I am superstitious. Because of that, I did not want to start telling the world about the new farm we are buying and what we are hoping to do with the land and how permaculture will play a big part of it. But, in the next few days we will be closing on the farm and there will be a flurry of activity that takes place. While the property has been cleaned up pretty nice for the showing and sale it has been in use for a long time, and the buildings show it. There are 2 houses on the farm, and the smaller of the two is in fairly good shape. The bigger house had carpet and lots of friendly pets, so it will need the carpet removed and some new more animal resistant flooring put down. This is job one for the human habitat. For the animals, the Sheep come first and then closely followed by the chickens. We have 2 existing chicken houses on site, and there are plans to add a tractor to the bird buildings. A straight run of egg layers has been ordered with hopes that about 22 weeks later we will have an overabundance of eggs and some frozen fryers in the freezer. The chicks will run about $2.00 each and be shipped in from McMurry hatchery. I really like Cackle Hatchery, which is actually very close, but I am holding them in reserve in case the McMurry chicks fail to thrive. The chickens are easy compared to the sheep!
Sheep are a lot like other farm animals, both smarter and dumber than you expect them to be. They will in fact find the only hole in a 1000 foot of fencing that you though a squirrel would have trouble getting through. They will leave the water and feed and wander out to snack on sticker weeds growing in the middle of the road. So my first sheep challenge is to take wire and fencing tool and lots of wire and fix the fences in the paddock where the sheep will initially reside. Later, we will move them to the 10 acres that produces hay during the summer. During the winter they can pasture there and fertilize the field as much as they like.
Each of us will get a space in the workshop. There are four large rooms with good lighting and barn doors. One room will be left for common tools like the saws and drill press etc. There is plenty of heat for the winter, but not much in the way of cool for the summer. Hopefully this means we will be out working in the open air in the summer. I will include more pictures in the future blogs so you can see the starting point and where we end up. Right now we are just all excited to be getting ready to make this new farm our own.