Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 / 2017

Lessons learned ...
...concrete paths are really cool
...I'm really good at growing lots of beans, pipinola, and potatoes
...Okinawa spinach and turmeric thrive in shade
...I'm happier with lots of chickens than lots of rabbits
...the acid rain isn't going away
...I still need to learn how to grow limas, squash, cukes

Priority projects...
...increase my trading network
...develop a farm income 
...complete the house
...improve the pastures 
...create slug-safe gardens for fresh greens 
...create methods to thwart the pickleworm moth

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Turmeric - Harvest Time

December is time to harvest turmeric around these parts. These plants are apparently seasonal. Thus this is one of those crops that I can produce year around. Not that they die back because of frost. No, not that. But they must be day length sensitive, maturing and dying when the days get shorter. 

All my turmeric plants are dying back at the same time regardless of when the tubers were planted. I tried planting some early, some late. It made no difference, 

These, above, I planted on the late side. As a result the plants are smallish. But right on time the plants yellowed then died back. 

The earlier I planted the tubers, the better the plants grew and produced. And, the more fluffy and fertile the soil, the bigger the tubers grew. Plants in the shade produced far better than ones in the sun. This is definitely a crop for the shady spots. That's great because I have lots of shady areas on this farm. 

This past year I didn't plant lots of turmeric, but I am planning on dramatically increasing my production for 2017. 2016 was a year for experimenting and learning about this crop. Now, I hope to make this one of my income crops while still growing enough for friends and ourselves. Therefore I am replanting every tuber I've produced, plus several more pounds that I've purchased or had gifted to me. So if the weather cooperates and the diseases don't find it, next year should be a good harvest of turmeric. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

More Tales of Zero Waste

I just snagged two five gallons buckets down at the dump. Someone had thrown them away. Whoa, I'm not one to let a useable bucket slip past my fingers. So with the aid of a long stick, I hooked these babies and slipped them into the bed of my truck. 

Complete wth handles, they're in fairly nice condition and fairly new. No sun bleaching. No serious damage. But they both have a crack in the bottom. Guess that why the previous owner ditched them. They were no longer perfect. 

I have no problem whatsoever using such buckets. In fact, self draining buckets can be a plus! I put these two right to work helping to haul soil and compost. 

I find it sad to see useable stuff heading to a landfill. My county boasts about their "zero waste" program, but they're not really serious about it. But I can say that these two buckets will be truly used up and useless by the time they see the inside of a dumpster again. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Male Papaya With Fruits!

Papaya trees, for those who have never grown them, come either as a male, a female, or a hermaphrodite (both male and female in the same flower). Male trees produce just flowers that produce pollen, female trees produce fruits (usually quite large in size) but not pollen, and hermaphodites have flowers that produce both and have "normal" sized fruits. 

Normally male papaya trees do not produce fruit. That's pretty simple to understand. But sometimes they do! For real! 

I have this male tree, above, growing along the driveway. It's not in my way and I simply haven't bothered to remove it. It's fine with me if it grows there for a while. But I noticed something odd. It has fruits dangling down at the end of long stems that were once flower stalks. The very last flower on the spray of flowers on that stalk turned out producing a fruit. Amazing. 

Not every flower stalk ends up bearing a fruit, but several have thus far. The fruits have been hanging there for weeks, gradually getting bigger, though none have ripened so far. I'm curious if they will ripen and if they will have seeds inside. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Gentle Xmas - Wishes for Peace

I spend two days "celebrating Christmas", so to speak. I'm not into the commercial Christmas of nowadays nor into the religious aspects either. But I do embrace the quiet, the rest, the sharing with friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

This holiday involved early morning star gazing, walking the dogs down new trails, visiting numerous friends, dropping off tokens of friendship around town, sharing a meal and time with some of my community. 

Every year I still embrace the hope for world peace and goodwill. And though it never comes true, I still hold onto that hope. Without hope, all is lost. So once again here I sit, holding onto hope and wishing the world this Christmas season ......... 

Peace and goodwill toward all mankind. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

David's Project Update

Came home to find a surprise....David's artistic side has come out to play. He's made some decoration for the new back doors steps out of some old ohia pieces that I saved from clearing out the pastures. 

