Sunnywood Farm site is up

We will be shutting down the Maine Smallholder blog in favor of a Web site: http://www.sunnywoodfarm-maine.com/. Rather than making regular blog posts (which we clearly lack the discipline for), we plan to use the Web site to post information that others might find useful. Topics are likely to include farming with heritage breeds, farming sustainably, incorporating permaculture principles, growing food, preserving food, living with minimal fossil fuel use, and others. We will continue to add information over time: please check it out!


Archiving Sunnywood blog—and announcing "The Maine Smallholder"

As I sit here early on a January afternoon, the winter sun is streaming through our south-facing windows, just as we intended. The high louver windows above the sliders work just as we'd planned: they catch the low winter sun from late October into early February, but exclude direct light the rest of the season, and vent heat in the summer. The NON-low-e sliding glass door has proven to be the perfect place for winter seedlings. And our cedar ceilings do something we hadn't expected: they reflect a golden glow, making the name "Sunnywood" as appropriate to the inside of the house as the outside.

Sunnywood inside and out!

Since finishing the cordwood exterior of Sunnywood in September, we have been working on the interior (and building farm outbuildings), and have come to realize that something we have often heard from owner-builders is true: the inside of the house is never finished. And while in our case we have still been constructing fairly integral elements, such as walls and ceilings, it is clear that installation of flooring, behind-stove masonry, a hot water system, bookshelves, trim, etc., etc. could go on for many years. In which case this blog would start to become a kind of home remodeler's blog. So I've decided to keep this site as pretty much an archive for other would-be mortar stuffers searching the Web for cordwood building information, and start a new site about our mixed farming enterprise at Sunnywood farm: The Maine Smallholder.

So thanks for following our cordwood building journey, for rooting for us, and especially for helping us when we needed it. Please come join us for the next stage!


Remaining doors and windows in (mostly)

South side with photovoltaic panels and some NON-low-e glass (finally)
Joe and Ben got the windows, storm door, and sliding glass door installed before everyone arrived for Common Ground Fair.




So today is the last day, I think. I kept waking up all night, like you do when you have a job interview or a trip the next day.

As has so often happened since we began this adventure, serendipitous help arrived just when we seriously needed it.


17 and counting

It appears that it is only possible for the two of us to mix and lay six batches of mortar in a day if we have done all of the preparatory putty mixing and log cleaning on a prior day, and if everything goes absolutely perfectly. This means no unexpected livestock management,, no turning off the alarm clock in your sleep, no visitors,and no dogs taking off after some phantom in the woods---


Countdown . . . 25 (ish) batches to go!

Alright, so,life gets in the way. Especially farm life. This morning we had some buckling escapism to deal with, and a bit of fence reinforcement to ensure that our girls don't kid in January. Then we spent about an hour scraping and cleaning log ends before we could start mixing mortar.