Notes from Windward: #66

Jacki's Update - May 30, 2006

      Hey y'all!

      Things here at Windward are moving forward and we're all anticipating the arrival of Virgil. He's expected to arrive today or tomorrow.

      A lot has been accomplished in just a few days, which is the norm around here. The yurt has the beginnings of a roof. Walt, Sarah and I spent an evening cutting plywood slats custom-fit to the space in between each rafter. There was a lot of measuring and climbing up and down the ladder that Walt did, but the roof looks great and the slats fit great together. In situations like this, it pays to be precise. The next challenge, roof-wise, is figuring out how to create the curved eaves that Walt is envisioning. He has a few tricks up his sleeve, no doubt.

the yurt roof with the main decking in place

      A woman named Jacque came to visit us this past weekend. She's a prospective new member of Windward, with a background in Biology and book-keeping. She's an older woman at a transition point in her life, which means that she has great potential to become a permanent member and contributor. She has already contributed to our search to identify the Oak trees that flourish around the Windward property. They're Garry Oaks :) We're all hoping that Jacque will come back to visit again soon, and maybe stay for more than a weekend.

      Among other things, Jacque got to witness and photograph Walt and I pouring one of the outer retaining walls for Vermadise. We mixed seven loads of concrete, each consisting of rocks, sand, cement and water. I had the privilege of wheel-barrowing each load up to Vermadise. As with most things here at Windward, Walt does it once, then it's our turn to try.

Jacki ready for the next load of concrete

      Todd, Sarah and I planted four apple trees this week. There were a few young trees from last year that didn't make it, so we were able to take them back to Home Depot and exchange them for new apple trees. When planting, we utilized some extra-fertile soil created from years of sheep and goat droppings. We put that soil in the bottom of the holes we had dug for the trees, then filled the holes with water to make sure there was proper drainage. After we planted the trees, we topped it all off with some mulch that had been chipped and shredded on-site. The mulch consists of wood chips, compost, hay and manure.

Sarah and Jacki taking a break after planting another apple tree

      Now that the weather has begun to warm up, we've all become more confident about planting the vegetables that have been growing on the kitchen window-sills. We've already planted potatoes, garlic, string beans, and zucchini. Sarah planted some butternut squash yesterday, and hopefully we'll plant more things today.

      In the kitchen, Sarah and i have been trying out new recipes and using the grain-mill almost daily. Sarah made sprout-burgers two days ago, and I made some bean muffins yesterday. There's a lot of great recipes that utilize our local crops that Sarah and I are just itching to try out. It's as Walt points out, using local crops, like wheat, is an important part of sustainability. The less the travel distance for the food, the better.

Sarah and Jacki ham it up making pizza

      Speaking of food, it's nearly time for lunch :) Having a communal lunch is tradition here, and helping prepare the food has become the norm for Sarah and I.

      So until next time...

Peace, Jacki

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