In some ways, I have been neglecting this blog the last couple of months. Moving here was like falling in love. For the first while we were in that heady, “cloud 9” stage where you can’t stand to be apart from your loved one. We wanted to be here all the time, working on the land and getting to know the plants and critters that live here. Finally in the summer we were ready to go out and meet our community. We’ve had many get-togethers with the local homeschoolers and have met some really lovely families. So that has been keeping us busy and keeping my time and attention away from the farm.
On the other hand, not much has been happening around here anyway! We still need to clear land and tidy up what we’ve cleared and you can’t really do that in the heat of summer when the plants, shrubs, and weeds grow like…well, like weeds! In fact, the place has been looking decidedly “unkempt” the last couple of months and I’m very much looking forward to doing some more work on the land.
We had some fencing guys come by and do a quote for us. We wanted a 200 x 200 ft enclosed paddock in which to keep next year’s pigs and maybe a goat or two. The quote came in at “far more than we want to spend” and over half of that was the cost of clearing the perimeter (it’s quite overgrown in them there woods). Husband and I know we can do that work ourselves, but it would take us weeks. However, we have lots of time so that’s what we’re going to do.
Frankly, I am itching to get a chainsaw back into my hands to cut down the damaged and dead branches, the spindly little saplings, and the bigger firs in our tangled woods. I also look forward to weed-whacking (with the rotary blade attachment) the overgrown tangle of bushes around the property perimeter to prepare for some fencelines. I’ve only just been able to walk through our woods again this past week as the nettles are finally dying back (they were 5 feet tall and we were clad in shorts and flip-flops) and the cooler days mean I can go out in long pants and not be too hot. I missed walking in our woods! There are so many beautiful maples in there, but you can’t see them for all the overgrown tangled undergrowth. I have a feeling those woods are going to look gorgeous when they’ve been pruned and managed better.
In the meantime, the top priority on our project list is to mill up the logs that were put aside when we cleared the big field. The guy came and did a quote and we should end up with about $3000 worth of fir “2-by’s” for just a tad more than half the cost. If we don’t get them milled, they will start rotting over winter and will be useless. What a shame that would be! So we’re ponying up the cash and looking forward to the immense satisfaction of building something with our own lumber.
I also need to plan out exactly where my garden is going to be (I said before I’d decided, but have had a change of mind since then) and figure out how I’m going to fence it. I may end up using the smaller firs we have lying around the place. They won’t last long at all buried in the ground as fence posts, but I don’t need it to be that permanent and using what we have means saving pots of money. Fencing is not cheap: I will never drive by a large farm and take those fences for granted!
We’re also planning on putting up an outbuilding. We need more storage and workshop space.
After that, the next big project is getting the excavator out here again for a couple of days. There’s a section of land that was logged when we cleared the field, but we didn’t have time to get to it before we ran out of budget. It has become badly overgrown with bushes (except where the pigs were; they did a great job!). The terrain is uneven, there are still large stumps in the ground, and there are two huge debris piles that we need to do something with. We’re hoping the excavator will be able to bury the piles, scrape some soil over them, and level the whole area out a bit more.
So, there should be some major changes happening over the next little while, all of which I will document with posts and photos. Thanks to all of you who are still sticking around!