ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/12/22 5:41 p.m.

Another week down.

The -35c at night and -27c in the day has abated, it's a more reasonable -10c outside right now.

The cold killed the potted herbs we were took to last weeks market. The 50 foot walk from the greenhouse to the cab of the truck in -30 killed 90% of them off, the rest just look awful.

We had a great market on Saturday, at a United church in Saskatoon. Nearly $500 in sales. Everything on the table was selling. Shirts, toques and scarves, decals, soap, etc. We sold a least on of each kind of item we brought. We made sure to tell the organisers that we will be attending this event next year.

Wife unit has finished setting up her studio, she's making stained glass items now as well. I'm trying to find a used ceramics kiln for a reasonable price so she can do her fused glass items at home as well.

I'm trying a bit of hydroponic lettuce in a DWC system in the grow shed, hope to have some results, good or bad in a month or so.

I've tidied up the workshop that was built inside the quonset so I can start insulating and finish the space. We're going to move the wood shop in there since the barn has proven that it's not remotely weather tight. There's show on all my machinery.

Whoever built things around here was a bit of a scavenger. What I thought was a nice big sub-panel full of circuits I could use in the work shop is actually a three-phase panel that someone has wired to single phase power so a third of the breakers don't function. There is an electric heater which appears to be single phase 220 but has three wires coming out of it (white black and red) which are wired to a triple gang breaker in the panel but that makes no sense because there's no third leg to power it. If it's a 220v single phase unit then it should only have two hots and a ground and that would make sense because it's working fine. If it has a neutral, which it shouldn't, then the idiot has wired the neutral to the non functioning breaker in the trio that would normally have gone to the third leg and the heater is somehow finding a neutral so that it works. I've shut everything in there off until I can get back to it and figure out what he's done. It would be a shame if I can't use the panel because there's probably $500 worth of breakers in it. I'll install a new sub-panel if I need to, I'd just rather use what I have.

We don't have three-phase to the property so it's not like I could use it anywhere else either.

I'll post up pictures later but the structure actually has some potential, he hasn't screwed it up too badly. It's framed with 2x8 walls that are around 10' high. Once I insulate it, finish the walls and put proper doors on it, it should be a toasty little shop.

We're trying to get together with the family for Christmas but it probably won't happen.
 

Almost forgot. 

Got my first pair of progressive lenses the other day.

I'm officially old.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/12/22 7:16 p.m.

Tree is up!

Our apprentice taught the wife unit how to weld a couple years ago (I couldn't teach her, if you're married, you understand). She made this.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
12/13/22 8:11 a.m.
ShawnG said:

Our apprentice taught the wife unit how to weld a couple years ago (I couldn't teach her, if you're married, you understand). She made this.

Oh boy do I ever...  Wife had to learn stick from my mother.  I had to sleep on the couch for a night. 

 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
12/13/22 9:56 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

If you have to replace the panel, make sure you buy one the breakers you have will fit. Then you only have to buy double pole breakers instead of all of them.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/13/22 10:47 a.m.
Toyman! said:

In reply to ShawnG :

If you have to replace the panel, make sure you buy one the breakers you have will fit. Then you only have to buy double pole breakers instead of all of them.

 

They're old enough to be screw-in breakers. Not sure I can get a new panel to match.

I can probably sell it for a few bucks on Marketplace.

My house has a Federal panel and I have spares for it, the new panel in the grow shed is a Sylvania. Those two seem to be the most common around here so whatever one I end up using will be the same as what I have already.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/13/22 11:49 a.m.

Screw-on breakers are typical for commercial type panels. Push-on for residential.

I've actually seen 3 phase panels wired up as single phase (2 pole) in commercial/industrial applications.  "Why is every 3rd slot open...?" (pull the cover off the panel) "...ah... that's why..."  Then I'll go upstream and find a 480V to 240V transformer.  Usually it's because they have a particular piece of equipment that wants 220V or 240V and won't run consistently on 208V.  A lot of "why didn't they...." questions, but it is what it is... 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/13/22 12:05 p.m.
ShawnG said:

They're old enough to be screw-in breakers.

How many ShawnG's does it take to screw in a breaker?

One, but he's gotta be real small!

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/13/22 1:04 p.m.

