So here are some photos of our farm just before we moved in. These were taken by my wife and our friend Jeff, who checked out the farm when it was for sale. These photos (actually, mention of the barn!) was all it took to convince me to buy the place. We put in a bid before I even stepped foot inside. It's all been working out quite nicely...
Here is the meadow that we turned into our pasture.
And here is a shot from the other end looking toward the barn.
The next two are some shots of the interior before we put up stalls and made a workshop.
We spent many days working into the wee hours of the morning cleaning out and building up the barn. We now have stalls for our sheep and milk goat, cattle, hogs, as well as seperate areas for brooding poultry, housing laying and meat hens, housing turkeys, and for milking the goat. Several other smaller areas can be converted into whatever needs may arise. We hope to have a few lambs nursing in one or two of these areas in a few weeks' time.
Here are some shots of the work in progress from last summer. The first one is just beautiful. It is so cool watching the dew burn off on an early Summer morning. Don't be fooled--those rolls of fencing are easily a couple hundred pounds each!
Here is the fence after a morning's work. Let me explain about those posts...We dug those holes by hand. That was by far the hardest and most time-consuming job we have had here yet. It was also quite a mental challenge at first as the spot we started in was all rocks and hard soil! We thought that it would take all Summer. Eventually, though, the digging went much quicker when we got down the incline into more forgiving soil.
Have you heard the saying, "Too many cooks spoil the soup?" Well, let me tell you that this absolutely does not apply here. Notice how my mom is right there supervising? It was the first real job that we used the tractor for. I built a fence-stretcher out of two pieces of 2 x 4. We bolted them together with the fence between and we were easily able to put enough tension on the field fencing to snug it right up to the posts. I'm sporting my "Summer beard" there.
Here is a shot of the barn area after some work. This area that my son is so diligently sweeping is now "Turkey World."
Finally, here is shot of the completed pasture fence as our young poults begin their explorations. We are lucky to have such a great mixture of grasses in this field. This year, we will be dividing up the pasture into two areas in order to rotate the animals back and forth and sustain high quality grass all season.