The rain comes on Tuesdays as if I set the timer myself on one of the robots. Then it warms up and dries out for the weekend. It’s been like that for a month. I can’t believe it.

The last couple weeks we’ve been working on a number of things, both in infrastructure and planting. Some of the work we’ve been doing over the winter has been making the off-grid operation able to sustain human life and even field a few off-farm job emails. Most of the insulation is installed in the field shed. The radiant barrier needs to go in before the summer kicks in. It’s like an Easy Bake Oven without it. (Okay, kids, there was this toy when Dan and Drew were kids. It was a metal and plastic toy oven with a lightbulb inside that cooked these awful cakes. No, really. It was for girls, but boys wanted them too. At least farmer boys did.). I’m working on getting a better signal so that I can deal with the off-farm job without running down to McDonald’s for the wifi. You will be glad to know that coffee and music are fully operational.

But in the field it’s the rabbit fence and deer fence. Deer fence we’ve covered. The rabbit fence is simple and went in quickly too. We just had to make sure we did it when the soil felt like being dug.

We used 4’ chicken wire on t-posts. We tied the wire to the posts with recycled wire from when we screwed up our well pump installation. The most important part of putting in a rabbit fence is making sure the rabbits don’t go under it. To avoid this, we dug a trench about 6” deep. We put the chicken wire on the posts and bent the bottom edge of the fence into a ‘J’ with the curve facing out. Then we filled the trench back in. This will keep the rabbits from coming under at the edge. We also have no gate. Not yet. The fence is short enough for Dan to step over. I, on the other hand, am built like Charlie Brown, so I’ll use a box or step ladder. This is a bit inconvenient, but it keeps us from having to put in a gate right away that could provide a weak point for rabbits to get in. Rabbit are like hackers, but with longer ears and fluffy tails. And they are a little smaller. And don’t talk as much. But other than that, they are just like hackers.

I gave Dan a scythe for Christmas. I am a romantic devil. She nearly lopped her thumb off sharpening it. I dressed it and she kept working. Dan is tough. Tougher than our dirt in August. That is tough.

We also planted 200 basil plants in between the rows of trees in the orchard. The rabbits won’t eat the basil so we don’t need it to have the fence. We’re going to put tomatoes inside the rabbit fence and intersew with basil for the pest control properties. We might even add some carrots since tomatoes and carrots get along so well.

The hoop house is a great idea that is almost there. The size is perfect for keeping the plants warm and moist in our climate, but the irrigation system needs more work. The robots are great once you get them tuned. These are not tuned, and the seedling window has closed. I’m going to go out to Peaceful Valley this coming weekend and get a bunch of seedlings to plant. We’ll keep at the hoop house and robots, but there is planting to do.