The Weekly Digs #145

by Becky

Over the past couple of weeks we had the holidays but we were also able to get a lot done around our homestead because Cameron had several weeks off of work during the month of December.

Here are some projects we checked off the list:

#1 We got the Wood Boiler Hooked Up!

Cameron has been working on this in his spare time for months. He had never hooked up a wood boiler before and even though it comes with instructions, it’s a pretty intricate process. Or at least from me watching Cam make manifolds and hook things up it seemed like it to me!

Prior to getting it up and running we were relying heavily on our wood burning fireplace. It works well but isn’t ducted to the whole house since we knew the wood boiler would fill that role. The fireplace made our main living space toasty but the bedrooms were cold!

When we built the house we also had them put in propane as a backup heat in case we ever left our home on vacation during the winter. 

I have to say now that the wood boiler is working, it is awesome! It is very efficient at heating our home and the fire is very easy to maintain. We started it a few weeks ago and Cameron hasn’t had to relight it since. He loads it twice a day.

#2 Finished the Counter Top build in our Pantry

Also in his spare time Cam made a butcher block countertop from black walnut wood. He got the wood from a local mill for a great deal but it was rough sawn. We are both happy with how it turned out and I’m super excited to have all my appliances in one place now on this countertop.

#3 Made Scissor Doors for our Caterpillar Tunnel

This can be seen in detail in our latest Youtube video HERE. As Cam and I were working on making the scissor doors we said multiple times, “I don’t know why we waited so long to do this!”

It was a pretty simple and straightforward process. I think it took us only an hour to get it up! 

The benefit of scissor doors over a framed out end of a tunnel is that the scissor doors can open very wide allowing for lots of ventilation and airflow during the summer. 

For a colder climate, this may not be necessary but where we are in Arkansas it gets so hot in summer! The more ventilation we can get in there, the better.  

In the winter the doors can be closed up tight. They have stood up so well against the wind here, I am very happy with them!

#4 Harvested the last of our food that was out and exposed. 

We were expecting 10ºF weather and only had a couple of cabbages left out without being covered. So we harvested those as well as some lettuce and radishes.

#5 Finished our Third Chicken Tractor

I’m so happy about this one and so are the chickens. Everytime we get another chicken tractor done, the chickens are able to spread out more and at the same time be very secure from aerial predators.

Added Compost to Fruit Plants and Trees

We have spent the last week or so really getting serious about adding mulch and compost on all the fruit plants. This is a project that is so nice to have done before it even gets close to warming up! Hopefully in a few months when we have a wood chippers we can add those to the top of the raspberries.

Well that is all I can think of for now! It’s been a productive couple of weeks, even with lots of cold weather and some snow and ice here and there. 

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Holly Whiteside January 15, 2022 - 4:30 pm

Hi Becky.
You and Cameron have already gotten much done in the new year! (By the way, my husband’s name is also Cameron!)
I have only recently found your blog and I’m excited about everything you have here. I have use of a farm and I’m a very good gardener, but live in a town on an ordinary lot and the farm is about a mile away. I have been gardening, canning, and preserving a lot of food and doing other DIY. I was wondering what state you are in or what grow zone? The photo of your farm looks very similar to the farm where I grow. Your cabbages are beautiful!

theseasonalhomestead January 15, 2022 - 4:44 pm

Hi Holly, that’s awesome what you are doing!! Thanks for your kind words too. We are in Arkansas Zone 6b.


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