Got word from our builder today that construction will start on the barn at the beginning of May! I can’t believe how excited this makes me. Well, yes…. actually I can. The barn will be mostly built by the time I get out there this summer!!
There are three large 12′ x 12′ stalls, one 12′ x 12′ washing stall with milking station and sink. A 12′ wide centre isle sloped to the centre with drainage reservoir and a 36′ x 10′ storage room at the end for feed and tack. The outside walls are made of a concrete composite plank siding which is fire proof and all walls are insulated with earth friendly batting. Before there are critters housed in there, I suspect it will make a handy flop house for guests as it will be the only place this year with power and water in the same location! I will post pictures when I am able to get them but for now, here are pictures of the workshop built last year:
I am still in the planning stages of so much of the layout of the rest of the farm and schedule so these next few months here and the summer months there will be spent finalizing all this.
The orchard trees were ordered considering their varying ripening times, to make harvest of fruits a smooth flowing procedure, rather than complete chaos of trees ripening all at once. Our fruits should come into season one after the other from Early May, to November.
Early May – rhubarb, June – strawberries, early ripening blue berries, then raspberries and black berries in July. At the end of summer gooseberries, early plums and cherries, then one variety of apple, then the pear, then the other variety of apple, the four varieties of quince in October and finally the walnuts, butternuts and filberts in late October or early November. All will come, mostly, after we have had enough time to process the previous batch of fruit and with a sufficient gap from end of August to September to process all the last veggies from the market garden.
I know, of course, that this is only if all goes according to plan, which it likely won’t. So, we will play it by ear but with our eye on the plan and figure out where it goes from there. I expect we will have several ‘operational tweaks’ in our future.
It is with all this in mind that we have decided to spend the first year with only foul. Turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese. This gives us time to focus on growing hay enough to stockpile the year before we acquire any livestock that would require it. The same goes for oats, and perhaps barley and alfalfa. Hard red wheat will be grown in a few years, as I would like to make flour and try my hand at storing the wheat berries for future.
A pond would be wonderful, but likely not on the agenda for this year. It would be great to dig, line with clay and wait for next year to watch it fill up but there is still a bunch of research that needs to be done to ensure a healthy pond. I would love to be able to stock it with fish, but fear that unless it is terribly deep, the water will be too warm to keep fish worth eating. Lots of questions to be answered yet on this seed of an idea. I’m sure the ducks and geese would love a swim, too, so I will get these questions answered first.
The lilac grove, rose garden and lavender fields will all be gradual additions and have plants added as we find a suitable variety or a favourite. I will start on a perennial garden this summer and perhaps prepare ground for cut flowers the following year. I am so looking forward to chipping twigs for pathways and having a stroll through all that delicious flower smell!