The Weekly Digs #79

by Becky

We’ve had a little extra stress on our shoulders these past few weeks ever since our home builder sent us an article about lumber prices skyrocketing. He was getting ready to buy lumber for our framing but warned us prices are double to triple what they were a few months ago.

Cam and I talked about options since this takes a large portion on the home building budget. We could either pay more or we could wait until prices came back down. We also talked about possibly doing steel framing.

Two to three times more than our original framing budget cost amounted to a $60,000 difference, which is definitely a big enough jump that we decided we should wait and pray that the prices drop.

A harvest from this week

We did pray. The thought of waiting many months just to start framing was enough to made tensions high and our mood and excitement was way down. 

It also didn’t really help that friends were mentioning news articles they had seen where the prices were expected to only going to go UP for lumber.

Our builder decided to get a quote from a few of his normal lumberyards and Cameron heard from a friend of another place where we also got a quote. After weeks of worrying and waiting one quote came back thirty thousand more than budgeted and the other was eight thousand more than budgeted.

Even though it was still more than our budget, it was not nearly as much as we had thought it would be. You can imagine our relief!

The most expensive part is the sheet lumber and that is done after the stick framing is finished. We talked with our builder put in an order for the stick lumber and decided to wait on ordering the sheet lumber in hopes the price will come down.

Our lumber came in, and the framing has started! Wahoo!

My goal in the garden this week was to get a cover crop of peas and oats in before we left on a two-day vacation.  I have been clearing out pumpkins, watermelon, and winter squash from this area for weeks. I finally pulled the plants and had Cameron burn some of the squash bug infested and powdery mildew diseased plants.

By Saturday we had most of the plants out and pulled the leftover weeds.  It was just about prepped on Saturday evening.  After homeschooling Monday morning, we set out to the garden.

The kids worked on duct taping squash bugs off our cucumbers because all the squash bugs migrated over there after the pumpkins and winter squash disappeared.

Meanwhile, I started getting the area for cover crop ready to plant by raking off mulch, mixing the peas and oats with a seed inoculant (beneficial bacteria which helps the peas fix more nitrogen in the soil), and making shallow furrows for the seeds.

All those things took a few hours. Then we planted, covered the seeds with dirt, watered by hand (this entails three trips to the creek to fill water and then taking it down each row with the watering can), and finally covered everything with burlap strips.

After looking at those seeds, I thought it looked just like bird food and decided to play it safe and cover the area until they sprout.  The birds were crazy with eating the corn seeds and I didn’t want to risk it again.

Side note: We’ve discovered a new pest in the garden- MICE! It is the first time I’ve seen them since being in Arkansas 11 years. I didn’t think they were a pest here but apparently I was wrong.  Hopefully the mice won’t eat all the seeds under the burlap.

We spent from 10am- 6pm finishing at the garden. The original plan was to finish by 2pm and go back home to get ready for our trip but that was wishful thinking. I was very proud of the kids for working so hard to help. They each took a turn helping so the job would go faster.

We rushed home, packed, ate, and left for our Kansas City trip at 8pm. It was an exhausting day but I was glad that I was able to check off planting cover crop to-do from my list! 

I won’t say much from our trip on this blog other than some food related irony I found humorous.

So we went to the Kansas City Zoo and planned to stay the whole day there to look at the animals. We are learning about mammals for homeschool so it was a great educational experience.

I should have pre-planned to bring some food for lunch but in our rush to leave the night before all I brought was some sourdough bread. So I thought we would splurge and eat in the park for lunch.

Around lunchtime at the zoo, we checked and they had two different restaurants on site. I couldn’t believe it but they served the exact same thing, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and French fries.

I eat out less than once a month so I am not accustomed to fast food. We walked in there and hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, mac n’ cheese, and French fries was literally all they had to eat.

As I walked through the line I watched them make my chicken sandwich. It had a white bread bun, American cheese, and chicken breast.  Cam was next to me and he was like, “Do you have any lettuce?” The lady said, no lettuce. I looked for any vegetables or a salad to have with it. There was no vegetables to be found save a few sliced neon green dill pickles.

The food was completely processed and overpriced and after one bite of the cardboard sandwich, I swallowed. It was awful. I was very hungry so I endured about half the sandwich before I couldn’t eat another bite. My kids also agreed, the food was bad and they aren’t picky so it really was bad!

We proceeded to visit other animal exhibits and I started to get jealous. Fresh vegetables were all over the floor for the animals to eat. There was lettuce, carrots, peppers, avocados, and all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Oh the irony! The animals were eating better than the humans. Cam and I joked that we found out were all the lettuce went.

We took a few picture of the garden from above! The garden is looking overgrown and a little weedy. But thankfully, It doesn’t quite so bad from above 🙂

Next year and perhaps a couple times this winter, I will share progress pictures from the same view point. It can only get better from this point on.

In the garden:

  • We are harvesting tomatoes, although they are just about finished.
  • We are also harvesting arugula, peppers, turnip green thinnings, and cow peas.
  • As I mentioned above, we planted a cover crop of peas and oats in three rows.

In the kitchen:

  • Dehydrated tomatoes
  • Make 7 quarts of whole tomatoes

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1 comment

Jasmine September 30, 2020 - 1:15 am

Lookin’ amazing! Really dig-ging your site!

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