Here is a picture of Daniel measuring the board on the pallet to determine where to saw. The piece he's cutting will be the front of a nesting box.
Here is a picture of the finished compost bin! I hammered this thing together today with minimal help from my brother. I'm proud of myself, because I am certainly no carpenter. I can't believe that I only smushed my thumb once!
The organic material that is in the bottom is leaves and such that I raked out from under some neglected landscaping around the house a few weeks ago. I left it sitting in piles and wouldn't you know, when I went around collecting it today to put it in the compost bin, it definitely looked like the beginnings of a rich compost, complete with DOZENS of earthworms! It was definitely the perfect thing to start our bin with. (I'll cover composting and the importance of worms in a post later, maybe this week.)
Here is a picture of one of the nesting boxes. So far, this thin sheet of plywood has been the only thing for the chicken coop that we've spent money on. Got a big sheet from Lowe's for $15 and it will make up the sides of 10 nesting boxes. Not too bad! The backs and fronts will be made from the repurposed pallets!
Here is Daniel hiding, from the rain we were expecting, in the shed hammering nesting boxes!
I saw this soil test kit at Lowe's today and it was fairly inexpensive, so I grabbed it and decided to test our soil. Results: Our pH balance is good, our Nitrogen is on the low side, our Phosphorus is on the low side, and our Potash is low. This means that I need to enrich our soil a bit, so I'm now on the hunt for natural ways to bring up those numbers a bit before my seedlings go in the ground! That will be my project for part of the day tomorrow.
And since I know that our soil is in need of some TLC, I'm even more thrilled about having the compost in the works.
So today was just really nice. The kids spent most of the day outside playing, Daniel and I snagged some free wood (and found 3 or 4 other sources for possible pallets to reclaim), he put some nesting boxes together, I worked on the compost bin, cleaned out the chicken brooders, and did quite a bit of laundry.
I was going to take a picture of our super cute newborn diapers on the line, but wouldn't you know- it started raining and I had to dash to grab them before they got even more wet. Will take a picture next time!