As promised…

Okay, so I’m slow in getting these up, but here are some photos from building cold frames two weeks ago. Here’s the back of my house in all it’s redneck glory.  The cold frames are snugged up against the south side of the house to best catch the southern tilt of the sun during the winter months. So far I’ve constructed three frames.  Two are planted with spinach, leeks and chard.  The third is waiting it’s bed of rich compost to make up for the clay and rock substrata you see before you. Here’s a detail of the swan door…… Read More »

Vacation

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vH3KAh-Emk&feature=related] Here’s hoping everyone had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving (raises coffee mug in toast). I’m sitting here with Samantha on the balcony of our rented condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama on the first real vacation I’ve taken in four years. Granted I’ve had a few few pleasurable work trips but this is the first time off I’ve taken with my family in a long time. It’s only as I write this do I realize how shameful that is. Four years? That’s really too long. That’s also one of my grandfather’s faults. In the forty years that I’ve been around… Read More »

Cold Frames II

Sunday morning I got up and made breakfast. Sunday breakfast is best because it is then that I have enough time to devote to making a proper breakfast. Monday through Saturday I get up early for work and breakfast is usually a protein shake and a handful of vitamins. Sunday I sleep relatively late, make coffee and set about to feeding my family properly. This past Sunday’s breakfast consisted of free range organic eggs, spicy pork sausage and sliced tomatoes. Once properly fueled I set about the day’s project, the much anticipated cold frames. Last weekend I made a start… Read More »

Cold Frames

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WqazleR3FE] Fall is officially here in Alabama. And while the temperatures are not cold yet (remember we are in Alabama and cold is relative) the leaves have turned and the days are noticeably shorter. We have lettuces, brussel sprouts, and some braising greens growing in one of our ten by ten beds but we’d really like to extend our growing season and keep fresh produce coming into the house year round. Enter the cold frame. If you’re not familiar, a cold frame is a mini green house. Usually it’s a smallish box with an glass top that can be adjusted… Read More »

Goat Power Part 3

The goats spent the week in the trailer in our garage. Rob wasn’t available until Friday and I wasn’t about to risk a repeat of Bonnie’s escape. Every day the goats got fresh fodder and corn. The fodder I cut from the overgrown areas of the backyard and the corn was left over from Bonnie’s brief stay. On Friday Rob came over and we trained the goats on the collars and the invisible fence. We then released them to the back yard and allowed them to forage. Sophie was much less responsive than the other two but seemed to have… Read More »

Goat Power Part 2

Even though my first attempt was an utter failure.  Even though it made me the subject of ridicule and friendly ribbing.  I knew the “goat idea” was a good one and I was determined to see it through.  Providence, I believe, agreed with me. Some months after Bonnie had made her bold escape I got two new clients, a married couple who would come to weigh heavily in the future success of Emerson’s Acre, Rob and Stephanie McDonald.  Rob is the owner of a local Pet Stop franchise and his wife Stephanie, in addition to being the mother of two… Read More »

Goat Power Part 1

My property is effectively divided into fourths. There’s the front yard, the house proper, the back yard and then the “Back Forty.” The Back Forty is approximately ¼ to 1/3 acre. It sits behind the privacy fence that defines the backyard. Up until now the Back Forty was wasted space. It was overgrown with privet, wisteria, briars and hackberry trees. The wisteria is so prolific that it killed one of the hackberry trees which fell during one of this summer’s storms. When we moved into the house three years ago Samantha and I hacked our way with a machete around… Read More »

Emerson’s Acre

Ralph Waldo Emerson promoted a philosophy of self reliance. He felt the highest life a man could attain was by living according to his own works and his own merit. I couldn’t agree more. This blog will be a chronicle of my own efforts to attain a higher life right here right now. I won’t define my intentions anymore than that simply because I don’t want to write myself into a box. Here’s what I will tell you. I’m thirty nine years old, married and have three daughters. My mother in law lives with us. We have three cats, two… Read More »