Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Forward, back, and forward again

The weather continues to cooperate, and the barley continues to grow...

Unfortunately, the local wildlife has discovered it.  The prime suspects: deer, rabbits, groundhogs.  I'm leaning towards the rabbits--I didn't see any deer sign, and the groundhogs would probably have left tracks, as well; the rabbits, on the other hand, are wee little beasties, probably light enough to leave no sign.  Whatever it was, they nibbled nearly all of the Halcyon down close to the ground, and got most of the Maris Otter as well...

So, last weekend saw me cutting some chickenwire and improvising some stakes.  The shoots are reasonably well-protected, now; the deer might still get at them, but there's enough easier fare elsewhere that I think they'll pass.

My thinking on whether the barley will survive: there was still a little green showing on each of the sprouts, which was promising.  Also, barley is a grass--and I mow the yard on a regular basis, taking it back by more than the barley was clipped; that surely says something for its hardiness.  Sure enough, when I went to check on it yesterday, it had rebounded nicely--probably helped by already having developed something of a root system.  I have to think that the gradually cooling weather is helping somewhat, as well...

In all, I'm actually pleased--I had worried that I may have planted too early, and that I'd get stooling (the actual seeding stalk) before the *really* cold part of the year hits.  (This may still happen--four years ago or so, we had "warm" weather into the 50's-60's through December.)  One recommended solution is to "trim" the barley before it gets to that point--that seems to have been taken care of for me.

A bigger challenge, though, is going to be renovating my "new" brewing area.  It has no electricity or water.  The roof needs to be patched, if not totally replaced.  The doors all need replacing, and I'll be getting to the windows at some point, as well.  There's a decrepit chimney that I'd like to demolish and replace with a wood-burning stove.  All of this is over and above doing the interior walls, floor, and ceiling--which will have to happen before I add anything like a bar...  I'm looking at thousands of dollars worth of "repairs," and wondering how I'm going to go about it.  I've toyed with the idea of micro-funding--doing a Kickstarter project, or something similar.  They seem focused more on business ventures, though, and that's at best 15 years down the line, probably closer to 20, if at all.  Does anyone have suggestions for good ways to legally raise money for something like this?  I'm all ears...

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