Summary

This is a summary of the project summaries. Each one includes links and pictures from posts on the Yellow Cottage Homestead blog. You can read the summaries for an overview of each project, and click through to the individual posts if you want more details.

Visit the Projects page to scroll through all of the projects, or pick individual ones below. Click or tap on the heading or photo to visit that summary.

More project summaries will be added over time. Here are the ones available so far:

Berry Cage

Building a berry cage in the vegetable garden.

Greenhouse

Assembling our greenhouse, and updating it with shelving, irrigation, etc.

Trees

Planting trees around the property, and measuring the heights of select trees.

Cat House

A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us.

House Electrical

Electrical work in our house.

Shop

Projects related to our workshop.

Beekeeping

Various construction projects related to beekeeping.

Garden Plumbing

Various plumbing projects around the homestead.

Chicken Run

A project to build the fence and netting roof of an outdoor run for the new chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

A big project to build a new chicken coop.

Potato Planters

A simple project to build three potato planters.

Berry Cage

Building a berry cage in the vegetable garden.

November 2018

To help protect our blueberries, strawberries, and others from birds, I built a fully fenced enclosure within our existing fenced veggie garden. As with many projects, the first step was a delivery of materials:

To maximize the useful space, I also added a new bed within the berry cage area:

Adding the first pole to support the roof:

December 2018

Lots of poles and beams:

Adding fencing wire:

Building the back gate:

January 2019

And more gates:

And yet another gate, between the chicken run and veggie garden:

Adding welded wire roofing:

February 2019

Finally, replacing the exterior fencing wire:

June 2020

I added some bird netting to the veggie garden berry cage fences:

Greenhouse

Assembling and updating our greenhouse.

October 2018

We’ve long wanted a greenhouse to help extend our growing seasons, so I purchased and assembled one:

An empty greenhouse isn’t very useful, so we added a potting bench and basic wire shelving:

January 2020

To increase the capacity of growing space, I built some custom wooden shelving. Here’s the framing for a shelf:

The back shelves underway:

February 2020

Once the shelves were completed, I stained and installed them:

I also included a sink:

March 2020

In order to support soil moisture sensors in the greenhouse, I added a weather station that also includes wind, light, and rain sensors, plus indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity:

To irrigate the plants, I installed pipes and taps:

April 2020

A fun aerial shot of the greenhouse via my drone:

Starting to install irrigation misters:

And finished:

That’s it for now. I’ll update this summary with any future greenhouse enhancements.

Trees

This is a summary of tree-related posts on the blog.

October 2017

We’ve planted lots of trees over the years, and I find it interesting and helpful to measure how they grow over time. When looking at trees all the time, the slow growth isn’t always evident, but actually comparing numbers and photos really makes the growth more apparent.

I started measuring a selection of trees we planted in September 2016, and again the following year, with the idea of measuring the same trees at around the same time every year (click the link or image to see the original blog post):

March 2018

But wait, there’s more! We planted some new border and feature trees in the field:

September 2018

The following year, measuring the tree heights again, with some modifications:

We have a lot of wild fir trees at the back of our property, with new ones self-seeding, so about once a year I dig up a few suitably-sized ones and transplant them to more useful locations:

October 2019

Another year, more tree height measurements, with extra columns to show the differences:

I will extend this summary post with subsequent measurements and planting posts.

Cat House

A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us. For weekly posts on the progress of the cats themselves, check out the cats category of the blog.

This is a summary of the initial steps, and the big construction project itself, with links to the individual blog posts about it.

September 2017

We chose to get a couple of feral cats to live in our workshop, to keep it free of rodents. But we didn’t choose to have outdoor feral cats — that just happened.

One day we looked outside and saw what we initially thought was a rat, but turned out to be a kitten… in fact four of them, and their mother (click the link to see the original blog post):

October 2017

To give the kittens some shelter when feeding them, I bought and assembled a prefab kitty condo:

December 2017

An initial attempt to provide an automated feeder suffered the wrath of raccoons, so I devised a raccoon-proof feeder:

As winter rolled around, I bought a heated shelter for them to live in:

January 2018

I also modified the feeder, to put the food dish under cover:

February 2018

But I wanted a better solution, so I sketched a plan for a custom cat house and feeder:

Construction started with the floor, naturally enough:

I did refine the plans a bit, though things changed a bit more during construction:

The walls were next, with insulation sandwiched between plywood sheets:

More walls, and platforms:

The roof also has insulation (on the shelter side):

March 2018

The entire front of the shelter side can be slid open, to maintain the interior:

April 2018

The cat house was designed with an old west theme, so has fun facades at the top:

Although the walls are just sheets of plywood, I added some extra trim to make it look like board-and-batten siding:

May 2018

I didn’t do any work on the cat house in May, but I did post an update on the feral cats in their old feeder and shelter:

