We continue to discover new things about this property, ranging from furnace workings (as has been shared) to water filtration and old infrastructure. Some outdoor work is still getting done, at least until it turns extremely cold late this week, and some other important work is getting done, including seed orders and continuously crafting our vision for marketing and sales for the farm. I finally invested some time thinking about the water supply in the house, which was somewhat a mystery: the water from the well was running through 2 filters before dispersing to various sinks/toilets/etc., and there was a filter installed on the kitchen tap. The water has always tasted amazing, but we were told that it was quite hard. N and I had mentioned a water softener, but before working on that I learned that one of the filters actually just had a cartridge in it that treats hard water! Hallelujah!
I purchased a new cartridge, which wasn't even necessary, as the existing one was still partially full and the system wasn't working because there was an inch of buildup on the brass jet. It took over an hour, some cursing, prolonged uncomfortable postures, and finally a good deal of vinegar-water spray combined simultaneously with all of the above, but finally water was lightly spraying down on my legs and the floor! I installed the cartridge and sump, and also cleaned out the particulate filter, and I feel like I know things now!
Now, returning to the barns:
It was almost sunset so this photo is poor, plus I'm not doing anything real in this photo - just posing for N. who had just finished work. We've made good progress cutting down some of the many weed-like trees growing all over the place. I don't know what tree they are, but they are mostly of one type and clog the areas around buildings. Some of them are resting on buildings and a couple of large ones we need to have professionally removed (including one that is beginning to damage a rear portion of the barn in which we plan on having art studios and sleeping quarters.
The best we can do for a 'before' image is this, which is the south side of the barn, and what the north side looked like a few days ago. Of course the north side doesn't have the scary falling-down roof, but that's another story. The little bow saw we bought for $11 is a good friend.
In clearing the north side of the dairy barn, I discovered more old concrete objects, one of which is a large circular foundation of some sort, possibly a cistern or related thing from the dairy farm era. I at first thought it had been the foundation of a second silo, but the existing silo doesn't have any such foundation, and I imagine if another silo had been there that the pieces of it would be scattered about the area, which thankfully they are not!
We are still enjoying PFP produce that is stored in the fridge (potatoes, radishes, beets, carrots, pears from fruit share) and in bins in the basement (apples, winter squash). We didn't take very much, but we've been using it wisely so as to extend its life as much as possible! I finally threshed the beans that N. and I grew in the community garden plot at PFP; it was not a big harvest this fall, but we collected enough for a bit of cooking and a good amount of planting.
I am currently carrying out small germination tests (only 20 seeds) on the 3 varieties we grew. I'd like to grow many more of the type in this photo, which is called Hidatsa Shield Figure, which I purchased last year, certified organic, from Heirloom Seeds. These beans expanded significantly when left between pieces of wet paper towel, and didn't lose much of their fantastic color. They are just beginning to germinate today.
Thanks for reading!