The twisty, forked pieces have found a home under the new railing. Oh, they surely don't meet building code, but they are funky, fun, and I like them. 

UPDATE 1/4/17
I added a few more branches and am happier with the results. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lima Beans - Not a Complete Failure

I'm finally getting some lima beans, so this experiment hasn't been a complete failure. The vines started out growing well and looking great. Then they flowered quite heavily and started producing little pods, but they all aborted or were empty. No lima beans. Then the rains stopped. For five weeks the farm saw very, very little rain. 

I had already lost interest in the limas by the time the rain stopped. I never gave them a thought. But after a couple weeks I did notice that the vines looked dry and started dropping leaves. Why waste good water on non-producing vines, I thought to myself. Plus, a friend gratefully gave me a few dozen fresh beans so that I could plant them down at the seed farm, where I hoped they would do better. 

By the end of the dry five weeks, the plants looked pathetic, mere shadows of their former lush selves......
Then the rains returned and the vines started sprouting fresh growth. 

Today I finally got around to those vines. I figured I'd cut them way back and let them regrow and see what happens. Would the vines continue to live? Or since it is wintertime, would they die off? 

Surprise! I found some pods....with beans! Not many, about four dozen pods. But they definitely have beans in them, ranging from 1 to 3 per pod. 

Carefully opening up one, I discovered a mature limas. Wow! 

Soooo, limas will indeed grow here. But obviously I've got problems. Now I need to figure things out and find out how to actually grow these buggahs. 

Questions to mull over...
,..was there too much rain? they need dry to set pods?
...did a pollinator move in during the dry spell? 
...was there too much lush growth? the soil fertility off? 
...was the lack of daily sunshine a factor? 
...the tradewinds had returned. Was that a factor affecting pollination? 
...was stressing the plants a factor? I missing something? 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cardboard Hugelpit

Most people when they talk about hugelkuktur, are talking about mounds. Mound gardens in my area would dry out too fast, thus I focus on hugelkuktur pits, which I've shortened to hugelpit. The same general ideas are involved with pits as with mounds......a base layer of logs or woody debris overlayed with organic material and soil. 

When I first started this project, I hadn't heard about hugelkuktur. I referred to this as my biotrash pit. I have numerous pits in the property, some natural and some manmade. This particular one beside the driveway is manmade and huge. The previous owner had excavated it out to get rubble to create the driveway, thus creating a long narrow pit, in places 6' to 7' deep. 

Over time I filled the pit with cut up fallen tree trunks and limbs, covering them in dirt, weeds, brush trimmings, and any other biotrash I had on hand. Eventually I filled up the monster pit and planted bananas. But over time the material has decomposed, sinking down to leave a 3' deep pit. As a hugelkuktur pit, it is functioning very well, but I want to fill it in again, bringing it closer to driveway level. 

Time for experimenting again ! 😀   Above, this is one end of the pit. I'm using cardboard in place of wood, but otherwise the method is the same. A layer of cardboard 2-5 sheets thick, then a layer of "brown" organic material, wet it down (this is when rain really helps out), then more cardboard, topped by a layer of fresh grass clippings or horse manure. Repeat.....over and over and over and over. 

Above, a closer photo. I have access to a lot of cardboard which it basically ink free. I will also use cardboard that has black print, but I tend to avoid colored inks. 

I took the above photo on a sunny day, so it's not so easy to see. But what it shows in the cardboard covered in a light layer of "browns" -- forest duff, fallen leaves, twigs, ferns, dry bananas leaves. I'll add a little moisture using a watering can (no hoses reach this spot) before adding more cardboard. Then I'll mow some grass and top it off with a 2" layer of clippings. 

By the way, I'll also throw in rocks in order to give the newly created "soil" stability. Otherwise the bananas that will eventually be growing here will fall over. And as with the gardens, I'll also add some soil amendments as I have them : bones, coral sand, lava sand, biochar, urine, various manures. 

