Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bees and Playin' with the machine!

Saturday Barbara and I put four of the hives up at the new place.  Within about 10 minutes the little girls were bringing in pollen, I think they will be happy up there.  Once you get to looking around you realize how many nectar and pollen sources are within their flight area.  We have about half an acre of blackberries on the north side of the place, there are a lot of big leaf maples close by, lots of dandelions and other field flowers, and a fair number of fruit trees.  A few of the little girls got very protective of their new home right away and me, being the dumb ass that I am, didn't have my protective gear on.  It was amazing how fast I looked like I had gained about 100 pounds in my neck where I got stung.  I did fare better than the bees did though.

I figured that I had better get the goat locker/sheep shed/dog house/chicken coop up pretty soon since Barbara already bought the goats and the dog.  She actually bought them before the offer on the property was accepted, I guess she was pretty set on getting out of Barney Lake.  The original reason that she decided to move was because the fine city farters (not a typo) came to the conclusion that chickens are the source of all evil in the universe and have said we have to get the flock out of here.  Besides being a very business unfriendly town, unless you are Wallmart or are a silly council member, Barney Lake is doing just exactly the opposite of what every real town in the country is doing regarding sustainable living.  Even in Seattle our lot would be able to have a dozen hens and three goats.  To misquote the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles:  "They are common folk, the salt of the earth, you know - morons."

I got to use my new PhD to dig the holes for the six 6x6 posts that make up the supports for the pole building.  King County actually used some common sense regarding agricultural out buildings, you don't need a permit for a building that is 200 square feet of floor space.  This is perfect for the multi-species condo.  Chickens, dogs, and goats sleeping together, I think that is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.  Well they won't exactly be sleeping together, one end is the coop and the other end will house the dog and his bovidaen buddies.  It is tall enough to get the tractor in to clean the place and I think it will be large enough to store goat stuff.

I don't know if you know this or not but a tractor mounted post hole digger is one of the coolest things on earth if you have to dig a post hole.  I was able to dig those six four foot deep 9" holes in an hour or so.  I can't even remember what it was like digging holes by hand, I know that I did to set telephone poles but I'm pretty sure that the nine rings of hell were hand dug with a long handled shovel and a western spoon

Gene Morris came out to look at the site so that he and Barbara can start on the house design.  It sounds like Barbara wants Gene to design something along the lines of a long house where the kitchen is part of the living area.  Since cooking and wine is so much a part of how Barbara entertains, and she seems to like watching me do my scullery duties, that will work out pretty well.  I still need to get an area set up for my quarters in the barn, it already has a wood stove but no plumbing yet.  No not the goat locker barn, the big one with the tractor and my tools.

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