Bridge Reconstruction Part 2

Part 2 of our bridge reconstruction involved finding the right lumber to support the traffic that will be crossing it for years to come. The old bridge was originally made of Ash beams laid across the gap. These were not skinned, and with the bark still on them had become a home for insects over the years to weaken them structurally. I was originally going to use Ash trees for the beams until I found some Oak that was perfect! After felling the trees, I dragged them to an area where I could work on them. Skinning the bark was a bit of a chore – I found an old ice chipper to use as a bark spud and removed the bark. Next step was to flatten the tops of them so that the boards will lay flat. For this step I used an flat adze and hewed down the top surface.

Stay tuned for more…

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Bridge Reconstruction – part 1

I have learned that life on a farm is somewhat unpredictable, and fate may throw you a curve ball without any warning…

Our old bridge has been the gateway from the front of our property to the back woods for years. It has stood strong for as long as I can remember – likely 30 years or more! Built from and old vehicle hoist and 4 large ash trees, it provided a passageway over the stream that runs though our land. I always held my breath as I passed over the old bridge, knowing that one day it would eventually fail as all things do. On the weekend we were driving the tractor back to the bush, and halfway over the old bridge we heard a loud crack. Two of the large trees that supported the bridge busted in half, as the tractor just made it across. Luckily no one was hurt, and we were able to get the tractor back across it.
Needless to say, it looks like I have a new project on my hands!

Yesterday I began dismantling the old timbers on what is part one of our bridge reconstruction.
Stay tuned for more …

working with, not against

Today was a great day for taking advantage of our frozen fields and retrieving some of next years firewood! The ground is still frozen, and the snow is not too deep, allowing for smooth passage across what will soon be a soggy field until summer hits. It is times like these that I realize how important it is to try and work using the weather to my advantage as a farmer. Today’s wood haul across the fields was very pleasant and plentiful compared to what it could have been if I waited until another day. I am learning that timing and observation are key elements to successful farming practices. – J

woods

brrrr! where did summer go?

It sure has gotten colder these days! Time to get all the wood split and stacked for the Winter months ahead… We’ve been preparing the garden soil for the upcoming months as well, by adding compost mulch. There was still plenty of food in the garden – we managed to take in our carrots, onions and potatoes for storage before Jack Frost  got them. I also got my Garlic all planted about a month ago, and just now can see that it has taken root as new shoots are poking up thru the soil. This weekend I mulched the Garlic plot with a thick layer of straw, and it will hopefully protect them until early Spring… time to put another log on the stove.. J

winters coming, lets cut wood!

wood splitting and cutting is probably my favorite activity hands down. don’t know why but I love it! Today I spent the afternoon splitting up some of the dry wood I had gathered from last year – The wood shed always reminds me of a real life jigsaw puzzle – I try to stack the pieces real tight! can’t get enough wood splitting!