I'm interested to see if cardboard will be an effective "water sponge". It's going to take a heck of a lot of cardboard to fill this pit. But once completed and planted with bananas, the test will come with a drought year. Will the cardboard preform as well as wood? Time will tell. The goal is to have all of my banana patches growing atop water retaining hugelpits. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Concrete Path - Nearing Completion

Things have been busy this past week on the farm.....
...unexpectedly caught a swarm of bees and had to quickly get a hive ready for them. So I now have a hive down at the seed farm. 
...acquired 40 new adult hens and integrated them into my current flock. 
...picked up 3 pickup loads of sand
...expanded the gardening space and planted potatoes and beans 
...started 15 trays of vegetable seeds and transplanted the flats of bok choy, basil, cabbage, cauliflower, and beets into individual pots for growing on
...acquired 5 good pallets for making slug-proof (we'll see if that turns out to be true) tables for growing lettuce in containers
...caught up on filling the hugelpit that I'm working on
...added 4 new trees to the fruit orchard
...harvested the last of the coffee

And TA-DA.....big sections of the concrete pathway were completed. In fact, the path is just about done. Only about 8 more feet to go. 

Finding the right sized rocks to imbed in the concrete is now a problem. Once upon a time they were plentiful around here. It seemed that there were small piles of them everywhere. No longer the case. Now bigger rocks need to be broken in order to come up with the right sized smaller rocks. Big rocks are still plentiful. Even if I converted an acre into concrete I don't think I'd make a dent in the big rocks laying around here. 

Last week I was looking at the path going from the new concrete down to the wooden hillside stairs. Because of the recent rains, the cindery mud there was slick. Looked like a good spot to take a nasty fall someday. So I opted to extend the concrete path. Because the ground slopes away, it was easier making steps rather than a slope. In the above photo, I haven't quite finished the area. I still need to finish the transition from the pathway to the steps and wash off the wood, but things are essentially done. 

Now I'm looking forward to cleaning up and landscaping the pathway. Time to beautify around the house. 🙂

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Carbon Footprint -- Saving the World?

This past week I had an interesting conversation with a group of young tourists from the mainland. I'm sort of a "Jay Leno on the Street", having fun asking tourists questions. You never know what answers you'll get, and sometimes it leads to really interesting conversations......and those squirrelly answers too.  

This week's victims...I mean, lovely tourists....we're young people (in their 20's), in Hawaii due to a wedding. They were in a jubilant mood and enjoying Hawaii. With the conversation niceties aside, talk turned to their passionate interest : fixing and saving the world. Aaaaaaaaah, I remember those good old days when I was young like them and thought we could save the world too. And 99% of the old people around me just smiled, not saying a word. 

These young people, while all urban dwellers themselves, were enthusiastic about living "carbon neutral" and lowering ones "petroleum footprint". Ooooooo myyyyyyy, did they not notice that they flew on a fuel guzzling jet to get to Hawaii? They are touring around the island in a rental van, which by the way was shipped then barged to Hawaii? That they all were carrying and using multiple techy tools? That they are eating 90% imported foods while in Hawaii? I'd venture to say, selective observation on their part. 

While I commend these young people on their idealism, perhaps they don't really understand what carbon neutral means. I didn't get the impression that they were just making an exception for this vacation of theirs. None grew any food at home. None sought out locally grown foods other than sweet corn. None made any of their own home decorations, furniture, clothing, gifts, etc. None had visited thrift stores. None used public transportation, a bicycle, nor walked to work or stores. All owned the latest techy toys, obviously updating previous older models. But they did support the use of LED lightbulbs! They believed in recycling their cans and bottles. I'm not all that certain how those last two lower their carbon footprint due to the manufacturing, transportation, and processing involved. 

I wish these young people well on their journey to save the world. I smiled. I said nothing. I discovered that out of politeness, I'm one of the 99% of old people. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Instant Results (don't forget the lacquer)

I've been mulling over a few recent emails from some people who have just completed ther first year on their projects --- going and living off grid; starting an acre garden; developing a few acres into a permaculture setup; trying a new back-to-nature lifestyle. The underlying current through these emails is that they are disheartened that things aren't coming together faster. They universally are voicing their frustration that they aren't getting instant success, or even just fast results. My thoughts......if you want to see quick results living my lifestyle, you had better plant radishes. 

What the heck does that mean? 

