Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Grand Tour

Finally I'll do a little tour of our technically 5 acre but truly 1 acre homestead :) I thought I took more and better pictures but I didn't get everything like I thought. I did do a little sketch of the property. The dotted lines are things we're working on or aren't there yet. So hop on and take the tour of our little piece of property. We've tried and still haven't been able to name our homestead yet. We're still kicking around some ideas. So onto the nameless homestead:

Click to see a nice big version of it. So our driveway comes down and on the left currently there's this:

This is facing it from the house, but you can see the driveway there. You can see on the drawing that there is a side driveway on the other side of the orchard. Okay, one day it will be an orchard. That road goes through our property but is an easement for the nice guy that owns the property behind us. It throws a monkey wrench in some long term plans but we'll work through it. Eventually we'll be fencing off down the hollow for goats and pigs and the fence will go over the road and they will have to move gates to drive down. You can see that there are a few trees that still need to be cut and lots of brush for me to move this week. Or next week probably :) But they're a little close to the electric lines and Clay wants to have the bobcat out and chain the trees before he cuts those just in case. But our orchard area along the driveway will be a two or three rail fence that will have grapes and raspberries. It gets great sun there. In the tip of the triangle by the side road where there is great sun and a big clearing of trees will be the blueberries. The area is bigger than it seems! Then trees spaced throughout the rest of the triangle. Sure it won't be a huge orchard but enough for our family.

Okay as you keep driving down the driveway in front of you will be the house. Now this isn't a fabulous picture as I was being lazy and didn't want to move the cars lol. And with no real functioning garage we had some woodworking equipment on the porch. But most of the equipment is gone now. Woohoo! You can also see a swing. Clay's in the process of putting two swings and a baby swing on the front porch.

With the house in front to the left is currently a chicken tractor. Or whatever tractor. Whenever we need to put a new animals of any kind it goes in there. But hopefully soon it will be a front garden.
To the right of the house is the wood area. That'll be changing some this summer with it moving more over and an addition of a small wood outbuilding of sorts. I've shown the wood area before. But I snapped the unfinished stacking job Frankie was not doing the other day :) It's nice and stacked and twice as much wood now. If this wood stack is on the left, the wood cutting, etc. area is on the right and not pictured.
As you walk past the wood, there's the garden! yay! We're farther along than in this picture. We're excited to be expanding the garden this year. And I have such a great and fabulous husband. I asked him if he thought with all the rocks if I would be able to dig holes for fence posts and he grabbed the digging bar and posthole diggers and said "Okay let's go!" We sunk all the posts that are in this picture that afternoon. Since then the whole back row of poles has been sunk as well. The posts are all the tops of cedar trees we either cleared for the orchard or from the tornado. Clay said we definitely have enough to do the whole garden in those posts. Awesome.
This garden area is 27' x 50'. Considering I'll be giant and pregnant during most of the main season that should be plenty big for this year. Next year it'll be twice as big. Yeah. As you get to that far right post on the back of the garden, straight ahead is an area that is either going to be more garden or the greenhouse and behind that the soon-to-be-finished chicken coop and to the right is an area that is either going to be garden or greenhouse. It's undecided. Here's the right garden area:
And a weird angle of the almost finished chicken coop. Didn't get a great picture of that.
To the left of that is some lawn and currently a trailer that we converted to a chicken coop. It has roosts, nesting boxes, etc. But come this Friday it will house quite a lot of new Spring chicks. I haven't decided how many yet but at least 20. I'm SO done with chicks in a box in the house. Never again :) That area will either be the rabbit colony or goats or both. We haven't 100% decided yet. I'll talk about the difficulties finding where to put the goats either later on this post or later later.

Now if you keep turning left there's a big tree, more lawn, and some space that will either be goats or clotheslines and strawberries. So much to fit, so little space. Sure would be easier if it was one long flat acre.

Now if you look at the drawing of the property, on the other side of the side road is 4 or so acres of somewhat steep wooded hollow. Eventually we'll fence off a couple areas through the hollow for goats and pigs. Man and where will the pigs go? I need to figure out where the big animals are going to go. Soon.

See the problem we're having is this. We don't want to have to drive through our only lawn to get to the back of the house to put hay in the barns. But um... where in the front can we put goats and pigs? Hmm... I'll have to work this out with Clay. Now the side road is probably only about 8 feet or so down a slope on the side of the back. So the area between the big tree and the house on the drawing. It would be an 8 ft slope down or so to deal with hay. Is there some way to deal with that? Digging out the hill and setting the barn farther back? Hmm... I'll have to talk to Clay and see how that goes. If you have a suggestion, I'll take it. Any suggestions. Now we considered doing the goat barn in the front. I could move the front garden out a bit and put the barn behind it. BUT the wind tends to blow towards the house. So we'd be downwind from the barn. I THINK. Again, I'll have to ask Clay. I mean it was blowing towards the house the other day. It seemed like it always blew that way. Maybe it doesn't! Who knows.

Okay that took way too long. It's highly doubtful anyone got to the bottom of this anyways. Except maybe my Gramma. She loves me. :)


becki said...

I got to the bottom, too! And congrats, i didn't know you were expecting another blessing!

Heidi said...

I'm glad I found your blog. Loved the tour!

Kristin said...

Oh this is just so exciting! I love all the pictures of your place. A few pieces of (sorry, I know it is unsolicited but I wish someone had told us years ago) advice: don't wait until you have everything set up before you get the larger animals. They really help a LOT getting your land up and running.

For example, pigs can really help clear and till land. If you leave them in one place for too long, you end up with hard packed dirt. Our hair sheep have really gotten some brushy areas under control that we fought with for years. Goats will do the same. And you get milk and/or meat for the effort. Electric net fencing really helps with this.

Feeding hay in various places also adds organic matter and manure. You get free seeds too. You can construct simple, movable hoop houses for the goats and pigs that will give them the needed shelter while giving you time to decide on the best layout. I'll try and get some hoop house shots up on our site soon so you can see what I mean.

I love your idea of the rail fence around the orchard. Ruminants can really destroy fruit and berry plants FAST. We need to do this around our orchard area!!

Thanks for the lovely tour! I can't wait to see how things progress!!