Hunny-Bunny Happenings Week of April 27, 2014
This week at Hunny-Bunny Farm was a combination of seasonal busyness and R&R. It seems that the stomach virus that was going about throughout April finally caught up with me in the last days of the month. I was down for the count for 2 days and still have not fully recuperated. However, spring is probably the busiest season of the year followed by fall. So this week I continued to work my way through my To-Do List, most especially many items so-long listed that they were growing whiskers. These were mainly jobs from winter indoor and some fall outdoor activities that needed to get done before the garden season, so taking advantage of the rainy weather this week and also my forced R&R due to the virus. I accomplished quite a bit.
First I was able to do a little spring cleaning of the greenhouse, this included trimming and feeding the plants within. I also topped off many of the pots with extra soil as they have compacted during the winter season. Meantime, I came across a great deal on started vegetable plants from a local grocery chain and locally grown. The plants were all about six inches high, green and vigorous and cost only 99¢… yes, just 99¢! Wow, I couldn’t grow them for that price. Meantime, I also started some seedlings just to ensure I had enough plants. Most of these seedlings were from my own saved-seeds from the Hunny-Bunny garden seasons of 2012 and 2013. This past week I also gave the lawn a first mowing. At this time of year the lawn grows intermittently with clumps here and there that are 6 – 8 inches tall and many just 3 inches tall. This mowing is to get the lawn a uniform size. Additionally, it is to clean and chop up remaining leaves and small innumerable twigs left from winter windfalls. The next mowing, most especially after the rains this week, will be in earnest. BTW, many years ago I noticed that the natural rain water has a beneficial effect on the growth of all plants; lawn, flower, and vegetable. I believe this is for some obvious reasons, but also I believe the acid rain also has benefits… of course, don’t tell Al Gore about this. Acid rain, contrary to pop-science is a natural occurrence. The soil is generally alkali due to mineral content and the acid rain neutralizes this for the benefits of not just flora but also for the rivers and lakes.
Finally, I took advantage of the favorable weather to, at last, make an end to the problem of flagging scanner antenna on the roof. While the mast has been up there for more than twenty-five years I’ve had to replace the chimney mounts due to flimsy design and workmanship. This was the second or even third time I had to do this, because what is offered in the American market is planned to quickly wear so there is need to buy mounts once again. I did research online and discovered there are alternatives to the stainless steel bands that stretch and twist within a short time of installation. Additionally, the ratchets that control these bands rust-freeze within months precluding tightening and so over time the mast has dropped from a right angle of 90⁰ to about a 10⁰ to 12⁰ angle. Over the years I’ve jury-rigged various ropes, wedges, and bungee rigs to support it with very limited success.
So the mast has set at a 10⁰ angle for the last few years until I could purchase something better. Unfortunately, there is nothing better than the standard chimney mounts for the American market and I refused to purchase yet a fourth set of this. I guess you might say I wouldn’t touch them again with a 10’ pole, or in this case a 20’ mast. To remedy the situation I designed, engineer, and built a system of angle-iron brackets with a combination of 1/8” airline cabling to form a strong and rigid support for the twenty foot mast. The initial installation was rather tedious as I was working alone and had to reach around a wide chimney, that is, about 12 linear feet; so when the bracket was in place it was easy to adjust tension and stand the mast in the most efficient 90⁰ angle, that is, completely vertical. In checking the scanner the range has increased phenomenally and I pleased my 4 and ½ hours on the roof have paid off. Below are some before and after pics.
This upcoming week promises to be equally busy as cultivating between the garden rows to keep weeds under control needs be done, as well as, turning over the Three Sister’s Garden in preparation for planting later this month. I will also be planting some of the cold weather seedlings to jump start the season. Additionally, I will add some mineral and nutrients to the various gardens. For the rainy days of next week I will be continuing the tune-up of the 2-cycle machines, that is, the chainsaws and weed-whackers. I also want to revive the strawberry bed but the 25 plant packet is very, very difficult to find nowadays, most especially at cheap prices.
The most labor intensive job of the upcoming week will be digging under the cement pool decking to add cement and some scissor jacks to boost up the now aging under supports. This is a delicate job because too much lift will distort the wall of the pool and pop the coping and liner. Too little and it is a waste of time and effort. Over the past two years I’ve done this to other sections of this decking and it worked quite well. Right now I’m trying to save this pool with spit and glue as to replace it would be thousands of dollars. It is an old pool; to show you how old it is the model, when new, was called the Johnny Weissmuller. How many today would know who Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller was? Meantime, I am trying to squeeze as much time out of this pool that is essentially on life-support. Wish me luck.
So that raps up this edition of Hunny-Bunny updates. Please continue to pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart; with the Ukraine and other trouble spots globally we are sitting on a powder keg and need Divine help.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.