to make sure I have everything right before we plant in February.

We would have liked to start burning the HUGE brush pile, but we have Red Flag Warnings, and a burn ban, so that will have to wait. I feel like we accomplished some important goals, and look forward to the week ahead. I hope you have a good one too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

List of 2011 Projects

I figure if I make a list of the things that need to be completed at The Compound, you can help hold my feet to the fire! Here's a list of projects for 2011;

Must haves;
-Paint the container, it's a lovely orange color right now. It's going to be green, so it will blend in better with it's surroundings.
-Build the chicken coop, no I haven't forgotten about MY chickens!
-Till and get ready the garden for planting
-Put up our greenhouse, it's small but should help get things started.
-Plant seedlings
-Clean out the wild blackberry area, so it's easier to pick. Right now it has grasses and weeds growing in the same area.

Wish list;
-Plant some additional fruit trees and bushes. I think we lost some of the ones we planted last year due to the freezing temperatures we had in December.
-Build a railing on the dock. I always feel like I'll fall off. I know it's an optical illusion, but I want the safety.
-Build a pizza/stone oven
-Expand the garden to include a separate herb garden
-Build a mini dock by the boat launch area, to help with loading and unloading of our boat from the trailer.

I think that's all for now. Follow the blog to see if we get all of this accomplished. Happy New Year, and Best Wishes for 2011!