While we have some big hopes for getting in some prime trail wandering this year, we also have plans to slowly expand our hobby farm. Add some rows to the garden, gates to the yard and chicken coop, and you know add some more chickens (with better rooster karma)? Maybe ducks by the fall?
Trying to balance our love of the trails with our love of growing a small farm can become difficult to maneuver. Trails can wait but planting and harvesting has to be carefully timed. I believe we can do both as long summer days give us expanded daylight hours to get it all done. Maybe.
But we can easily become paralyzed in planning so we decided to set forth some goals and see what happens. After all, we got our crazy large chicken coop built last year, who knows what we can accomplish this time around. So here is what we’d like to achieve:
Complete fence in chicken run and add appropriate gates
The chicken run currently backs up to the garage which is nice for access but they have wreaked havoc on the ground surrounding that part of the foundation. The plan is to fence them off and add a gate so we can still access the run and the coop from the garage, but the chickens can’t. Additionally, we want a gate at the back of the garden which will provide us with access when we need to haul soil or get a tiller in the garden….otherwise it’s a long walk around the garden to get things done.
Complete grass frame and create a rotation for grass access for chickens
Right now, the chickens are given access to the garden to eat grass and till up the area daily. But as March approaches we’ll want to keep them out. It creates a conundrum because chickens who eat grass lay better eggs.
We can have the grass frame complete in an hour and currently we have some poultry fencing partitioning off half the run. I’m hoping this will allow the ground to get a break before I try to throw out some grass seeds to try to get some grass to grow. The gates mentioned above will help if we can find a way to leverage the coop and garden gate to route the chickens past the garden to the side yard so they can have access to grass all year round. We’ll need to temporarily fence off that piece of the yard to keep chickens and dogs separate, so eventually this will require another gate.
Apparently, farming is fencing. And gates.
Add rows to the existing garden and do a crop rotation plan
The row that currently hugs one side of the garden will be extended so that one large row surrounds the outer fence giving us more planting room. We are currently debating whether to till smaller rows in between or just expand the existing rows by a foot or two.
Setup a greenhouse
Theprevious owners had plans to build a storage shed and in preparation for that built the frame/foundation. After a couple of years the boards topping the foundation have started to rot, so we figured we would have to deconstruct the whole thing and start over.
Fortunately, only the top ply-wood boards are rotted, and the actual frame was built on leveled ground with treated lumber so we will have a foundation. All we have to do is remove the plywood, all treated lumber decking and secure the greenhouse on top. Easy peasy. We just need around $3000 to complete that plan. It may be more bed to the 2019 goals, although, I really want to get a greenhouse started.
Setup fencing to add ducks by the fall
We have this great pond in the middle Dale if our property so we’d like to fence an area near and through part of the pond to allow easier care for ducks and maybe a couple of geese. I’m thinking this one may also get tabled to 2019, but keeping it on our list of goals.
We have our work cut out for us, but we are up for the challenge!