I've been at my own projects for over a dozen years now. And rather than making my goal be the completion of everything, I've "planted radishes" along the way instead. You see, radishes germinate really quickly, seem to grow by leaps, and are ready for harvest in 21 days. It's hard to find something more satisfying than that when it comes to gardening. In the kitchen, the analogy would be growing sprouts to eat. In just a few days they're ready to eat. Wow, instant reward!.........don't forget the lacquer (old Polaroid joke). 

I never expected to get my house and farm completed quickly. But by segmenting the project into little tiny projects, I reaped the feeling of success over and over again. My first garden bed was tiny, I think 2' by 3'. I planted beans. Boy, I was thrilled when I harvested those green beans and ate them. What a heady feeling of success! 

All along my journey I've celebrated one success after the other.....all little ones. They helped counter all the failures and mistakes I made. And geez, I had plenty of them! One failure seems to wipe out a dozen successes, so as long as I was seeing daily little successes, I was able to shoulder the failures without despair. 

What I would consider my really big projects are not completed yet, nor do I expect the achieve them by end of this year. Perhaps not even next year. The only big job I've completed so far is the fencing, and I only finally got it completed this past year. Of course I have fencing replacement to look forward to so I can't gloat too much and get lazy. With this erupting volcano on my island, I'll always have fence repairs to look forward to. But at least all the major fence runs are now in place. 

I consider building the house to be one of the big projects. Completing the barn is another. Building an ohana yet another, one I haven't even started yet. And ultimately getting the farm to generate a livable income to be the clincher. This coming year I hope to have the house finished, possibly the barn done, and at least somewhere along the road to producing farm income. As for the ohana, I've picked out the location and plan to start it once the house is completed. 

While I do indeed keep the main goal in mind, every day I set up little goals. I try to keep them small enough for some to be attainable that day. For example, in addition to the normal daily chores and routine, today the lilikoi all got harvested & processed and the juice frozen, enough rocks gathered for the upcoming week's concrete work, the tomato seedlings got planted, holes were prepared for two new fruit trees, the next layer of cardboard went into the hugelpit, wind blown twigs were gathered and broken up for kindling to last the rest of the month (they are in a loose pile for now in order to dry), trash was taken to the dump, gasoline was purchased for the various farm tools, new seeds orders placed, and several pea trellises made. The rest of the time was spent tackling paperwork. Not bad, considering it was raining all day. Sure, I didn't get everything done on my jobs list, but I give myself credit for the things that I did get accomplished. Plus I verbally compliment myself. That may sound odd, but there's something about hearing it that helps me feel good about having gotten a task done. I have a friend who thumbtacks a gold star on her kitchen bulletin board for each job completed. It works for her. But what works for me is hearing a good old attaboy! I simply believe in doing whatever works. 

Yes, do whatever works for you. I find that I need to have little successes along the way when working on a big project. Maybe someone else could work for years on a big project without getting discouraged, but not I. I don't at all mind that a task takes years to complete, but I need those daily little attaboys in order to keep my interest and fulfill my happiness quotient. Perhaps it's just a game I play with myself, but as I said, do whatever works. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Concrete Path Update

I'm within 20' of being done!!!!!! Here's an update.....

Since my last photos, several more sections are done. The little patio area is done and the path now continues around the back. 

Here's how the patio turned out. Large enough for a small outdoor table and a couple of chairs. Becca, the cat, approves......

Looking from the other end, showing the bump out which is the little patio.....

I've purposely made everything rather freeform. No strict straight lines, no abrupt angles. I don't even try to keep the path the exact same width. I like it better this way. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gate Decoration

This the season once again. 

This is the extent of decorating the farm. Pretty pathetic, but that's life. With no children around, I'm just not enthused about the holiday season. Oh, I love the giving and sharing part, the "peace of earth" message, but the act of dressing up the house simply doesn't appeal. I suppose I'm no Martha Stewart. In fact, I'm totally repulsed by how business pushes this holiday. Yes, I know that it is the life blood for many a business, but Geez Louise , I get sick of seeing it in every store, down every aisle. Enough already. 

On a cheerier note, I'm looking forward to the week between Christmas and New Years. It always a time to relax and share with friends. It's this part of the holiday season that I loved the most, even as a kid. 

