southern-style pear salad

Wednesday, January 22nd
The Chastain Farms
Winterboro, AL
making breakfast hash with Chastain Farms sweet potatoes & eggs

Today Kristin and I teamed up and took on the project of re-covering the greenhouse with a new layer of 5 mil plastic sheeting. The old one was holey and falling apart, and the greenhouse wasn’t really retaining any heat as a result. Given the massive polar vortex hunkered down over most of America, this was a problem that needed addressing sooner than later.

the bowl that broke this window was left in situ as a leak block …


Since the old plastic was going to remain as a secondary semi-insulating layer, first we needed find new boards to pin down the sheeting along the roof. In the loft of the “Tool Barn,” we discovered a pile of bowed and somewhat chewed up old cedar tongue and groove floor boards that would work perfectly, and brought them down and cut 14 of them to the proper length.


Then we climbed up on the roof and got the new plastic sheeting spread across the peak of the roof and draped down both sides. We screwed the new slat boards down on top of the old ones, with long screws on those aligned with the trusses, and short ones where there was no solid support underneath. This also meant that we could only put our full weights on every other board. I was glad to have my skate shoes and not just the rubber muck boots I’ve been wearing almost daily since we came South, as we balanced across the roof, attaching boards and supporting one another’s tool and screw needs.


Once we had the top all secured, we folded, rolled, cut, and stapled the edges down, and put pieces of the extra plastic over the broken and missing window panes. As a finishing touch, we found a screw that fit to replace the one missing from the decorative aluminum flourish on the door, so it no longer rattled and clanked loosely whenever the door was used.

the dogs admire our handiwork

We helped shove three round bales f hay off the trailer and into the horse and cow pasture. While we worked, a brown cow who is notorious for such behavior (she’d gotten Billy last week) snuck up behind Cleo and headbutted her in the butt.

I forget her actual name; I call her Headbutt


Then we set several new foundation posts for the high tunnel greenhouse,  with a lot of attention paid to things being precisely even and level.

Nathan, nephew of Thor

We saw the wild cats and kittens that live in the semi-ruin of the Tool Barn; they were gorgeous and adorable, but completely uninterested in human interaction.

For dinner we went down Chastain Road to Kimm’s house, where we were introduced to the Southern food experience of “Pear Salad” – a  canned pear (canned on Chastain Farm) topped with mayo and shredded cheddar cheese. It didn’t sound bad, but I was still surprised at how well the three ingredients actually worked together.

Try it!

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