Archive | June 2018

A New Toy

About a week ago, we acquired a new toy.   A Cement Mixer!  Wow!  Whoopee!  Yay!

This cement mixer made the completion of Project 42.A.(4)f(25) possible and we are so happy to include it in our power tool and equipment family.

Since you are breathlessly awaiting the description of our little endeavor, let’s get to it….

About a year ago, Mr. Fifty Shades of Green Acres installed a hydrant near our chicken coop and square foot garden to make it easier for us to clean the coop and water the garden.  To be expected, the area around the hydrant began to get a little soggy and muddy whenever we worked around it.  So, Mr. Fifty Shades decided he needed to learn how to pour concrete so that he could make the hydrant location sturdier and less messy.

To start, there are directions right on the mixer – and only five easy steps.  This looks like a cinch to do – might be easier than putting a veneer finish on furniture, which is pretty easy to do (according to my mother-in-law who saw it done on Martha Stewart – the veneer, that is, not the concrete).

Once you have read the directions, you get down to business…

Turn on the mixer, add water in the drum and then several 50 pound bags of premixed concrete…every 20 pounds of dry concrete mix yields about a bit over 1/7th of a cubic foot of poured concrete.

Let it get nice and gooey, and then…

…pour it in the mold.   Although, Mr. Fifty Shades says it isn’t gelatin so it’s pour it in the forms.

Spread it evenly into the formed area then repeat several more times.  You must do this when it’s at the hottest point of the day – because – well – just because!   Throughout the process, the concrete gets tamped down with this tamping down tool.

Once you’ve got all the concrete in, you use this handy tool called a float that Mr. Fifty Shades made because he did not want to (yes, you guessed it) spend the money to buy one.  You pat down the concrete and this tool helps to work the rocks down into the mix and bring some of the cement, sand and water to the surface.


After the cement sets for a while, you can come back and do this..

and then sweep…to create texture and prevent slips and then trips to the hospital

This pad needs to set for a bit and in a couple days the forms can be removed.

Of course, as with all projects, cleaning up is a must…

Now that we’ve tackled this one, other cement projects await!

In other news,

…our first tomatoes have emerged…

and we are trying out reflective tape (a gift from our VIC – very important cousin!) to see if it keeps the birds away.  We love the birds but we don’t really like to share our vegetables with them.  We’ll let you know if it works!

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team