Two engineers with too many hobbies.
Carrie and I met at college (Mississippi State University) in our Computer Engineering classes. After graduating from MSU, Carrie went on to graduate school at Virginia Tech, while I worked for a software company in northern Virginia. After completing her master’s degree Carrie was offered a job at IBM, so we moved to North Carolina, got married, and a year later bought our first house.
Carrie had always wanted a garden, so we started our hobby collection with gardening. We built a few small, raised garden beds and had fun growing our own vegetables. As it turns out, Carrie had always wanted a big garden, and in 2006 we were luckily able to build a house on a 2.5 acre lot with plenty of room for gardening.
Nearly a decade later I think we’re finally done building raised garden beds. At current count we have 20 – 10’ x 4’ beds and 4 – 80’ x 4’ beds for growing vegetables. We have a 4 – 60’ muscadine grape trellises, an 80’ row of blackberries, and a 35’ row of espaliered apple trees. We have fig trees, blueberry bushes, goumi berry bushes, paw-paw trees, hazelnut bushes, and even a few pecan trees. And those are only the things that lived!
Gardening seems to have sprouted several other hobbies. Since all these fruits and vegetables needed pollinating, we thought beekeeping would be pretty helpful. We joined the local beekeeper association and became certified beekeepers. In 2010 we bought our first three beehives and had several good years before we finally lost our hives. We’ll be starting over this year, and it will all be documented here!
In addition to beekeeping, gardening also led to wine and beer making — one of these days I’ll find a spot to plant some hops! The bees ended up making a lot (250+ pounds) of honey and that led to mead making. And of course having excessive amounts of vegetables and fruit led to canning. 300+ pounds of tomatoes in one summer resulted in quite a lot of tomato sauce, salsa, and evil looks from Carrie (whoops!).
With all the raised beds completed, I felt the need to build more stuff. I insulated and finished our detached garage and turned it into a workshop for woodworking and other home improvements. These projects will include everything from hardwood floor installation to building desks, tables, and built-in cabinets (jars of tomato sauce apparently need a home). I’ll be detailing each of these here along with several smaller projects as well as the tools and jigs that I use in the workshop.
Of course being computer engineers, we geek out a bit on new technology, so I’ll include details on our home automation setup and other helpful gadgets.
So that’s a little bit about us! This blog is our ongoing attempt to inspire people to take up a new hobby or home improvement and hopefully help them save a little money along the way.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact us!