Monday, February 07, 2011

the future

I was just thinking about the blog today and spent a little time going over past posts back to 2006 when I first started blogging. It seems so long ago to be talking about bees and pigs and pastured chickens. I miss all that. Cindy and I are still knee deep in finances and trying to get the house presentable along with the the basic issues of daily family life but we are still thinking about future plans for our little farm and furthering our self-sustainable lifestyle. 

We are a couple big steps closer to our goals of sustainability. We have a cozy little house that is ultra-efficient. We have a larger base of land that we own. And we have our little herd of Galloways. The thing we miss the most right now are our laying hens. Currently they are hanging out at Cindy's sister's place. They are producing a good amount of eggs apparently because Cindy came home with 7 or 8 dozen eggs the other day! One of the first things we will do this spring is to build our chicken coop and yard. I am playing around with some ideas in my head. I haven't quite decided what type of house to build them. I am thinking cordwood or perhaps another straw bale structure. The other alternative is to provide them with a moveable house and yard, but with so many unruly neighbour dogs about, that is a disaster waiting to happen. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a dog harassing livestock, but would prefer to avoid that scenario at all costs. No matter the situation, a farmer shooting a neighbor's dog always becomes the farmer's problem. Keeping the hens safely in our yard, close to the house, is probably the direction we will go. Somewhere near the garden.

I love the creativity of these folk's chicken coop!


There are, of course, quite a few other things on our radar for the farm. We have to get pigs back in our lives. I miss them. For that project I am also considering a permanent yard situation as opposed to portable. Perhaps though we can combine two types of accommodations for the pigs. Maybe they can farrow in the yard and then get moved out to pig tractors when they are older?

The garden and orchards are ready to go for 2011. We seeded the garden with fall rye last autumn and it will be ready to till and plant when things dry up. 

Other projects include a root cellar of some type and a smoke house. I really want to try building a stone smoke house. The land around us is quite stony and so I won't have many problems finding suitable building materials once I till the land in the spring. 

Of course there are other farm buildings to build too. A shop. A proper milling building with hopper bottom grain bins. Landscaping. Fish pond...good grief, what have I done? Anybody looking to sell their downtown high-rise condo?  




4 comments:

  1. Wow do I want to come hang out at your place. Maybe once you've done all the work, hah.

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  2. Dude, you are always welcome to come hang out, but don't wait till I'm done by all means. Bring your hammer. Scratch that...bring food.

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  3. speaking to pigs, i really liked the look of the portable pig enclosures in a video on kevins site. They were made out of what looked like 1" square tubing, and had the water barrel on a corner. Pigs went it, and it got dragged around with a truck (slowly).

    I'm tempted to try something like that this summer. I really like the idea of being able to concentrate animal attention in one area -- maximize rest time for the land.

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  4. I think it is a system that works well Bruce. Our experience with moveable pens tells me to over-build them. I would guess that to be especially true for a pig tractor.One obvious benefit to this system is the ability to follow right behind the pens with broadcast clover seed or something else beneficial.

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