3 In addition to the cleanup of the shed, we are also painting and staining all of the wooden outdoor furniture we use on the farm. That project is going on in another building.
18 Because these fixtures are closed to the elements, they don’t get too dirty.
3 I saw fixtures like these in an antique shop while visiting a friend on Nantucket Island.
12 She then reached in her pocket where she had placed the set screws.
Depending on how long it takes to thaw from this deep freeze, I may need to come up with a few more important indoor chores! Enjoy these “before” and “after” photos…
4 Here’s Chhewang moving the trucks and tractors out of the way… Do you recognize the truck on the right?
8 The lockers on the back walls are used by the guys to store their work clothes and boots. You can see why the area was in such need of a cleanup.
2 We have an assortment of trucks – heavy duty pickups (Ford) for snow plowing, and carrying plants from the nursery and to my other homes; John Deere tractors – a 65 hp and a 95 hp, for mowing, haying, lifting, etc.; a dump truck; a Hi-Lo for changing windows, roofing, masonry, etc., and many mowers, wheelbarrows and even our old Martha by Mail truck.
27 Val Maitino also made the lights that illuminate the exterior of the driveway entrance.
12 After each piece of equipment was dusted off, checked for sharp blades, clean filters, and proper oil/gas mixtures, it was wheeled back to its proper place in between the wood chipper and my John Deere tractor.
19 Quite a different look from the John Deere. I would love to see how fast the fields could be mowed with this old tractor!
31 This entrance to the house faces the street and is opposite the porch entrance.
7 Smaller pieces of equipment were moved, so the area underneath could be thoroughly swept.
I hope you enjoy these photos and please leave your remarks in the comments section below.
10 We use Fords, GMCs and some Chevrolets on the farm. They are cleaned and stored in the Equipment Barn in front of the hand tools – rakes, shovels, pitch forks, etc.
1 Part of spring cleaning involves washing all of the glass globes of the exterior lights. Sanu carefully removed them from the outdoor fixtures and brought them indoors to the long, shallow sink in the servery.
1 The Equipment Barn is used to house all the farm vehicles as well as the hand tools and carts and mechanics tools for daily use.
As many of you know, the central greenhouse at my Bedford, New York farm is home to hundreds and hundreds of beloved plants. I enjoy learning about, and caring for, the many rare and unusual specimens in my collection, but I also enjoy bringing different plants inside my home, especially when I entertain. With its vast span of clear windows, this glass house needs to be cleaned regularly so it functions at its best. Calcium deposits and algae can form on the windows, blocking much needed heat and light from the growing plants. Over the last couple of weeks, Carlos has been working very hard to clean each and every pane – it’s a huge and arduous task, but well worth the time and effort.
4 Val Maitino Antiques is a family business on Nantucket buying, selling, and restoring antiques for more than 40 years. They made these lights according to my specifications and even painted them Bedford Gray to match the house.
26 Birds really like these fixtures and have built a nest between the lamp and the house.
20 Everything is back in place – just a little more sweeping and it will look great!
20 She passed the chimney to Maria inside the kitchen where it was washed and dried.
This is my expansive main greenhouse before the cleaning process began. This greenhouse is located next to my flower cutting garden, not far from my gym building. In fact, I often stop in this greenhouse after my morning workouts.
Inside, I keep lots of potted rare and unusual plants that need lots of light and heat in order to grow. If you look closely, the windows are covered with calcium deposits, which means it is time for a good cleaning.
The first step is to move all the plants from the long sliding tables on each side. Here is Fernando carrying some of the potted specimens out of this area. Our gardening intern, Wambui, is also helping with this process – there are a lot of plants to move.
Carlos uses a flat bin to remove some of the smaller, more delicate specimens. This table has been emptied and the glass above is ready to be cleaned. Here are the main supplies we are using – gloves, sponges, ladders, water and Barkeeper’s Friend, a great product containing oxalic acid.
The abrasive used in this powder doesn’t scratch glass or porcelain when properly used, so it works well on windows. Carlos places some of the Barkeeper’s Friend onto the sponge. And then fills the window with the solution, carefully scrubbing away the calcium deposits.
Here he is from the other side of the window – each window is double-paned, so the outside will also have to be cleaned. Next, Carlos rinses the window with plain hose water. And then uses a squeegee to remove the water and any solution residue.
