We must thank Danielle and Justin for taking care of the farm which allowed Carl and I to visit his mother. This is the first time, in over 10 years, that Carl and I left the farm together for an entire week. Having a farm with livestock and pets can tie one down to the farm, because these critters need daily care, so for that one of us has always stayed on the farm while the other visited family.
You might think from our journal entries that Carl and Julie have gone into hibernation with Danielle and Justin are doing all the work. It is pretty much true. Carl and Julie have been spending a lot of time in the forest, mostly because Danielle and Justin have been keeping projects going down in the valley, those projects being: renovating the propagation greenhouse, weeding strawberries, organizing/cleaning the equipment barn space and building a greenhouse. It is incredible how much we are accomplishing this winter, mostly because winter never arrived until February 11th, and we are pleased to finally have a little winter that hopefully kills off a few bugs.
The past couple weeks Danielle and Justin are spearheading Project Greenhouse #6, our final greenhouse, and I must confess that the greenhouse frame has been lying in the weeds for about eight years. This project has been on the back-burner while a french drain was installed along the greenhouse pad to capture water from a spring we encountered when leveling the pad. We are hoping (Say your prayers!) that we have captured all the water and re-routed it away from the greenhouse pad.
Carl first showed Danielle and Justin how one squares a building site (in our case a greenhouse), then how to install a batter board for each corner of the building, finally using the laser level to set the strings at the right height so our corner posts are all level with each other before they are concreted. Many farmers’ don’t concrete their posts, but we think that the concrete adds extra strength, mostly keeping the structure from collapsing during winter snowstorms. Once one learns how to square a pad, this technique can be used for building a house, barn or anything for that matter. Click here for a video in regards to setting up batter boards. We have built a lot of batter boards here on the farm; a set for each of our 6 greenhouses, for our equipment barn/packing building, for the wood shed, and probably for a few projects I am leaving out.You might consider reading this article for more details in setting up batter boards. I think this is one job that is more easily learned during an apprenticeship because I think it would be difficult to comprehend from reading in books. Here is another article that may be worth your time to read.