May hits with a running start! (Bloggin’ suffers)

05-08-08 Mt. Pilchuck sunny day 005 Oh Boy! I knew it had been a little while since I added my last entry, but gosh was I surprised when I went to take a look!  It’s been a month!  Well, the only reason this has been the case is because life at a ranch when the weather turns good is all about the outdoors.  I’ve got to tell you, momentum has been entirely in full swing and more.  Lot’s of pokers in the fire, so let me see if I can catch you all up.

First up, our work with the county… 05-15-08 Garden progress 012 As you know we are proceeding with our rezoning and conditional use permitting process to get setup as a campground.  Prior to this, we are at least trying to get some revenue generating functionality by opening the ranch store and getting the Roundhouse Yurt operational.  Well, the county’s process is full of twists and turns and rather than spell out all the details, let me just sumit up by saying it’s going to take a while…at least another season before we can open as a campground.  As for the store, well we are having to work with the fire marshal’s insistence for fire sprinklers in the house by moving the store into the small yurt, this separates occupancy usage. 05-15-08 Garden progress 014 They had real issues with having commercial and residential in the same building without sprinklers, so, we work around that by moving the store into a yurt.  Watch for the re-imagining of the ranch store coming soon!

Of course, these little roadblocks don’t stop the momentum in the bigger picture.  There is a solution to everything and you just have to remain flexible and be a bit creative.  05-15-08 Garden progress 013 We’ll be building a needed deck to put our 14 foot yurt on (this was in a temporary spot anyway for me to stay in when we built the house and need to be properly positioned). We’ll move it closer to the house and hang a sign on it that says "Ranch Store".

With the large Roundhouse Yurt, we are working on getting it permitted too.  We’ve had to engage a structural engineer to review the submitted plans and do some additional calculations that the county is requiring, so this is slowing that portion down a bit.  05-15-08 Garden progress 005 However, there is still the stairs/ramp and landings to build too and I’m working on the electrical right now.  After the electrical, we’ll insulate the floor.  Steady progress moving forth in this sector.  I’ll probably purchase the lumber for the stairs along with the lumber for the ranch store yurt at the same time within this next week.

05-16-08 - 05-17-08 Pasture Renovation - lower back acreage 004 After regrouping on the larger picture of the rezone and seeing the county’s response, we were well positioned to bring in some surveyors and a biologist to denote the wetlands on the property (which, by the way, we’ll be promoting in an educational seminar to the public: functions of a wetland).  The surveying company will actually take us through the actual rezoning process (we just finished the "Pre-App" portion so far).  These past couple of weeks have seen work crews traipsing about the property driving in stakes with colorful ribbons and coded markings; looks very official.  I think the county will be pleased with the effort.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (ok, I couldn’t resist), 05-16-08 - 05-17-08 Pasture Renovation - lower back acreage 015we have got the punchlist packed:

  • Already we’ve limed, fertilized, and seeded the entire lower pasture area after first raking it with the tractor.  Huge check off the list!
  • Garden in full swing, not a space left blank! Even the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are in!  Watch for the summer flowers to bloom soon!
  • Lot’s of pulling dead wood and logs from the perimeter of the lower pasture in anticipation of the fencing soon to come. Might as well get it out now! 05-16-08 - 05-17-08 Pasture Renovation - lower back acreage 006
  • Some of those logs will be used for pasture lean-to’s; we’ll construct those and mill some planks for the sides.
  • Fencing, fencing, and more fencing of that huge lower area (about 4 acres worth)
  • Moving those salvaged railroad ties into position for retaining walls around the property
  • Firewood chainsawing and splitting
  • Next round of exterior house painting somewhere in there to get the spots that were either missed or need another coat
  • Brush clearing galore!  Bracken fern and salmonberries must go!  Weed those pastures too!
  • Tend the garden, an ongoing relationship.  We’re already harvesting the stuff from the coldframes: Broccoli Raab! Yum! (pictured below, see more seedlings sprouting to the left of the mature plants)
  • Mow the lawns with our four-legged lawn mowers.

05-15-08 Garden progress 023

Whew!  Stay tuned for more photos to be posted as I get a nice batch composed…some new You Tube vids too, coming soon…

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One Response to May hits with a running start! (Bloggin’ suffers)

  1. Kuskulana says:

    Good to hear you are getting through maze of permitting and code issues, they can be challenging at times.
    I am impressed by the amount you have accomplished, that\’s a lot of work!
    I look forward to your next progress report and ultimately I want to pay a visit in person some day.
    Take Care

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