There are many windows. Carlos works from the top to the bottom. He is very careful not to apply too much pressure that could possibly scratch the glass. Here, Carlos uses a power washer to clean the debris off the screens.
The lowest windows on this greenhouse automatically open when temperatures inside are too high. A lot of dust and debris can accumulate on these screens. Carlos also wipes down the sills and casings – sometimes using a little diluted bleach solution to remove any stains that may have accumulated.
Look how clean this sill is after a bit of elbow grease. Dust and debris can also accumulate underneath the long sliding tables. Carlos power washes this area too. Another project will be to remove and wash all the pots.
The power washer does a great job. On each end of the greenhouse is a smaller vestibule where we keep additional potted specimens. Once again, Carlos carefully scrubs the windows with Barkeeper’s Friend and a sponge.
And then hoses off the solution. And uses a squeegee to remove the water. Both sides of this window are cleaned – look how clear it is. On this window, Carlos notices some of the calcium remained on the glass after he cleaned it.
You can still see a couple more spots in the center of the window. So, Carlos repeats the process using more Barkeeper’s Friend and water. Until he is pleased with how it looks. Next, Carlos tackles both sides of every door.
Until he sees a favorable result. Carlos occasionally stops to inspect his work – he is seeing good results from his cleaning. After a couple weeks, the greenhouse looks like new. Next – the outside – there is always lots to do at Cantitoe Corners.
15 This John Deere tractor is great! It is often used for mowing the hay fields and plowing the carriage roads.
5 Maria washed them inside and out with a mild dish detergent.
6 After hanging outdoors for more than 10 years, I think these lights have held up quite well.
14 Mowers, blowers, tillers and generators all parked neatly together and ready to use.
9 In this corner, we store wheelbarrows on end to conserve space. They also look much more tidy this way.
6 I have some antique lawn mowers, some old tractors, and haying equipment, too. The Martha by Mail truck was a postal delivery truck from the 80’s which I bought years ago and had painted green.
16 This Cub Cadet is one of the favorite tools for mowing the paddocks and the few lawns on the farm. It gets a big workout every year.
Posted in: Bedford, Behind the Scenes, My Farm, Photo Gallery
Posted in: Bedford, Collecting, Employees, My Farm, My Home, Photo Gallery
After a long and brutal winter, we’ve had a couple of days where it actually felt a bit like spring and we’ve gotten a jump-start with the spring cleaning. Chores are being tackled both inside and outside the house, as well as around the farm. Spring is a time of rejuvenation and I think that everything should sparkle! The other day, my housekeepers, Sanu and Maria put a sparkly glow on the exterior lights of my home. By the way, these fixtures were custom made for me by a wonderful shop on Nantucket Island called Val Maitino Antiques.
My Equipment Barn is quite large – about 40 by 120 feet, with a substantial amount of height. On one side, I store mowers, blowers, John Deere tractors, and other pieces of machinery. For this cleanup, we cleared the area, swept the floor and inspected every item before returning it neatly to its spot, so everything is organized and ready for spring. It was quite a task, but it’s always rewarding to see the finished project…
25 Those same lights hang on either side of the entrance to the basement
17 Next to the John Deere tractor is this vintage Allis-Chalmers tractor from the 1940s.
18 I did have this tractor in working order at one time. It has not been put to use in a long time however.
21 Here is another view from the other side of the wood chipper.
Usually by the beginning of March, we’re able to start some of the outdoor grounds work here at the farm, but of course, little can be done when we’re still buried under several feet of snow… And here’s a surprise – the northeast is expected to get more this week! In fact, as we write this blog, it is snowing heavily in New York City and the weatherman promises eight to 10 inches in Bedford with ice as well as snow! So, to keep my garden crew busy and out of the cold for extended periods of time, I thought it was a good idea to tidy up the Equipment Barn. Keeping seasonal supplies well maintained and properly stored will always save time in the long run.
21 Sanu used a damp cloth to wipe the mercury glass reflecting disk.
5 It’s the old Martha by Mail truck, which is also safely stored in the Equipment Barn.
29 The other kitchen entrance is lit with a ceiling mounted fixture.
11 I tried to use very utilitarian lighting and fans everywhere on the farm – there is an overriding theme of slate, galvanized metal, practical, utilitarian fixtures, heavy duty hardware, etc.
9 Maria used a soft cotton cloth to dry, which is fairly lint-free.
16 Val Maitino also made the fixtures on either side of the kitchen door.