On a side note..... I obviously haven't kept to the goal of posting something each day. No apology. My days are usually full and by night I'm tired. It's not that I don't care, but let me hit my lounge chair and it's over for the night! Pau! So me caring friends, you'll just have to suck it up and accept it. Looks like I'm not going to change. 😵

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Flowers Boxes for the Screenhouse

Now that we have a square built screenhouse atop a pentagram shaped deck, we have a triangular "ship's prow" hanging over the edge of the pond below it. Rather than just letting it sit there doing nothing, I've decided have flower boxes and a piece of garden statuary jazz up the deck.  

David used several discarded worn out stair treads to cobble together two wind resistant flower boxes for me. While degraded too much to be safely used a steps, the old 2x6's are surely sturdy enough for this task.

He set them up on the point of the prow. Not quite exactly where I plan to place them, but fine for now. 

And in order to discourage rot from standing rainwater, he propped them up on thin strips of wood. It's just enough to allow air circulation between the boxes and the decking. 

Give me a couple of weeks and I'll have some young flower plants ready to put into these boxes. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More Progress on David's Project

Came back from the farmers market today to find that David managed to make a little more progress on the back porch stairs before it rained. The month and a half where we had almost no rain allowed us to get lots of work done, but here we are again trying to work between showers and wet days. Work is slow when you're looking to dry gaps in the rain. 

I like this picture, not because it shows the new stairs, but because in the background. I can see the hill stairs, new screenhouse, the dry river bed just beyond the screenhouse, the open field, then the garden beds and macnut trees. Yup, this is our view from the house. Not bad, eh? 

I haven't tried using the steps yet, but I can already see that I'm going to like them. When I come around the house it seems natural to take the steps into the house rather than walking around to the front door. 

I haven't done any of the work on this project. The design is strictly up to David. When I ask him what's next, he just smiles and almost bubbles with delight.......he's got something up his sleeve. Guess I'll just have to wait to see the surprise he has planned. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

David's Project -- the Back Corner

David had a chance to work a couple hours before the storm arrived. He got all the lumber cut to size, painted, and some of the framing in place. Then the rains came and things are on hold to the next dry day. 

Below, it's a terrible photo, but I was trying to show the framing he got into place. 

This one is taken from on the lanai looking out. The center horizontal railing will be removed. In the background you can see the stairs going down the hill to the screenhouse. 

This angle is clearer. 

I tried getting this photo from the top of the hillside stairs. Because of the steep drop off, it's really difficult getting a prospective that clearly shows what's being built. 

Once it's all built, I think the photos will make more sense. 

Anyway, I'm still not completely sure how this is going to end. How will the railings tie in? Will the traffic flow feel natural? Will the lanai feel like a more integral part of the living space? Will it be something I will use? Time will tell. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Duck Egg

Don't ask me why, but the duck has decided to lay eggs. Isn't this the wrong time of year? At first I thought it was some sort of fluke that I found an egg three days ago. But yesterday morning there was another. And yet again today, a third. Looks like a trend to me! So now I'm getting two eggs a day -- one chicken and one duck. 

Duck eggs.....and this is from a Muscovy..... are bigger than chicken eggs. They have bigger yolks as compared to chicken eggs. I find that they are superior for making eggy sauces and egg noodles. I recall that my grandmother preferred duck eggs for baking. 

Currently I only have one duck. So I'm not drowning in duck eggs. But having a few to use in the kitchen is just about right. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Screen Door Handle

Finally got around to putting a handle on the screenhouse door. I could have bought a modern one of some sort from the Ace Hardware store, but I decided to make one. 

I found this funky damaged piece of ohia branch. I think it came from a tree that had been damaged years ago. 

A quick attack with a saw freed the curved piece from the rest of the branch. A tad of work with a file and sandpaper, then a protective coat of polyurethane, and wallah! door pull handle. 

I kinda like how it turned out. 

By the way, it's attached via screws from the other side of the door. 

Friday, December 2, 2016


It's currently snowing atop the two big volcanos, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It's a big storm, so there's the possibility of 20" of snow this weekend. A lot! Here's the current image from one of the observatories on Mauna Kea.....

The roadway is closed, obviously, but once it's plowed and reopened, lots of people will be heading up there to ski, sled, play in the snow, and shovel it into the back of pick up trucks in order to bring it down for making snowmen and having just plain fun. Just because we live in Hawaii doesn't mean that we can't have snowball fights. 😀

PS- as of 9:30 this morning, the farm has gotten 2.05" of rain. More to come. Happily this rain will reduce the fire risk around here for a while. 

