Lets crack on!

In the space of about 12 days we have gone from snow and hard night time frosts to glorious sunshine, in fact the last week has equalled many a summer that you may expect in the UK; 20 + (°C) every day for the last week hitting 24°C on Friday, so warm that the Aleo vera made an out of season appearance last night to sooth my burning back!

And with the good weather comes a new determination to ‘crack on’ and get things done, which is exactly what we have done this last week.

Finished the stable, yes at long last we lime washed the exterior; two years after starting the project that provides us with shelter whilst we work on the house. Of course it doesn’t do it’s job any better now that it’s all painted white, but it’s more ascetically pleasing; it looks prettier 🙂

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Finished the soffit, another one of those jobs that seems to have trailed on for quite some time, although as we started the job late last year we were often hampered by the wind, which seemed quite severe 8m up a hand built scaffold. The fine weather has given us the boost and conditions to tick it off our list.

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Prepared the top field for planting, with a little (a lot) of help from our friends. Steve was good enough to pop over with his tractor and rotovator and proceeded to devour almost two thousand square meters of ploughed land in preparation for potatoes and various other veg. In addition Kazek went over the remaining seven thousand square meters with his spring tine harrow, so it’s ready to accept our casting of oats later in the month. Almost a hectare of land prepped in the space of twenty four hours; thank you both, especially Steve who worked into the night to get the job done,I can feel a flaszka (bottle of vodka) or two on the way.

Planted onions, garlic and rhubarb; an odd mix perhaps, but it’s what we had and we had some space by the stable to fill. More planting  planned soon. Talking of planting I also managed to rescue about twenty saplings from our bramble clearing expedition last week, which I have given new homes to on the west side of the land, hopefully creating a wind break in the future as they mature; I also slipped in a few willow whips around the barn to see if they take and hopefully support the banking that has started to subside with the recent thaw.

I should also mention that we spent a day in Rzemien at the start of the week and planted up the kitchen garden there with onions, garlic, beetroot, lettuce, radish, carrots, parsley, dill and…….I forget now; it will come back to me when I see it grow 🙂 We also sorted through last years potatoes store and sorted out four sacks for seed, not nearly enough but with these and others from various sources we should be able to put a decent crop down.

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Wood delivered for the terrace, if you didn’t know the house will be encircled by a two and a half meter terrace; providing an additional 100m² of outdoor living space. Having the wood delivered, which was ordered last year, is a big step forward on starting this stage of the build. Stripping off any bark and stacking the wood has taken almost a day to complete, but we did it; another tick box ticked:)

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Electrical installation started, that is the feed from the Electricity company to our own consumer unit; although a little rusty I think I managed ok with getting the cables in place and connected up with the help of Leszek (Gosias brother) Paperwork signed off, now all we have to do is wait for the meter to be installed and the switch can be flicked; albeit only to supply two sockets and a three phase plug at this point.

And finally, although you can be sure I have missed lots out as I’m trying to think back a whole week, I emptied the composting toilet again this morning after our scheduled visits; that’s seven days usage if you discount the days we spent in Rzemien, excellent performance if you ask me and all that water saved!

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Ok, sorry, I said it was the last thing; but I have to mention as I just remembered,  that we cracked open the first humanure pile this week after about 18 months rest and it is now supplying nutrients to some of our recent plantings; I’ll leave you to ask which if you ever visit and you are offered food:)

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Author: Eddy Winko

Trying to leave the rat race and live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

11 thoughts on “Lets crack on!”

  1. Bloody hell Eddy mate, Let’s crack on indeed! You must be really pleased to have got so much done, after the long and relentless winter. A virtual round of applause from sunny (but not so warm) Norfolk. Cheers, Pete.

    1. Cheers Pete 🙂 I have to say I now appreciate the need to rest on a Sunday; a Catholic idea I’m willing to follow!
      Long may the sun shine in Norfolk; I just hope it warms up for you.

  2. Eddy, we’re glad you have had such awesome weather! It feels good to sweat a little and get back to the many tasks at hand.

    On another note, I’m impressed with the amount of time your toilet goes without needing emptied! With two kids and two adults, we need a new bucket almost daily! I have a bowel disorder, so that accounts for some of the “extra” 😉 (TMI?) We also spread our first humanure this season on the garden, and the seedlings are vigorous to be sure! What a feeling of accomplishment to have a successful closed loop of nutrients on our homestead!

    Man that’s a lot of potatoes! We live in the woods, so our gardens are all raised beds. We have no fields to plant, but I hope to plant on some neighboring land that isn’t being used in the future.

    Crack on, Winkos!

    1. It’s a great feeling indeed; just checked your progress and I’m seriously impressed.
      Humanure; the more the merrier, if we are going to fertilise the whole hectare I’m going to have to start collecting from the village; some people would do anything for a free bucket!  You are right, closing the circle is a great achievement and I look forward to seeing the progress of our crops; I keep telling Gosia that every pea with have a little bit of pee in it 
      We estimate another 10-15 sacks of spuds to cover the area we want to plant, although we have vowed not to buy any seed, just make do with what we can gather from friends and relatives. I’ll update once we have planted; how many sacks per 100m ² 
      All the best

  3. Eight meters up in a heavy wind…? Better you than me! I’ve been watching your temperatures and figured you’d be hard at work on your place. It’s now warmer there than it’ll ever get here. I bet your summers are hot, hot, hot!
    It’s really neat that your neighbors are helping out. The tractor saves a lot of grunt work. 🙂

    1. It can be still at ground level and windy up top, very deceiving 🙂
      We still have a risk of frost and nothing should be planted out until after the 15th of May; I lost quite a few chilli’s last year with my impatience. The hot summers bring everything on very quickly, so no need to rush.
      The tractor was a must for the area of land we are planting, although after this first year we may just use a rotovator; we will see. We are so lucky to have the neighbours we have, it’s hard work to get them to even take money for fuel 🙂

  4. Your industry is putting me to shame, but the weather is stalling things here. Stable and house looking good, look forward to following progress now your weather has turned – including your growing successes, impressive quantity of potatoes!

    1. Thanks Tracey, I was shocked to hear that we probably need another 10 to 15 sacks to cover the area we wanted to plant. We will see what we end up with after we have raided the potato stores of Gosias relatives 🙂
      I hope the good weather reaches you soon.

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