Messy but we’re making progress

Between rain, our schedule, the concrete contract’s schedule – progress on the pond is quite slow. We are finally seeing the end of the tunnel for concrete work. It’s been very cold in North Carolina and this morning we were below freezing at 27°! Our concrete contractor did not want to pour today hoping the drier weather would create more favorable conditions. We just want to get it done and with our travel schedules – it had to be today.

Aside from some ruts in the ground, the floor of the equipment house and pergola footings were poured in the pond area without mishap. The equipment house will be fairly large but we think we are going to have to purchase another rotary drum filter. The one we have will fit but it might be a little tight. On Friday the partial concrete walls for the equipment house will go up and some more dirt will be backfilled to the side of the pond. It’s quite a messy area right now but in a year we should see something quite different.

We’re not quite sure what the equipment house will look like but we know in the pond area we’ll use cedar roofs, black trim, and shou sugi ban exterior pond walls. I have also been looking at different ways to create vertical gardens on the walls of our structures in the area to break up all the man-made elements. We will continue to add larger maples, maybe some cherry trees and more peonies. I’m looking forward to less of a construction zone view.

We decided to have a 12×30 concrete pad poured behind our barn. The pad looks good but we have a lot of ‘extra’ concrete. The concrete supplier mixed in some calcium to help set up the concrete in the cold weather. Must have got the recipe wrong because it was too hard and would not pour. The truck driver just dumped two yards on the ground so that he could get more concrete. Our contractor smoothed it to a rough road texture. A sort of bonus…

We continue to cut back undergrowth and take out the dead trees in our forests. Winter is one of the best times for this work because the prickly vines seem slightly less annoying. The lack of leaves allows us to find the dead trees more easily.

The chickens are supposed to be winter hardy but we added a little bit of PVC siding, insulation and hay bales to cut the wind into the coop area. Not a single egg from these 19-20 weeks old hens. Winter, shorter days, colder temperatures do affect egg laying but we were hoping for one or two by now. My hay farmer said to add red chili pepper flakes to their food. We let them free range a few hours each day. They enjoy puttering around but stay pretty close to the coop.

The koi are still indoors for Christmas 2022 but I don’t think they’ll mind. We have a very cold Christmas in the forecast before returning to more mild winter temperatures.

Another year on the farm with all sorts of projects and the never-ending pond work. I do have high hopes that pond builder will finish this koi pond in early 2023.