Friday, April 30, 2010

the other end

i worked on the other end of the barn yesterday. that big opening is where we will load hay.

i just have to build and install that door and finish a few trim spots and the upper section of the barn will be done.

the next big thing will be to start the rubble trench for the slip form foundation. between the slip form rock work and the wooden top will be cob. momentum has gripped our barn and it is exciting. building with that sycamore is heavy work. each piece weighs five time more than standard pine construction lumber. i am very sore today. i can't finish the door today it is supposed to rain and i need a break anyway.

the bamboo is really shooting up. we hope this entire half circle will be a huge hedge of bamboo. eventually i'll cut a cozy little hiding spot in the middle.

blocking our house from the road will be nice. the larger bamboo is loosing it's leaves and growing new. i didn't know it did that. i wonder if the existing stalks will get any thicker as a result? the new shoots are definitely thicker. it is magic to watch this stuff grow, so quick, almost startling.

the cow, jocelyn, was playing with astrid and hurt jack. he seems ok but that was a close call. he limped around late into the evening. the cow is moving paddocks today so this won't be able to happen for a while. maybe by then the puppies will be a little quicker and not so easily accidentally hurt.

ianto is almost twice the size of jack right now. jack had worms, obviously got them before he came here. we treat that stuff naturally. since ianto didn't have them jack will have some catching up to do. astrid loves her puppies. being a puppy still herself they are kinda like her siblings yet she also treats them like her babies. i am happy for them since they seem to have richer lives with each other.

jocelyn's mother is owned by our friends and she got snake bit recently. it is very sad and she is very sick. it is almost like having a relative get sick. she was part of our family for over a year. i hope she pulls out of it with her registered calf that she is carrying.

we didn't get any planting done yesterday like i wanted. the barn competes directly with any other item in my queue. it usually wins. i love spring. i could do without all the pollen this year but spring is a glorious time.

happy spring..


Ed said...

Due to the local cult where I live, we have a lot of straw bale construction which I've helped a friend or two build buildings with, mostly out buildings. I'm really interested in seeing your cob construction.

I've read that it is extremely hard to contain bamboo so that it doesn't take over everything, kind of like kudzoo. I've heard of people planting it outside but with "rat barrier" like concrete barriers surrounding the area. I assume there are lots of different kinds. What kind do you have? I've always wanted to plant some but have been worried about the invasiveness of it if planted next to a neighbor's property.

karl said...

ed, invasive is an understatement. we have a circle drive. it is planted in the "D" shaped area enclosed by our drive and the road. mowing will have to contain it if manages to cross our compacted driveway. if it invades further the cow can eat it. it is excellent forage for farm animals.

we have Phyllostachys atrovaginita bamboo. your neighbor will hate you if you plant this stuff near them.

Ed said...

Thanks Karl, I guess I'll just stick to my indoor variety for now until I am ready to be kicked out of town.

onesojourner said...

I have been growing Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo)since 2002. It surprises me every few years. It started out as a very little guy and now it will put up shoots that are over an inch in diameter. This last winter was the hardest winter it has been in. It usually keeps it leaves but they all turned brown after that really cold patch we had. They all fell off this spring. It seems to be doing fine though. it has almost double in size with all the new shoots this spring.

this is how big it was when I bought it.

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