I dont know if this is of interest but my neighbor is retiring and selling his antique coffee roaster. He has made a very nice living roasting for small boutique stores and cafes and the neighborhood in general. I am a little crushed because I will never find cofffee that good again. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/13/22 1:09 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I may do just that. It's a big panel, I can afford to lose a third of it. 

 

Ripper shank for the garden tractor showed up today. Have to wait for spring to see if it works.

It will work on both tractors since my bale spear has a 2" receiver but a 40hp tractor might just break this thing if it hits a rock.

If it feels sketchy behind the big tractor, there's an old 16' chisel plow in the field that I can just pull a couple shanks off of and build something instead.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/13/22 2:10 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

I dont know if this is of interest but my neighbor is retiring and selling his antique coffee roaster. He has made a very nice living roasting for small boutique stores and cafes and the neighborhood in general. I am a little crushed because I will never find cofffee that good again. 

you could buy his roaster and have all that delicious coffee to yourself.  mwahahahahah

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/13/22 3:15 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

I dont know if this is of interest but my neighbor is retiring and selling his antique coffee roaster. He has made a very nice living roasting for small boutique stores and cafes and the neighborhood in general. I am a little crushed because I will never find cofffee that good again. 

you could buy his roaster and have all that delicious coffee to yourself.  mwahahahahah

my wife is considering it.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/13/22 3:49 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Well, I won't say you should.  I'm near certain it won't pass an electrical inspection (don't have my book handy to check).  But I've seen a lot of commercial facilities that were filled with Code violations.  I was usually there to correct them - or more accurately, provide design drawings to correct them. Sometimes the clients would spend the money... 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/18/22 12:17 p.m.

Ready for minus 50 next week?

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/18/22 12:23 p.m.

Lol. Should only be -35.

I missed the post about the coffee roaster. Probably not something I'd be interested in but I appreciate the thought.

Not much around here seems to be done to code. I'm more concerned about being safe and not burning the place down.

I spent a couple hours in the basement the other day, replacing a run of BX that was old enough to be aluminum conductors with no ground.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/21/22 8:00 p.m.

We had our last market of the season on the weekend, It sucked but not a total bust, we made enough to cover our table fee. Talked to a lot of people, got some custom orders and spoke with a few other farmers there. I think I have a good contact for someone who can help us with organic certification.

Got a call from the lawyer on Monday, they've finally got things sorted out with my father's bank and apparently they now say that I don't need a grant of probate to distribute the estate after all. Just waiting to get his tax return out of the way and then that can happen.

Our tractor dealer invited us to their customer appreciation day on Tuesday so we went down and stuffed ourselves on free perogies and sausage. I stopped at the irrigation supplier on the way back and it looks like they can set us up with everything we need this spring. Just need to send them some drawings of what I'm planning to do.

Got our shelter belt tree order in today. I've got some Scotch pines coming to make a wind break by the barn, some willows that we're going to plant in a soggy area of one of the pastures to see if we can dry it out a bit and make some shade for the horses. Some raspberries and Saskatoon berries are ordered to get a start on our orchard as well.

The neighbours are having an auction in the spring and there's some stuff I'm hoping to bid on, a water tank for irrigation, a couple slip tanks for diesel fuel, a 1950s GMC 3/4 ton and an old backhoe just to play with.

It was -35c the other day. Colder than the North Pole.

It's -28c outside right now, good time to be inside doing paperwork.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/21/22 10:19 p.m.

Whats the name of the irrigation company? Southern?

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/21/22 11:07 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

That's them. 

They just opened a location out here. 

The staff are all transplants from the Chilliwack location. We were having a bit of a chuckle about the weather in the lower mainland right now.

Thanks for that pump by the way, we're going to put it to good use somewhere. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/23/22 11:09 a.m.

Finally got the last bits together for the wife unit to start doing stained glass work.

We both took a course last year and really enjoyed it 

She presented me with this yesterday. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/23/22 1:55 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

I know a lot of them. All one family. Tell the manager Jeff Martin said hi.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/23/22 2:08 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

I'll do that. 

Gord was the guy I spoke to but everyone there was super friendly and very helpful. 

grover
grover Dork
12/23/22 9:50 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Beautiful. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
1/3/23 4:57 p.m.

