Sunday, June 27, 2010
Welcome to Market Week here at OPOD, where we are going to explore how people used to buy food before places like Walmart moved in. Regrettably, I must inform you that I HATE shopping at Walmart. The people working their are not helpful, it is hard to find things, and much of what they sell is made in China. So, lets role the calendar back and look at this picture of a Farmer's Market. The guy growing the food is the same guy selling the food. No middlemen. Farmer's Markets still exist in many communities today, and I really like shopping at them . . . nice friendly people, who take great pride in their product. Great food, great prices, and friendly people . . . remind me why we buy our vegetables at Walmart?
OK, it has been a busy week around the old homestead. Many of you suspected that I gave an easy mystery person contest yesterday so I could get out and work on the greenhouse. Well, I guess I am busted on that one. The thing is that the temperatures here during the day are over 100 degrees, so I like to get out there and get going before it gets too hot.
Most of last week was spent getting things ordered and lined up for the construction project. I decided that in addition to the gas fired furnace, I would put radiant heat in the floor of the greenhouse. It actually does not cost that much to get the tubing and stuff that goes into the slab. If you don't put the tubes in when making the slab, then you really can not add it later. The other thing is that with the tubes in the slab, then next summer I can think about installing passive solar water heating, so you would be heating the greenhouse with hot water from the sun.
I did make progress on the construction as well. Below, you can see I am building the forms for the slab on my front porch. So far, no complaints from Mrs. PJM about the mess . . . I think she is pleased to see progress being made.
The long boards will be the forms for the concrete slab. The steel pipes are connected to the forms, and are the anchors that the greenhouse arches will connect to. The anchors have to be connected to the forms exactly plumb, level, and square. Since the plexiglass sheets are an exact size, the greenhouse arches have to be extremely precisely positioned, or the plexiglass won't fit. So, getting these anchors connected accurately is very important. The blue material is Dow Blueboard, which will go underneath the slab, and insulate the underside of the greenhouse.
I also made progress on the building site. The picture below shows the caliche pad. Since I live on a hill, the ground is not flat, and the caliche pad provides a flat, level space to build on.
You can see that I have the Batter Boards and strings run marking the location where the concrete forms need to be. Also, I have little flags marking where the holes for the ground stakes need to be drilled. Drilling the holes will be hard, since we live on a rock. I have a water drilling rig lined up, and they will come and drill the holes next week. The holes have to be 12 inches across, and at least 36 inches deep. Then, I have the concrete guy lined up to come and pour the slab, once the holes are drilled.
Also, some developments out in Chickie Town. I had mentioned one of the peacocks was sick last week, and the other female had a nest of eggs. Well, this week I find that the sick peacock is feeling a little better, and in fact has her own nest going. She started sitting on the eggs about a week later than the first one. So, we have two babies already hatched, and 8 more eggs being set on. Looks like we are going to have lots of peacocks. I really like the peacocks, and I enjoy the loud calling noises they make.