The project this morning? The raised strawberry bed. I figured we wouldn't get through it today, but I wanted to at least get the frame and bottom half done, and the landscape fabric stapled on.
We carefully tipped the whole frame toward the open side, and then completely over (upside down).
We did not pull grass or even the ground. As you can see below it is uneven, but once we add in soil and stuff it should be fine.
We will add two more sets of 2x8's all the way around to make the entire bed 24" high. The walkway will have pea gravel to prevent weeds in the future, long after the landscape fabric has disintegrated with time. The garden space will have something in the bottom to take up space (probably mulch), then lots of compost, a layer of good soil and then mulch on top to keep the strawberries as weed free as possible.
Then it's just a matter of marking off the measurements for a square foot garden and planting all the bare root plants we have waiting to see soil.
Today, this little girl came home with us. She doesn't have a name yet, but the kids are excited. Moose could care less, but he has growled when she gets too close to his toys (so I have been putting his toys away every time he does this until he'll have nothing else to fuss about). Her only down side so far? She likes the chickens a little too much. Several times I had to chase after her hollering to get her to stop chasing them. She seems to understand "no" when she starts mouthing something she shouldn't (like my flowers, or the laundry basket), but that becomes meaningless when she's got a chicken in her sights. She's going to have to learn pretty quick that I'm not about to tolerate that behavior!
Today, Josh finally took the ducks down one of the paths to the lake. We're currently surrounded by bog, but there's tons of duckweed growing just off the shore. He walked down the path enough for three of the four ducks following him to realize the delicious bounty and swim space... He walked back up to the yard with just one duck. He wandered across the yard toward the barn before realizing some of his ducks were missing. He spent the next half an hour screaming and searching for his ducks - who were happily playing in the reeds just off the edge of the yard, out of sight. They did eventually reunite, but later those same three ducks wandered back without him to the lake, and he again screamed and wandered the yard until they came back. Where is the fifth duck in Josh's flock you ask? Quiche has decided to be unlike other Indian Runner ducks, and went broody. She only leaves her nest in the morning to run out and get a drink and then goes right back to her nest. Last I checked she was sitting on three eggs.
Tonight, as I closed up the birds in the barn, rechecked waters, and made sure everyone was settled in for the night, I shoveled up a wheelbarrow full of compost and manure from under cages (and some of the bedding from having just cleaned out the barn brooder today). This will serve as the compost and manure for the holes for the orchard. I'm hoping to get as many planted as I can tomorrow, because it's supposed to rain Tuesday and Wednesday - this way I won't have to haul as much water out. Let Mother Nature do the work for you, right? I'll still have to water the compost and again once the trees are planted before the mulch goes down, but hopefully the rain can soak the mulch and keep it all moist for a while.