Newsletter May 2012.
Dear Sea gypsies
Spring has come to the farm! And then came summer, and then a few
blustery days of fall, and finally last Friday and Saturday it snowed
again. But that will be the last snow of the year, we hope - the mild
seems to have returned, the trees are leafing out, the
wildflowers are springing up around the river, the bees and the
neighbors have come out of hibernation (again), and we are hard at
This week we mixed a few tons of lovely manure compost into the soil
of the north field, and planted eleven rows of potatoes - by hand -
which should give us about 300 kilos of potatoes in the fall to feed
hungry sea-gypsies all next winter. Next week we'll plant carrots and
onions, and move some tender
warm-weather starts to our new greenhouse
- radishes, bok choi, spinach, parsley, beets, and sugar peas so tall,
they might start climbing us if we don't get them out of the kitchen
Work on the boat has really picked up recently. We've been distracted
with planting, and replumbing the bathroom, and building coldframes
and the new greenhouse - but now that the potatoes are in the ground
and the sea-gypsies are in the bath (phew), we are back in the
boatshed all the time. Our resident woodworker is about to start work
on a wooden dinghy
from a traditional Norwegian design, just as soon
as he gets the greenhouse finished. And we cast two tons of lead
ballast, a very medieval process involving a wood-fired furnace in the
yard. The boat will eventually carry five tons, so there is more
casting to do as soon as the scrap yard has more lead for us.
Inside the boat we're sealing off the keel
plates - the
bow is nearly done, and then we can put in the last of the bow ribs.
In the stern, we're wrestling with engine
placement - it needs to be
high enough to fit the cooling
system and the primary diesel
underneath, but low enough that the propeller
clears the stern.
Hmmmmm. Fortunately there's plenty to do while we're thinking about
it - like put on the deck! The boat will start looking dramatically
different very soon and we're all pretty excited.
As always, there's room for more in our big sea-gypsy tribe - so if
you like planting, weeding, shoveling, soldering, sawing, nailing,
welding, grinding, sewing, cooking
, drilling, knitting, routering,
getting headbutted by chickens, watching 2-hour sunsets, measuring,
cutting, re-measuring, thinking, re-re-measuring, making bread,
reading sea books
, eating waffles or knot-tying, drop us a line!
Picture from last weeks.
a: Sea gypsy
girl making psykedelic chair-protection for the chairs.
b: Shaping wood with router
d: lead melting girl finished melting 2 tonns in one week.