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April 1, 2012

Truck drivin adventures

Filed under: farming,learning — npd @ 5:16 pm

Truck driversShortly after this photo was taken I ran the truck into my own car. Never having driven a 20′ box truck before I may have been out of my league being behind the wheel. Fortunately, at the moment when I was about to drive away in this thing, Ryan came by and offered to pilot it.

We were on our way to Locust, NJ, where Meg and I will move this summer to try our hand at farming. The girls at Domestic Construction had $10,000 in plexiglass in 4×10 frames painted in CMYK colors for some famous printer company’s promotion. It was destined for the scrap heap unless we could rescue it, so with plans of a colorful greenhouse in mind, we headed south.

tom with plexitom and ryan unloading trucktom with a black frame

walking on the dockI’d completely miscalculated the scale of this job- the truck was jammed full of wood, plexiglass, and other junk on top of it. We pulled everything out, stacked it in the garage and put the extra under a tarp outside the garage. Tom and Ryan were both great sports about it. I’d toldTom earlier on the phone that this would only be a 30-minute job. Clearly I had no idea. All told, it probably took us 2 hours to unload the truck, plus travel time. Along the way, the guys pointed out all the great thins about the area I’ll soon be moving to- mostly strip clubs, liquor stores, and bait-and-tackle shops, with lots of ice cream stands along the road. I’m sure we can find some hidden gems here, at least with the ice cream.

after loading in- garage closed I really hope I didn’t use up too many favors with this job- because it’s only the beginning of our farm adventure, and I know that Meg and I will need all the help we can get from our friends to make it work.

March 25, 2012

Building a nuc at Hayseed’s

Filed under: beekeeping,learning — npd @ 11:04 am

building a nucleus hive for Hayseed’s Whenever I have to break out even the simplest of tools, I feel like I’m in over my head. Whether it’s racking servers, fixing a loose bicycle wheel, or build a compost bin, I start to wonder if there are skills that I just never picked up from my father (if he even had them). It’s a frustrating situation- I need to drill 5 holes, evenly spaced, on each side of 4 boards, and I can’t even remember how to calculate the distance between each hole. I take shortcuts and as a result, things end up kind of sloppy. In the end, all the pieces fit together and I’m sure this will be a perfectly adequate demo unit for the shop.

This nucleus hive (used for transporting or capturing swarms, splitting a hive off to a friend, etc) took about 90 minutes to assemble. Someone better endowed than I could have done it in 60, I suspect. I learned a few important things here: even being able to follow along with the build diagram felt like a success. Oof. I have got a lot of work to do!

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