June 2018

Back to work on it, I started painting:

And more painting:

And finished painting:

Next was roofing, leveraging skills from building the chicken coop:

July 2018

Then adding the windows, doors, and feeder:

At last, after some final touches of decorations, electrical, and carpet, it was time for installation:

It didn’t take long for the cats to explore the new structure. They started eating there very quickly:

And explore the shelter part:

August 2018

An exciting development was a couple of cats first sleeping in the shelter:

I added a camera to the feeder side, and tweaked the food pipe:

Some more modifications, to add a light strip and protective barrier around the feeder camera:

And tweaked the feeder tube:

September 2018

A barrier for the shelter camera, too:

I replaced the automatic feeder with an internet-connected one, so I can remotely dispense food to have more control (and thus reduce the incidents of leaving food overnight to attract wildlife):

December 2019

A related project, that I’ll include here: I built a platform for two cat cabins under our main deck, expanding the capacity of heated shelters:

I also added a back door to the feeder area of the cat house, enabling them to escape if the main entrance is blocked:

January 2020

Also related, I added another heated shelter in the breezeway next to our workshop:

That’s it for now! I don’t anticipate any more modifications in the immediate future, but will update this post if I do, and the blog of course.

For numerous cute pictures of the cats (and not so cute other visitors), follow the weekly Caturday blog posts!

House Electrical

Electrical work in our house.

There probably won’t be many projects in this collection, since I’d usually prefer to pay a professional, but there may be some. For now, just one.

September 2017

We got some smart switches, and I hooked up a couple (and was unable to hook up two more):

Shop

A collection of projects related to our workshop.

July 2017

For now, there’s just one: repairing a burst pipe behind the shower in the shop bathroom:

We plan to remodel that bathroom sometime, and finish off the back of the shop. It’s a big and low-priority project, though, so who knows when we’ll get around to it.

Beekeeping

A collection of various construction projects related to beekeeping.

This summary doesn’t include beehive inspections, just things like building beehive stands and such. See the bees category for other beehive posts.

April 2017

Before we could get bees, we needed somewhere for them to live. So we got a Flow hive, and I started to assemble it:

And finished assembling that and a second more traditional hive:

Hives can’t just sit on the ground, so I also built a hive stand:

Then we could get the bees:

March 2018

Over time, we expanded our apiary, so I built a second beehive stand:

April 2018

For more bees:

July 2018

Adding starter strips to a bunch of frames:

Garden Plumbing

A collection of various plumbing projects around the homestead.

Each post tends to be a different project, but it made sense to collect them under one project heading.

There were many projects before the first one mentioned on the blog. I might go back and document earlier ones someday, but for now I’ll start with ones already posted.

May 2017

While certainly not my first plumbing project, the first one that was posted about on the blog was repairing a frozen tap by the pond:

June 2017

A minor project was to add irrigation tubing to some new trees:

July 2017

Another was to add extra taps for the orchard and cherry trees around the white gazebo:

I intercepted some existing pipes to replace a junction by the old coop and add extra taps by the new chicken coop:

May 2018

A minor repair and other maintenance when turning on the garden water after winter:

Adding irrigation for new trees in the field:

November 2018

Moving a tap for the berry cage:

April 2019

Another post-winter repair, of the chicken coop taps:

March 2020

Another year, another repair… or repairs, to the deck misters and a flowerbed tap, plus a tweak to the small pond tap:

April 2020

As part of the greenhouse project, I installed pipes and taps into the greenhouse for irrigation (see that project for more on the irrigation parts):

July 2020

I added a tap to the garden east of the fountain, that previously didn’t have a tap:

More will be added in the future!

Chicken Run

A project to build the fence and netting roof of an outdoor run for the new chicken coop.

This is a summary of the project, with links to the individual blog posts about it.

July 2017

The chicken run was constructed shortly after the chicken coop was completed, while the chicks were living in it, but too young to go outside.

The project started, unsurprisingly, with a run to Home Depot to get materials (click the link to see the original blog post):

August 2017

I used my earth auger to dig holes for the posts, then started framing the fencing:

I did more fencing:

Traditionally access holes in fences are filled with gates, so I made some; a single gate for normal access, plus a double gate for maintenance access:

Once the framing was done, I started attaching the welded wire fencing:

With the fencing in place, the chickens could go outside:

September 2017

I made a grazing frame for the run, which is a low box covered with hardware cloth, for grass to grow without being dug up by chickens:

October 2017

I also added some roosts to the run:

To prevent predator birds from attacking the chickens, I wanted a covered run. Not sure I would bother with that again, but it seemed a good idea at the time. So I added extra poles and beams to support a netting roof:

The run was basically complete at that point.

November 2017

Later I did some repairs to the grazing box:

February 2018

The netting tends to rip when it is laden with snow:

May 2020

I replaced the netting roof with knotted rope netting: