Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hole in our house!

Well, we've started on the next big house project - which is knocking a hole into the side of our house so that we can install a patio door, which will lead to our deck - which will be built next week! Spencer's mom Nancy & Stepdad Garth came from Denver to help us with both projects. Today, the hottest day of the summer, we made it home from the farm at a record 3pm, took several cold showers to cool off, sealed the room off from the rest of the house, then Spencer geared up, wielded the sledgehammer, and away we went!
Our door arrives!
Garth & Spencer starting to remove the window.

Spencer getting geared up for asbestos potential in the wall.
The first swing!
The hole is getting bigger.
There is no going back now!
Turns out it's pretty easy to punch a hole in the wall!
Cleaning up chunks of wall.
TA DA! Here is the wall without the plaster. Next, we will remove the window, mark out where the door will go, insert it, then finish the wall! More pictures as the plan evolves!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

10th Anniversary!

Well, it was our 10th wedding anniversary recently, and we boldly decided to take a vacation in the middle of our busy farming season to celebrate! We decided to head home to Colorado and do some hiking with our good friend Art Escobado, who is an avid landscape photographer. Our destination? A 5-day backpacking trip to The Super Mountains - Maroon Bells - near Aspen. We had a fabulous time with lots of hiking, camp cooking and photo-taking. Mr. Smeems even enjoyed it! Of course, he had his nifty backpack to store all his chow in, so he was looking dapper. We hit a snow storm for 2 days, so we mostly built a fire those days, and the other days we hiked around and Art took pictures. Here's some select gems to chew on. Enjoy!

Ready to go!

Art & Spencer

Looking back at Maroon Lake

The little trooper!

Getting chilly!!

Such a nce landscape to walk through! We are at about 11,000 feet here.

An alpine strawberry field.

We set up camp and Mara spends a lot of time building this great fire ring!

We made good use of it during our 2-day snowstorm!

Spencer playing in the snow.
Some awesome lichens.

It warms up, and Mara & Spencer & Smeems go for a side-hike to Buckskin Pass while Art traipses about with his camera.

We love being so high up in the mountains!
This is on the side of North Maroon Peak

We hiked down and arrived on the 5th day all in one piece! It was a great trip!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tomatoes are in!

I love this picture of Spencer and Mies (pron. Meese), a friend dachshund that visits the market. Well, we worked really to get all our long-term crops in; tomatoes, peppers and eggplant - as well as the trellis system we engineer every year. We had 2 days from 6 am to 9 pm, and a couple other 10 hour days. Thankfully, it's all done, and now they can start growing! This is a huge annual milestone, and it feels good to be over that hump. Here's some pictures to show you what we've been doing:

Preparing the swale field - the last disking before laying the mulch.

Looking good - ready to lay mulch!

Thanks to technology - we used a mulch layer to lay out our biodegradable plastic mulch this year. This was a HUGE improvement over past years when we did it by hand. This would usually take us 45 minutes a bed. To do all 13 rows - 2 hours!

Spence up on the hay rick that housed our hay for mulching all winter.

Mr. Smeems needed to get in on the action and practice mountain-climbing for our up-coming trip to the Rockies.

I always feel strong when I carry bales of hay like this!!!

Mulching the paths to keep down weeds....

Installing huge guy-wire and 2x4 fence-post tomato trellis system!

Getting everyone in place....

Staying late at the farm stringing the tomato trellis...

Eggplants and peppers are in!

Mara planting the last field tomato - number 500 ish!

Can't forget the hoophouse tomatoes, too!

Spencer planting the last hoophouse tomato - number 500 ish! Total tomatoes at Half Pint Farm this year - around 1000! About double last year. I think we may be crazy.

Many people ask us what Mr. Smeems does at the farm all day. Here's a nice photo montage about a typical Mr. S day.

Investigating the hay rick...

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Coming next - pictures of our trip to Colorado, boldly taken at the beginning of the season; well - people do crazy things for their 10th wedding anniversaries!