Stay-at-Home in Little Siberia

Stay-at-home Minnesota started on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th). Like much of the country, we’ve been amusing ourselves by spending more time on hobbies.

The pond builder’s business is still up and running since we make soaps, detergents, an EPA registered disinfectant and now a FDA approved hand sanitizer. However he is working remotely most of the time so has been able to fit in a few pond projects.

March 29, 2020 finally pulled off the lower pond winter covers and it snowed the next day
I’ve been starting seeds indoors. Last year the pond builder helped me to create a cart with grow lights that works great for micro greens all year, the stray orchid and herbs.
The koi are pretty much oblivious to anything outside of their pool.
Finally, some spring time weather returns and I am able to take down all the winter supports and coverings. Most of the plants did well over the winter.
The pond builder built some cold frames for me. We usually have a dahlia garden here but this year we’re going to do vegetables. I read somewhere that whenever there’s a national crisis, vegetable gardens make a comeback.
The warming temperatures seem to make the koi a little more active and hungrier. Or maybe they have noticed that we are home more often and willing to throw food at them more frequently.
April 9, more snow
Spending hours on jigsaw puzzles…
spending time making cloth face coverings…
April 12, another round of snow
Snow has no effect on koi behavior. I’m training them to swim to the edge when we turn of the RDF. We are feeding with the RDF off because there is food slipping away.
Finally, we have a break in the weather. We use about 70 bags of cedar mulch to refresh our gardens.
In between work, snow and mulching – the pond builder cleaned up the ponds and started them up (without koi). He drains the pond, blows out the lines, cleans up the bottom drains and then refills.
He installed something new that he sourced through Koi Acres – a domestic water kit. It replaces the jet pump for cleaning the rotary drum filter. Since he removed a pump, we’re saving energy.
and signs that spring really has arrived…
Today, I restained wall sections, the footbridge and the equipment house roof. This year I stained all of them the same black color rather than gray shakes and black trim. I think it looks better. Tomorrow, I’ll tackle the lower pond elements.
things are growing in the cold frames
Ready for the koi..
The upper pond water is 58 degrees and the garage pool is 62 degrees. Since we’re always anxious to toss a few koi out, we picked two of our smallest koi. Rio is just over 20 inches and Sid is 17 inches. We let them acclimate in a floating bag a little longer than usual. Both koi are doing well.
Heading back to my cloth face covering assembly line.
…and my koi pals only care if I’m throwing some more JPD Fuyufuji to them.

anticipating more of the same for a few more weeks…