It has been a busy three weeks around here, but we’re making progress. We finished building a gate in our fence that will allow us to move large things in an out of the backyard. The previous owner had tried to construct a 15 foot gate. He bought a bunch of expensive hardware that would have allowed the gate to slide from side to side, but he didn’t install all of it, and didn’t build the gate well at all. The neighbors tell us that it was forever blowing down – he had it propped up with 2x4s when we got here, and it wasn’t usable as a gate. It was so heavy that my husband and I could barely lift it. We took it apart and were able to salvage a lot of fence pickets from it to use in making a better gate. We spent about $150 on supplies, and now have two six foot gates that swing inward, giving us a 12 foot gate opening. We had to build a three foot section of fence to finish closing the gap that was there from the old fence. It took a few days, but we now have a solid, sturdy, functioning gate and fence. From the street you can’t even see that there is a gate at all – it just looks like fence. So we’re happy with that project.
We also built new compost bins from recycled pallets and wood. My husband found a place where they were giving away all sorts of good quality pallets, and he snagged a bunch. He built two good sized compost bins, and we’re working away at building up a supply of compost again. It will take a while to get back to what we had before we moved, but we’re on our way.
I’ve been scrubbing the basement floor, and have pretty much rid the house of the cat smell that was here when we arrived. Luckily the cat smell was really only in the basement, and the floors down there are all concrete, which is easy to clean. The stairs leading to the basement are carpeted, and the cat smell had made its way into the stairwell a bit. For several days, I used a spray bottle to spray white vinegar onto the stairs, and then just let it dry. This weekend we had a friend over and she said that she couldn’t smell anything at all (and she doesn’t have cats, so she’s a good judge). Is there anything vinegar can’t do?
I’ll leave you with a picture of our garden at the moment. It’s a bit on the small side for mid-July. We have cucumbers, watermelon, cilantro and lettuce in this tray, and we have another tray with equally small swiss chard. They better do some growing to make up for our late start! I worked the soil in two garden bed areas this weekend, and we’ll be adding compost (purchased, unfortunately) and getting our seedlings in the ground this week. We still have about three months left in the regular growing season, and by fall we should have a greenhouse set up so that we can extend the season.