April status: infrastructure

There’s so much going on here, I’m just going to spend this week updating on-farm progress. We have decided we’re not coming to market this coming weekend, but will start May 1. First up: recent infrastructure projects, followed by what’s growing, animals, employee status, and preparing for market.

Getting a concrete slab poured in our pole ban was a big step forward. By the peak of market season, I expect to have a walk-in cooler built in the back corner with washing/prep stations set up along the slab. Produce will flow from either garden or field, with quick washing and handling on-site, into this central location where it can be sorted and stored in the cooler for market sales. I designed the slab in an L-shape, such that the truck can be backed in on a gravel pad (where the tractor currently is) and loaded/unloaded even in bad weather. As part of our recent water line extension, we ran water to this barn as well.
Fencing is an ongoing project. I was recently contacted by a reader who had noticed our mention of fencing plans, and offered to sell us the hundreds of used T-posts he’d been pulling out on his place. We love used stuff at used stuff prices, and jumped at it. All told, I’ll be getting around 300 posts which will go a long way toward establishing our pastures and fields. Below, the loaded truck delivering posts to our temporary orchard fencing, itself a significant project.

From the same source, we got a set of used aluminum field gates, just the sort of thing I’ve had an eye out for. These will save me building some wooden gates or using portable net gates. Very happy to have them. Thanks, Chris!

The main vegetable field fence needed work, and better gates. This has to be more secure than the pasture gates above, so I built new cedar-framed gates lined with welded wire fencing. These still need some diagonal bracing. We’re also installing fence extensions to raise the effective fence height above deer-jumping level.
I’ve been rebuilding the market garden fence as well, especially around the prep shed. Now that the shed is completed, we intend it to be integrated into the garden, and so needed to alter the fence to include it. I also wanted wider and more secure gates to make it easier to get carts and loads in and out. Those updates are well underway:

Other projects include setting out this year’s irrigation system, continuing to frame beds with cedar logs, levelling and clearing aisles between beds, building the walk-in cooler, and more.

3 thoughts on “April status: infrastructure

  1. Sorry to hear you won't be at the market this coming weekend, but I can see that you're putting the time to good use. By the way, I'll be at the market on 5-1, barring an unforeseen change in my schedule, so you can bring the beer bottles, if you remember, and I'll reuse them. Thanks.

  2. Hey Eric,Looking forward to seeing those fencing materials put to good use. I always enjoy your pictures of the farm. You have things looking great. Keep up the good work.Chris