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!!!!!!!!!!! SEPP to Boot: Stephen's Experience (BRK)

 
master pollinator
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Location: Wheaton Labs, Montana, USA
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BRK #526

Did a little planning, a little fixing, and a little tinkering today. Came up with a few planning diagrams for when new Boots arrive in about a week.

For example, out at the Gregorian Woodshed, there are screws stuck into the wall, ostensibly to serve as hooks of some kind.



I'd like for us to replace them with a set of wooden pegs.



A larger project would be to increase the height and utility of this hugel berm, found just inside the fence at Allerton Abbey.



Those vertical logs have been there for a long while, though they've not served much purpose. Hopefully we can put them to use and increase our growing space.



And here's a third project, very important to have completed prior to the next cold season. We'd like to finally finish the insulation of the below-ground pump house up at the Lab. However, we need to move some power lines first.



We need to move the soil out of the way, then re-position the power lines to be more consistent with the water line down there, and...



... In addition, a waterproof layer (shown in the photo, bunched-up at the side of the pump house, at right) needs to be put underground, over the power and water lines, to provide an impermeable layer under the surface. This will help keep a dry mass of earth next to the pump house, keeping it warmer during the cold season.



Lots to do, and lots to think about. A team of Boots will make this work easier to do.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day...!
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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BRK #527

The Fake Spring threw me for a loop! I thought the gloomy, congested skies were over with as of last weekend. Shows what I know. Humid and cold, alternating rain, sleet, snow, and even itty-bitty hail this month. Woke up to flurries this morning. The nearby mountain slopes are frosted with a thin layer of snow again. By late afternoon, only some of it had clearly melted. Temperatures down where humans dwelled lingered round the low- to mid-40s F.



I replaced my work boots today. I bought the exact same boot as I did a year and a half ago. My Big Three criteria for work boots include:
- steel toed
- waterproof
- metal loops for laces, instead of those crappy fabric ones ("holes punched-through-the-leather" is grudgingly-acceptable)



Finally: I did the berm refurbishing in the rain yesterday. This path goes round the Fisher Price House at Basecamp, inside the fenced-in paddock. The soil was transported up to the peaks of the berms nearby, raising the height or filling in some obviously-narrow spots caused by erosion or collapse. I think this is a worthwhile practice to reclaim soil for the upper parts of dilapidated berms, in addition to widening the paths that go up their sides. More about both of these in a later entry.



Tomorrow, I will be heading into Missoula early to participate in a town garden/"food resources" bicycle tour... Provided we're not snowed-out...!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day...!
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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BRK #528

A cold rainy Sunday, and I had opted out of the bicycle tour in the expectation that it would be canceled before I arrived. So I stayed round Basecamp today after visiting all the cats and finishing today's cleaning blitz. I brought out my wooden sign project and resolved to finish it today.



After a couple hours luxuriating in the fragrance of toasted pine, I added it to the other two in the kitchen. The set is complete...!



I celebrated by making stovetop popcorn. Added a little molasses to this batch to make it a bit more like Cracker Jack.



That's all for today. I'll be chopping down more trees and digging holes tomorrow, I think. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day...!
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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BRK #529

Eclipse Monday has arrived. It wasn't visible in Montana, though maybe I'll be in position for the next one, in 2042 or so.



Anyhow, Booting is to be done. I prepped locations for trees and fruit bushes today. I used our electric auger with a massive, 12-inch diameter auger bit. That thing is fantastic...!





Samantha and Cedar are visiting, and along with them came two little lambs.



Back up at the Lab, there's some Stinging Nettle growing well inside the fence at Allerton Abbey.



Also at the Lab, I resolved to fix the junk pole fence that's been slowly leaning over, more and more. Definitely want to address these sorts of issues prior to growing season.



Step One: remove all the old vertical poles.



Step Two: ensure the three horizontal support poles are safely and securely attached.



Step Three: wedge junk poles between the three horizontal supports, with very little gap between them. By alternating the direction of the vertical poles (pointing up or pointing down), you can minimize gaps and prevent poles "leaning" off to the side.



This particular assembly was a bit tough to wrangle, as the horizontal supports were of a wider diameter and presented less of a "threading" space between them. I ended up having to seek out smaller-diameter junk poles, and saw off the thicker ends of the junk poles so they would fix and flex between the supports.

Here's a view of today's work, plus the adjacent junk pole fence, which had been repaired a couple weeks ago.





I kinda stabbed my finger today with some of the teeth of a pruning saw. Smooth move...



Oh, and here's what a delivery of 6 trees, 4 fruit bushes, and 2 grape vines looks like. Gonna plant these first thing tomorrow morning.



That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day...!
 
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Those signs you made look awesome!

We just got past the third winter that came after the spring of deception. Snows are melting so fast and it looks like the actual real spring has finally arrived here too!

Say hi to Samantha from me! :)
 
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