Nov 142011

Breezy ridge top greetings to you!

The past few weeks have been predominantly taken up with trying to get Mom and Dad’s house reroofed. What a challenging and interesting project that’s been! More details on that in a little bit.

Mom caught me harvesting some of the beautiful Swiss chard and kale that’s been growing this fall.


We are nearing the close of the main hoop house harvest for this season. While some crops such as Swiss chard and kale may re-grow a little later most of the other crops are going to be finished soon. If you’re interested we have Swiss chard, kale, both daikon radishes and regular radishes, tatsoi, along with a few green onions and mustard greens also ready for harvest. Pricing is as follows:

  • Swiss chard and mustard greens $2.75 per lb.
  • Kale and tatsoi $3.00 per lb.
  • Daikons and radishes $1.50 per lb.
  • Green onions $1.00 per dozen

Our last planned main harvests for this season will be tomorrow, Tuesday, November 15th and Friday, November 18th so please have your preorder in by 11:00 pm prior to harvest day. Please let me know if you would like us to harvest Tuesday or Friday and your order will be ready to pick up any time after 4:00 pm. If you won’t be able to pick up your produce the same day as harvest just let us know and we’ll have it harvested and ready for you to pick up at your convenience.

The cover crops were struggling some from the drought but are growing beautifully after our 3-1/2” of rain recently. That rain was a huge blessing and gave the cover crops “a shot in the arm”! Here they’re starting up…


…and with some rain and sunshine!


Back to our roofing adventures! We’d been trying to put off this roofing project as it wasn’t going to be a fun one and the material prices have been going up. However, when some of our small ½” to ¾” rains started leaking through a spot or two we decided maybe we’d better get on it before a big rain moved in.

Originally I’d hoped to just nail down 2×4” boards over the top of our existing roofing and had ordered materials accordingly. I should have done a little more checking before ordering though as I discovered some “situations” I wasn’t counting on. The oldest part of our house is over 100 years old originally being a two room farm house. Each generation that has moved in to the house since then has literally doubled the size of the house! Clambering up into the attic and around a couple of the old roofs that are still intact beneath the exterior roof I planned to  send some screws up through the shingles, beside each rafter in order to locate them. I discovered what had appeared to be three layers of asphalt shingles on the oldest part and the first addition of the house both had a thick layer of cedar shakes beneath! With so many thicknesses of roofing materials my 40d (5”) ring shank nails weren’t going to penetrate into the rafter far enough. Two other sections of roof seemed soft and kind of spongy. One area was  over the porch and the second was at a corner near the end of a valley and beginning of a hip ridge. After checking into both soft spots and finding the cedar shakes I discovered that it was going to be necessary to rip all the existing roofing  material off down to the one-by boards. This was going to be a bigger project than I’d planned on!

Tearing things up on the first section.


The soft area over the porch was bad enough the plywood that had been used there needed replaced and I scabbed onto the rafters which had developed a little rot in them as well. Fixing that area I was thankful to find the other soft area only needed a few one by boards scabbed in.

Porch repair.


With this being the first time I’ve roofed pretty much on my own (I haven’t done a lot of roofing in my lifetime) I would ask Dad a few questions in the evenings.

Granddad ran the Kubota for me so I could scoot all the loosened shingles into the loader bucket and he would haul them around to the dumpster we’d rented for the project. Once a section of roof was cleaned off I’d pull or drive the remaining nails. Dividing the roof up into several sections so I wouldn’t have the entire roof exposed to our chance rains that have thankfully been coming along every once in awhile, I’d rip that area off, nail down the 2×4’s and then start screwing down tin. Kansas wind is not really ideal to put tin on and especially not the few 29’ 3”  pieces we had. With the Lord’s help Dad and Jena helped me get two of them tacked down one evening as the wind began to calm and then I was able to get out before the wind came up too much the following morning and finish installing the longest sheets.


Our east section of roof was probably the most challenging with a double valley, multiple pitch angles, a hip ridge, half the old brick chimney (it comes up through the middle of the ridge) along with two vent pipes and all our incoming and outgoing electric! There are a few things I’d change if I were doing it over again now, but thankfully no leaks have occurred (that we know of) where I have everything finished. There is still some flashing, ridge and edge work to do though. Despite the few rains we’ve received the Lord has helped us have each section of roof to where we could either tarp an area or had just enough time to put the tin on so the house has been kept pretty well dry.

Cedar shakes really would look pretty neat, but I’m afraid these needed to be retired.


My last section of tin for the main roof was on the north side. Billy Gilmore III of Mississippi (the son of Mr. Bill and Miss Karen in the previous update) was coming up this way to bring a plow I’d bought and never picked up. Since Billy is also a carpenter he said that when he came, if I didn’t have the roof finished up, he’d be willing to help. True to his word when he came in we jumped to it and, praise the Lord, Dad had that day off (one of the two for the past few months) and Jena could also help that day! What a difference it makes with four people working instead of just one or two! By the end of the day we’d ripped off three layers of asphalt shingles plus one layer of cedar shakes, pulled all the remaining nails, nailed down the 2×4” stringers and screwed the tin down! Dad and Jena had to cut the tin a few inches shorter (I had to do it on a couple other areas too) because I’d ordered the tin to the length needed for covering all the shingles and cedar shakes. Live and learn from the mistakes I guess…next time I’ll check how many layers there really are!


It was truly a blessing from the Lord to visit and get to know Billy a little better for the short time he visited us. While I was staying in his house down in Mississippi he’d been on a job in Oklahoma. Due to our locality differences Billy and I had met when I’d gone down to Mississippi in February and then have talked on the phone occasionally since then. Our entire family really enjoyed the time he could spend with us and loved working with him on the roof as well.


While I’ve been slower in completing the roofing project than I’d hoped partially due to the unexpected snags I praise the Lord for how He’s helped all the learning mistakes to be relatively minor. It’s been an intriguing and interesting math project on some of the cuts due to all the features on the roof and since our roof has nearly if not all the features possible in roofing I think the next time I need to re-roof a building it should be much easier for me! There is still some more work to do before everything is completed, but hope, Lord willing, it won’t be much longer before the job is completed.

Materials for the roofing project.


Jena has been a huge help in taking time away from her EMT course studies sometimes to help me set strings for starting the tin square and also helped me place the first sheet of tin in a section so all the others pieces in that section would line up correctly. With all the pitch changes and ridge lines that made for several times she got up there and helped me! Granddad also has been a big help in making town runs for a few unexpected needed supplies, cutting 2×4” stringers to length for me and running the Kubota.


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…and nearly completed. Corner and trim pieces still need installed.

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Till next time may you have a wonderful fall!

Farmer Josh and the Mitchell crew

(620) 330-1966

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Despite our few nights of freezing and many nights of frosts there are a few flowers such as these Gaillardia and zinnias still trying to brighten the dreary browns and grays!