So the problem with owning a farm is that it is what you make of it. Luckily my dad got me started fabulously with my barn, a hay barn, and, as a stipulation of his will, had new fence put around the perimeter of the farm. The nature of farms is that things are always growing, changing, and needing our interventions though, so this is a list of the things I’m crossing my fingers to get done this year. A sooner and a later category…
- Skylights. As you may have noticed in my last post, I’m kind of grieving the death of one of my skylights. Somehow a small skiff of snow managed to end the poor thing a couple weeks ago. I have a roofer guy looking into the price of replacing all 12 skylights, the price of replacing the one, and the price of both options, but with metal instead of the skylight panels. Depending on prices, this will happen soon! This is a priority (at least fixing the one busted one is) since rain is getting in my barn and making a huge mess, and worse yet my trusses are getting wet…rotten trusses are no one’s friend.
- Trim/finish barn. I’m going to ask this same guy for a quote on installing the pieces of metal that are in the hay lean to area. Dad fired the crew who built the barn before they finished and left like 6 pieces uninstalled. I figure if the guy is going to be climbing on the barn anyway…
Later this year:
- Rent (or beg, borrow, steal) a skidsteer
- Dig post holes for new fence around creek. We don’t have an auger for our tractor, so digging post holes with the skid steer would be ideal. This fence would allow us to enlarge the 20 acre pasture by a little bit, moreso for ease of maintenance than the added forage as it is a small area. I basically would like to avoid having to bush hog down near the creek and keep it looking nicer in the future. It’s grown up looking most of the year. It will also double the amount of creek that is fenced in though, which is handy. The added creek frontage would be useful if I decide to cross fence the 20 acres going forward. Having guaranteed water 24/7 365 without having to bust ice or refill troughs is glorious. Having hippo mares on 20 acres in grass season…not so much.
- Death to autumn olives. I have a sizable patch of these growing out in the 20 acre pasture. The original farm was over 100 acres, most of which doesn’t belong to me anymore. The furthest portion of the original farm is basically overrun with them, so I’m lucky I only have this patch to eradicate. Unfortunately they are one of the hardiest and most invasive shrubs and downright refuse to die, even if you cut and burn them, so you have to cut them, burn them and systematically poison their stumps all winter.
- Level out more riding area/fill in sink holes revealed by the tree removal for the power line. If I’m running out of time with the equipment this is the lowest priority project as it is in the path of the future potential road and I don’t want to pay extra to do this if its just going to get paved…this is mainly going to happen if I have to rent one for 30 days and I have time. Plus I’ll be better at loping on inclines if I don’t do this…yay?
- Well. Goodbye moneyyyy. I need to have a well dug on the property to stop using my brother’s well. It’ll be handy when it’s done but isn’t the most fun way to spend money…especially when the county might take your farm in a way that makes you not want to build a house and utilize said well…but yes, this needs to be done or at least considered soon.
The image below shows the entire farm within the pink boundary. The blue line in the top right hand corner is the location of the creek and the existing barn is circled in purple, so that’s a lot of farm between those two water sources. My prospective well will hopefully be where the “W” is on the image as it is between where we hope to build a house and where I’d probably relocate the barn to should the road annihilate my current structure (“H” and “B” respectively).
I really hate that I have to plan around the possibility of that road happening, but, unfortunately, that’s the reality of the situation. In the future the farm, or what’s left of it, will be more centrally located, which is the only bright spot in all of this. The well is kind of the first step towards this process, but it is needed in the location indicated regardless of the road since that’s where we intend to build a house in the future (and it would be nice to be able to water horses in that area if cross fenced…).
So, that’s the direction I’m leaning for farm work this year…now just to wait for the weather to accommodate beginning actual work…