I thought that once Mr. Fairweather had gotten a job and we had a salary coming in, that I would be able to buy loads of stuff I have been putting on hold. Fencing for the pigs – top of the list. I forgot about credit cards needing to be paid off and the relentless regularity of bills and loans that need to be paid. It is going to be a frugal couple of months until I get on top of things – like the credit card bill, car tax, car insurance, college fees for Mr. Fairweather’s night course. This list keeps growing the more I look at it so I think I am going to stop looking at it. Surely that’s the grown up response?
Anyway, I have had to readjust my priorities. The pigs are on hold. The new ducks are still in the pipeline but they are going to have to make do with the old pen and stay penned in to keep safe from the fox. The hen count is still at one and a half. And then there’s the veg beds….
I had great plans for five lovely raised beds made out of railway sleepers. Then after the septic tank saga, that got reduced to two. Now after having to fork out for car tax and heating oil, the beds are going to be made out of 16′ lengths of 6×2″ timbers instead of 8′ long sleepers. Sleepers have gone up in price and are now €30 a pop! The timbers are €13 each. And if I made beds out of sleepers that would be eight sleepers to make two beds 12′ long by 4′ wide. That’s €240! For two beds. I definitely don’t have that. Not to mention the manure and compost I’d need to fill them. I could make two beds 16′ long by 4′ wide for €65. That’s a massive difference. I think I can scrape that together.
I could (in theory) even make them myself. Those timbers will be much more manageable than the railway sleepers that my first two beds were made from. Mr. Fairweather is ridiculously busy between crazy shifts at work and college work. The list of winter jobs didn’t really get tackled. I am going to have to wrap the Little Paddler up and get to work myself on a few jobs me thinks. The hardware store would deliver the timbers to me free of charge. I am going to need pegs for the corners and maybe another one or two along each length. Lets call that sixteen 2″ square pegs for the two beds. Mr. Fairweather is bound to have something I can saw up to make them. I suppose I should check with him first though before I start cutting. Even if I had to buy one length of 2×2″ and cut them up myself, they couldn’t be much. Then all I need is a measuring tape, square angle, saw, hammer and nails, some good weather and a patient toddler. What are my chances?
But my biggest problem is how to fill the beds. We have a lot of top soil that was scraped off of the site when we started building the house. And I have a small pile of well rotted horse manure I have been saving. Although I had been wanting to put that in to the polytunnel beds which have grown tomatoes for the last three years in a row. Not the best plant management really. I could dig out the polytunnel beds and fill them with top soil from my mountain. At least then, the soil would be fresher for my summer plantings. That though involves getting around a huge pile of timber in the tunnel doorway. Probably a job for Mr. Fairweather to be honest. I am going to need to find some more manure or compost from somewhere. In the meantime we will make do with top soil and just be vigilant about weeds.
So – some vague semblance of a plan and a bit of work ahead of me. All I need now is a dry day……….