Archive for category farmlife

Jake 2005-2016

Truly was a friend.


Milva potato

We planted a short row of Milva potatoes this year. Hadn’t tried them before, we usually grow some Yukon Gold, Norland, various fingerling varieties, and a blue potato. The Milva was a success, pretty good yield in so-so ground. Some grew to a fair size and appear to be more scab resistant than the other varieties. But some of the tubers had growth splits. That might have been a result of not watering regularly.

That’s a 6″/15 cm rule.


Couple more things found in the garage

This is even more self indulgent and boring than usual, but I had to show you more unearthed treasure.

Lovely little light meter. Bakelite body, great dial. Has a perforated disk that you can place over the photocell to increase the range so to speak.


And half a dozen or so 16″ BBC transcription disks. Some music, some spoken word. The disks are aluminum covered in a black lacquer.


Old saw not saved

Found the other chainsaw I mentioned in the post about the Stihl. It’s a McCulloch 5-49. Not 100% sure on the model, but it’s a McCulloch. I actually have the original manual, somewhere. The handle for the end of the bar is missing. It, the bar, manual, and one old chain was in the barn when we moved in.

I’ll never restore it so I’ll try and unload on someone nearby. If that fails then I’ll post it up for grabs here.


Old saw saved

People who know me know that I tend to hang on to things and I’ve let the barn/garage become a pigsty of unfinished projects and bits and pieces of this and that.

I hate myself for this, inside there is a minimalist trying to get out.

So this long weekend I made a start in cleaning things up. During this labour I uncovered a chainsaw that I preferred to forget. It’s a Stihl 041av given to me a few years ago by my step father. He must have bought it in the early or mid seventies and it worked fine for firewood cutting. When he gave it to me, or I should say I asked for it when I saw it being thrown out, he told me that it just came back from the shop with the terminal sentence of not being fixable. Ha! I said.

I took it home and got the pull start mechanism mostly working and fired it up. Snarled like a beast and then stopped. Couldn’t pull start it, seemed to be seized. I looked in the gas tank and the liquid was clear. What the heck? What was in there? No oil mix for sure.

I was really disheartened. I felt like a pillock. I put the saw in the garage and tried to forget about it but it nagged at me. Today I uncovered it during my clean up and, in a perfect example of optimism over experience, I gave the cord a pull. It turned over. No way, could it be? Gassed it up with proper mix and it fired right up. What a noise, like a real chainsaw. And it has power, test cutting in maple it seemed to have more power than my old reliable Husqevarna 353. But boy is it heavy, yes much heavier than the husky and no chain brake. Sort of hell on wheels. A back up saw now, but for an old man like me it’s a tiring one.


More figs

It’s a big tree now, but started as one shoot in a half wine barrel 22 years ago. Pumping them out every day now. Some to be frozen till we have time to make preserves. It tickles me to have a fig tree in the garden, it’s like we’re living somewhere exotic.


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Earlier than normal harvest

You probably know that it has been a hotter and drier summer this year in the Pacific Northwest. We harvested the first of our garlic over a month ago, the rest a couple weeks later. The plague of zucchini is upon us. And now the tomatoes, hot peppers, and figs are pumping fruit out.