Update time!

Had a nice, quiet Christmas and New Years. Went to a party in town with some of the neighbours. Met a few nice folks and had a good time.

We've had about a week with no snow, the sun has been shining and it's beautiful outside. 

I got a call from the tractor dealer on Friday, our backhoe attachment is ready to be picked up. Its about 4 months ahead of schedule but I'm glad, gives me time to get it sorted out before spring comes.

I got the tractor out this morning and dug out the trailer, then hooked up to it and dragged it out of the snowbank. Everyone should have a tractor, you wouldn't believe how handy they are. Will be going to pick up the backhoe on Friday, then I need to figure out where I'm putting it.

I think I'm going to buy a couple bucket hooks for the tractor while I'm there. That will let me hook a chain on the bucket and lift things (like the backhoe) with it.

The snow pile from clearing the yard is about 8 feet tall and 50 feet long, if we keep getting snow, I'm going to run out of places to put it, lol.

I've piled all the snow at the top of the south slope in the yard where we want to put our fruit trees. Hopefully this will get some moisture into the soil in the spring and whatever runs off will end up in the dugout at the bottom of the hill.

I've spent some time learning about snow fence, windbreaks and how to stop the snow from drifting. Snow fence doesn't stop the snow, it slows the wind so the snow drops on the lee side of the fence. Every foot of fence creates about ten feet of drift. If I put three foot tall snow fence about 30 feet from my driveway, I can get the snow to pile up before it lands on the driveway. Going to put some thought into this before next winter. If I can get the snow to drop on the garden before it hits the driveway, it will help insulate whatever crop is overwintering and will help the soil in the spring as well.

As for the windbreak / fence ideas, we have a small pasture North of the yard which we were going to use for the horses in the summer but it turns out the Elder trees are toxic so we don't want them munching on the trees. I love the trees and don't want to cut them down so we're going to turn that pasture into a little forest / arboretum of sorts.

I've found a place to order tree seedlings very cheap. It will be a long-term plan but will be great in the future. We were going to put the bee hives in the shade of the trees at the top of the south slope but were worried about the dogs getting into trouble with them. The little forested area will be a great spot for beehives and since bees forage up to five miles, they're still going to be close enough to the orchard and the garden. Keeping the dogs out is as simple as putting in a gate.

The loft in the barn has about 6 inches of snow in it now, I've moved most of the woodshop out of it, just a couple big pieces of machinery left that I don't feel like dragging through the snow right now. Since winter is fully here, it's time to start making some inventory to sell in the spring and summer. I splurged and bought a new planer and wood lathe on a couple boxing day sales.

The big market that we did really well in last September has accepted our application for their spring market, we've got an even bigger booth this time so hopefully we will have a good time at this one.

The grow house is doing well, I installed a fart fan with an Inkbird temperature controller to help keep the heat down. It's easy for it to get too hot in there when the sun comes out. I think I might need even more cooling once winter is done. The lettuce and spinach are doing well. I've been having problems with lettuce germinating but I think I was burying it too deep. I barely covered the last batch and it's doing much better.

We're off to a hockey game tonight, going to watch the local team lose again. 

I think that's all for now.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
1/3/23 6:35 p.m.

Wife unit requested a key hanger for the house. Has some spare time this afternoon. 

A piece of cherry, some horseshoe nails, coping saw and a rasp.

A rustic, farmhouse chic key holder.

Rustic is Latin for "lazy".

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
1/6/23 7:42 p.m.

Spent today picking up our new backhoe attachment for the tractor. 

New tow beast works great, barely noticed 2800lbs of machinery on the deck.

Going to put this thing together as soon as spring shows up.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
1/25/23 9:00 p.m.

Been busy the last couple weeks. 

Finished moving all my machinery into the shop, now my woodshop is warm and dry.

I've been building stuff like mad, trying to put some inventory together to sell at the markets that start next month. Been making cutting boards, charcuterie boards, pens, gift boxes and stuff to display it with.

Had our first meal from our passive solar greenhouse today. Spinach and romaine salad and it doesn't get any fresher than this.

The days are getting longer, I'm going to be planting seeds indoors in a month and a half.

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