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East field "walk about" discussion and meeting

The purpose of this is to walk the East Field and talk about plans and tasks needed for both long-term and next season use.

  • Meeting starts 09:02
  • Re-locate vehicle gate
    • We agreed that the gate in the corner has created a bottleneck for equipment traffic, infrastructure, and people. The shed is in the way, manure has been dumped in the way, a pond wants to be there, and irrigation ports (that cannot be easily moved) are also in the area.
    • Much discussion about where to put it. The next set of wooden posts in the west fence are at the junction of the white house driveway and the barn drive, and seems like the obvious location.
      • The centre cedar post can serve as the chain post where the gate will close.
      • If the gate hinge is to the north and it opens out, it will block both driveways when open, blocking access to Fulford-Ganges road. If it opens in, it will have to be hung quite high up, and will leave a "deer gap" to fill somehow, and will need a track constructed for the wheel.
      • If the gate hinge is to the south and it opens out, it will block just the access to the farm buildings, but not to the highway. If it opens in, a considerable amount of earth will need to be moved.
    • AGREED: move gate so it is to the south of the chain post, so the gate will open outward across the farm road.
    • Rudy requests that a small pedestrian gate (big enough for a wheelbarrow) go where the existing gate is.
    • This is lower priority than many other things, but is key to final garden lay-out, and so should get done before too much garden work is done.
    • [x] Lay-out and mark new gate locations in west fence of east field. (Jan Steinman)
    • [x] Dig hole for new gate hinge posts in west fence of east field. (Rudy Siegers)
  • Earthworks:
    • We agreed that drainage problems are making early season use of the field difficult. Jan proposed a series of small ponds and connecting swales that will both store water for use later in the season and help dry out areas that are too muddy for planting early in the season. In the past, implementing this has been a problem, because by the time things were dry enough to bring in digging equipment, crops had been planted where the ponds needed to go. Also, by the time things dry out, we can no longer tell where the wet spots are.
    • We walked the entire site, and easily agreed that the area northeast of the present gate wants to be a pond, and that the area in the northeast corner wants to be a pond.
    • One or two intermediate ponds are probably also needed, based on current standing water and muddy conditions. One possibility is at the huge foundation rock that was uncovered last fall when picking rock.
    • [x] Jan will survey and mark pond and swale locations in the east field; excavation to wait until things dry out. (Jan Steinman)
  • AGREED: Rudy's personal garden will be along the south fence, from the west end of his garlic plantation to approximately where the hoop house now begins.
  • General tasks we agreed on:
    [x] Rudy will remove all the material from the south end of the west fence that was used for supporting tomatoes, and organize the irrigation supplies against this fence. (Rudy Siegers)
    [x] The shed that is near the present gate location will be moved against the south fence, to be used as a tool and supply shed. (Jan Steinman)
    [x] The new compost bins will start at the end of Rudy's garlic plantation, and proceed to the west, along the south fence. (Rudy Siegers)
    [x] The manure pile near the current shed location will be worked into beds as they are made, or can be moved to the new compost bins. (Rudy Siegers)
    [x] Strawberries have been ignored and are in bad shape. They will be moved as soon as a new bed can be prepped for them -- deferred. (Ben Corno)
    [x] Take out the makeshift hoop house and organize the materials for other use. (Rudy Siegers)
    [x] Sweep the field for plastic and other detritus. (Charles Leferriere)
    [x] Move piles of mulch up-field to be used in bedding as soon as field dries out enough to get tractor/trailer in there. (Ben Corno)
  • Meeting ended, 10:10
  • Respectfully submitted, Jan Steinman 21:21, 2 March 2012 (CET)

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