Since harvesting and preserving slowed down, we seem to have entered the building season. We’ve got the build bug at the moment. And that is exciting. We built the compost bins in the Orchard Pen, which you can read about here. Then we began other things.
The first plant table for my nursery plants is complete. Instead of buying wire mesh to make a top for the metal-framed table, I came up with a free option. Good choice. I cut three lengths of timber to span along the top of the table and topped them with these strong plastic shelving pieces that we had sitting around. I may have snatched a few from the temporary shoe shelf that we had by the back door, but that’s ok. They ought to help with drainage. A bottom shelf was made with three lengths of timber and one support piece of timber on the ground through the middle. The Husband bolted all of these onto the edges of the metal frame for me. We had an extra metal framing piece that came with the table so I figured I might as well make that into a third shelf for the table. We sat it on top then I cable tied it down and stole most of the rest of the smaller square plastic temporary shoe shelf pieces to top it, which were also cable tied down. Now I have a three-storey plant table. And more urgent need of a shoe shelf.
I moved the pallets aside in my plant alcove and began cardboarding more of the ground. The cardboard will be covered with mulch when I make some more. I’m in the process of figuring out how to turn the huge wooden thing into my next planting table and I got The Husband to cut it in half for me as it was too heavy for one long table. The two table tops need legs and support pieces.
A narrower section that I had previously cut off the width of my long table top finally fulfilled the intention I’ve had for it for a while: a shoe shelf to go by the back door. This section was turned into the sides of the shelf and the rest of it was made from pieces of timber that we had lying around. It’s big enough for all our outdoor shoes and more. It is rustic, purposely rustic, and I’m very happy with my effort. I’m also very happy about having a proper place to put shoes. No more excuses for trip hazards by the door.
I don’t know if it was my building efforts that inspired him or what, but on Queen’s Birthday morning The Husband marched off into the outdoors and began to build something. I can take the credit for positioning the platform-like pallet at the desired site to be a floor and suggesting the project idea as something that The Husband could build, some time, but he really outdid himself. It was nice having productive family time outside. And now The Little Fulla has a playhouse, which he is extremely excited about.
At first, The Little Fulla thought The Husband was building a chicken tractor, because I’ve been making plans for one. When I told The Little Fulla it was for him, he called it his wood shed, by which he meant a storage shed made of wood. He set off putting a bunch of his outdoor things in there before it even had a roof. Yup, that’s my little homesteader! Once we put his little wooden table and chairs in there, he fully realised the value of his house and called it a camping cabin. The Husband has done an awesome job. He used pallets and sections of old fence that we had sitting around, plus some of the long pallet frame things we still had. The roof frame was covered in black plastic and sheets of corrugated iron from the old woodshed. The Little Fulla and I gathered and transported bricks over there and constructed a brick path between his vege garden and his cabin, borrowing some sand from his sandpit. It ain’t a fancy, painted, perfect playhouse, but it cost absolutely nothing! And I like its rustic look. It reminds me of an old mining hut, which I think is pretty exciting. If I’d done it it may have been finished a little differently, but it would have taken me weeks.
There are a few things left to do on it: bolting on the roof capping, tidying and filing the sharp edges of the roof and acquiring a window for the biggest window opening. The other two windows we’ll probably leave as they are. The Little Fulla and I also thought it would be cool to have guttering on one side and a little rain barrel for The Little Fulla to water his garden. It won’t collect much rain, but it will be fun and a good learning experience.
I am currently working on the two wooden plant tables for my nursery plants, but I got a bit sidetracked by another project. While I was inspecting and pulling out timber from behind the potting shed for various projects I found some that would be good for making raised beds. It’s a bit smaller, both in width and in depth, than the timber I use for the raised beds in the Vege Garden, so I thought I’d use it for something else. Waiting to be planted is a mandarin tree to go beside the deck to provide a little shade to the east side in the summer months. I chose the variety ‘Encore’ because it fruits at a different time to the usual winter-fruiting mandarins; the fruit can be harvested from November or December (late spring/ early summer) to February or March (late summer/ early autumn). Mandarins in summer would be awesome.
We all have the first of the winter ills now, so the building projects have slowed down, but we’ll get there.