the new farm trailer – Merry Christmas!

Last week I got it in my head that I needed a farm trailer, for doing log inoculations and for keeping a fridge for mushrooms, as well as for storing other odds-and-ends.  In the past I’ve done inoculations in Minneapolis before moving all the logs again out to the farm.  This year I decided to cut out that step.  Enclosed trailers such as I wanted looked expensive and not very adaptable, so I decided on something different…

farm trailer dec12

This is the farm trailer in all its glory, situated next to my fruiting tents, where I’ll be temporarily storing new logs before and perhaps after inoculation.  Fortunately I chose to set up the trailer before the snows late last week.  Believe me, it was difficult enough without snow!

I hoped to get this chore completed within one day, but it actually took two and a half days.  The first day dead-ended fairly early, as my hydraulic jacks were way too unstable and short to do the job.  On the second day I brought new floor jacks, and my friend Jon.  I told him it could take the whole day, but I don’t think either of us predicted that it would be 1:30 the next morning before we both landed back at our Minneapolis homes.   Below is a night shot of the trailer bed just as we slipped it under the shed, which was being propped up by jacks and concrete blocks.  That was a pretty heady moment, but we still had more than six hours left of effort.  We placed more and more weight on the trailer bed while backing it up further under the shed.  Helpful were the tank-like rolly things that the front of the shed rested; they eliminated any friction there as we shifted things.  When most of the weight was on the trailer, we used a come-along (winch) to pull the shed the rest of the way onto the trailer bed.  Then we strapped and bolted the two together, weighted down the shed interior with concrete blocks, and avoided the freeway and freeway speeds.  We made it to the farm with flying colors!

trailer moving

The next day I returned to the farm to move it into position.  This was a tricky operation, since I needed to maneuver it fairly far off the road but between trees and my fruiting tents.  I moved a large brush pile that was in the middle of all this, then promptly got myself stuck in the fill at the bottom of all such piles.  In the end, AAA pulled me out, and got the trailer into position in the process.

I’ll try to post about my next steps on the trailer, which will probably include adding a window and setting up lights and the inoculation table.


Putting logs to bed for the winter

With the snow upon us at last, I had no choice but to take down the shade fabric from the main structure. You see, the seams between fabric panels and the structure itself aren’t designed to tolerate snow loads.


Last year I dismantled the structure so that I could use the main fabric to cover the logs during the winter, but this year I have enough – or nearly enough – to cover them without that main shade fabric.  On the right in the photo you can see black fabric lower down, which sits directly on the log stacks.

Covering the logs like this is important to shade the logs during the winter, but also to protect them from winter winds – which will freeze-dry them otherwise. I used some tarps and plastic sheeting when I ran out of shade fabric, since these will do the same thing during the winter. You do have to be careful though to open things up again during winter or spring thaws, or your logs will get moldy, which can happen above 40 degrees.

If you only have a couple of logs, it is probably better and easier to just move them into your garage or shed, but that certainly isn’t an option for me!