It's now almost 1 pm. Still snowing on the mountain tops..,,,,
Mauna Kea ---

Mauna Loa ---

Still raining on the farm but not as hard. I've heard that there was some temporary flooding in Waiohinu and the road was flooded at Kawa (it always floods in heavy rain). Hope it drains before school lets out so the kids can go home. 

7 pm update : 
It's been raining lightly at the farm all day, adding another 0.85" of rain to the total. My home-use catchment tanks are now full, but the ag tank is still a foot low and could use some more rain. No flooding on the farm. Everything is draining nicely so far. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Concrete Pathway Is Growing

The concrete pathway around the house is growing. To date, it's encircling the house  3/4s  of the way. What you're seeing in these pictures is the path wrapping around the back. The steps and railing are coming from the side of the house near the rear. The white pipe running under the concrete path right now does nothing, but in the future will carry the greywater from the kitchen to a banana patch. (I'm actually thinking agead! Time to run the pipe is now rather than later.) 

The pathway balloons out into a patio. The idea is to have a small table and chairs here. Right now you can see the seams from the individual concrete pours, but I know from prior experience those seams will disappear from view as the concrete develops a darkened patina. 

Here's a view looking from the other side. The white pipe in the foreground, like the other pipe, presently does nothing. But in the future may handle the greywater from the bathroom, again going to a banana patch downhill. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wind Damage in the Garden

The past week things have been really windy around here. Gusty trades but quite strong. Luckily no trees have come down, but the wind has been causing damage in the gardens. As expected, the banana leaves have been shredded, but it doesn't seem to bother the banana trees all that much. The veggies are a different story. 

Around the edges of the corn patch, a number of stalks have blown over. The corn is at a stage where it's already done the pollination thing, so I don't see that this is going to be a real problem. The corn patch is small and I will be hand harvesting, so no losses expected. 

The potato plants got whipped around, but most were small in size and took the beating pretty well. Of the larger plants, I see about 10% got snapped off at the base. So that's a loss since they hadn't produced tubers yet. 

The young cauliflower suffered the worse with about a 50% loss. The wind twirled the baby plants, severely damaging their stems at ground level. 

I took some close up photos trying to show the damage, but it's difficult to see. The tops literally got twirled around leaving just some fibers holding the tops to the roots. I mounded up the soil around the I damaged plants to help protect them. 

Some of the younger bean plants lost leaves but otherwise survived. Most everything else did ok. Luckily I didn't have the young tomato transplants anywhere they'd be vulnerable. I've been looking into setting up hoops for low tunnels in order to protect against excess rain and the drying sun, but they sound like a good idea for protection against strong winds too. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

More On The House - David's Project

After taking this past week off from working around the place, I'm back on the job this Monday morning. But it turns out that my plans have suddenly changed and I need to make a run to Kona, so David is getting things staged and started on this next project. Next project? Doing something to connect the neglected lanai on the end of the house to the new concrete walkway. 

Above -- this part of the house just accumulates junk. Don't know what to do with something? Go set it out on the lanai. Time to make changes. 

Below....view taken from on the lanai looking out. 

David spent time going over ideas of what to do with this lanai and how to integrate it into the living space. 
Truthfully, I wasn't full of grand ideas. David was loaded with them! After exploring many pros & cons, we've decided to try building a micro deck off the lanai with steps going down to the walkway.....which isn't there yet but will be. There isn't enough space to simply build stairs down to ground level because at the right edge of the photo above, the ground drops off extremely rapidly (almost a cliff). It's so steep right there that even the dogs can't climb the hill. So entertaining thoughts of adding fill would be sheer madness. 

David made some boxes to give me an idea where the micro deck would go. Once I gave the go-ahead, he poured concrete into those boxes to make piers to support the micro deck. 

Below, another view. Plus we dragged over some lumber before I left for town. It will be interesting to see what David creates, because I'm still not sure yet exactly what he has in mind or how it will turn out. With my time completely occupied for the next three days, it's going to be 100% up to David. I'm giving him free rein to create something that will encourage us to use this side of the house.