the homestead

Winterized, a/k/a Back to “Normal”

The last couple of weeks have been the whirlwind we have come to expect about this time every autumn as the yard is mowed one last time, garden is put to bed, the cabin and barn are readied for our vigorous winters (clear plastic is taped over all the cabin windows; three years ago was insulating and sealing the crawl space, two years ago was re-chinking the the cabin logs, this year was the new roof, and next year will be new windows all around), and the requisite tons of firewood are processed.

While Mrs. Barn toiled for several sunny days with the final harvests from the garden and the uprooting and soil-turning involved in the aftermath, along with digging up hundreds of flower bulbs to be stored in the crawl space under the cabin, I was tasked with building a new cover for the raised bed she uses for growing greens long into the winter.  That raised bed has always had a winter cover but the last one finally gave up the ghost so a new one was required.

I decided to build this one a good bit nicer and sturdier than the previous one, including four-ply laminated hoop ribs.  Since this project was one that is  likely to be reprised over the years we have here I made a frame on which I could assemble and glue the curved elements from 1/8″ resawn PT SYP.  I used T3 for the adhesive, gluing up one new rib every day.  Somehow I managed to fail in the picture-taking department, but in the end I have a custom-fitted cover for the bed.

After that I moved on to the annual re-stocking of the firewood pile.  I had about half of it already cut, split, and stacked on pallets next to the barn.  Once I moved that down to the crib I decided to process the remaining needed for the front porch even though I had a sizable surplus in the lower barn.

I got into the rhythm and worked my way through the whole pile of cut wood left over from last year (I still have about 2-3 years’ worth felled up in the woods, which I will process as time and inspiration allow over this winter), and wound up in the place I’d always wanted to be – starting a winter with two winters’ worth of firewood ready to go.

This was the excess pile in the lower barn from last year so I just left it alone to serve as the future BTU inventory.

Somehow this modest set of accomplishments managed to occupy nearly a complete fortnight.


Back to regular order until spring, I hope.