It’s a beautiful sunny day out here at Maya Creek and it seemed like a nice time to update everyone on the goings on with it being Earth Day and all.
I’m a little surprised to report that it looks like we may have had our last spring frost on the average last frost date for the area(April 15). Given the erratic start to the year I’m not making any assumptions, but the weather has turned into really nice typical spring weather, sun interspersed with rain storms.
Many of the plants that were bashed by the large hail have bounced back, though the fruit trees may still be susceptible to disease from their wounds. Still, they’ve leafed out and are flowering beautifully.
The asparagus, which got set back slightly by the frost, is now back at good harvesting size. The spinach that miraculously over-wintered and then battered by hail is exploding and ready for copious salads which we’ve been gearing up for (we’ve been using mixing bowls for personal salad bowls).
Billy and I have spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks in the garden taking out the first wave of weeds and generally cleaning things up. I’ve pushed a bunch of brush back from the garden fence to stop plants from growing on it and through it into the garden. I also reinforced the fence with some more fence posts.
Anyway, they’re ready now, so come and get them! I can maybe drop them in CoMo too. If you’ve got more small pots laying around I’ll definitely take those. I’ve got quite a few gallon sizes ones already though.
The soil block experimentation continues. It turns out that the trays I planned to use to soak the blocks with are just a tiny bit too small. I’m now thinking that I’ll just build a large tray to hold a number of the smaller trays and line it with some old billboard vinyl to make it water proof. That way instead of taking out each tray and soaking it every day I can just pour some water in the one big tray and be done.
That aside, a number of the soil blocks have sprouted and though they’re a little behind where they’d ideally be since I started them a little late and didn’t keep them inside very much for germination, but they look healthy and had a good germination rate despite that.
Yesterday was the first day we’ve really worked on the solar hot water system in the last few weeks. Billy cut up the aluminum flashing and bashed the metal into a form to make the heat absorption fins. He also cut a number of thinner strips that go behind the copper tubing to help transfer the heat to the pipes and then to the water.
I attached the insulation to the back of the panel and got the copper manifold installed into the frame. I also soldered on a valve to empty the panel so I can drain it when frosts are eminent and it won’t burst the copper pipes. I also built the legs and attached the front ones. I left them loose so we can adjust them as we position it. The next step is going to be attaching the fins and painting it black. Then I’m going to stain the outside, attach the polycarbonate glazing, and we should be just about ready to roll it out!