Monday, April 30, 2012

A dream...come true

When we bought our property, it was really rugged! Picture a tiny house in the midst of a huge, thick forest of trees.  It was a far cry from the “little cottage on the farm” vision we had, but little by little we have tamed it. Our first couple of years, we cleared many trees away from the house.  What a difference that made by giving us a much more light and airy feel inside the house and by opening up the space outside too. 

Out buildings are essential for a farm.  We needed a barn, a milk-room, and a covered area for the firewood and tractor.   Ahhh, but before we could even begin on those big projects, we needed to deal with the downed trees and giant piles mini mountains of debris that were the result of clearing.  The trees were cut up into rounds and moved to a place where they could be split for firewood.   That summer, the chain saw was my husband’s best friend.  My sons learned how to split wood by hand with a maul and an ax.  (P.E. homeschooling style.)

That literally has taken several summers because there were a lot of trees and because well, it rains here, just a little.  What a blessing, though, to have plenty of firewood each winter.

Next we had to tackle the huge, unsightly piles of tangled branches and huge stumps that clearing leaves behind.  Thankfully, we do have a chipper.  We can push branches through and use the chips on the paths and in flower beds for weed control.  It’s the stumps that are stubborn!  They don’t seem to burn easily, they only char.  With persistence and patience we have tackled two of them. 

After several years, we actually look a bit civilized.  We now have a large barn (10 x 40) with 4 stalls. That has been so useful to have different pens for different situations dependiing on the goats and kidding. We also have a "milk room". It's just an 8 x 8 cedar shed, but it holds 2 milk stanchions, large galvanized cans that hold grain and minerals, and a cute little storage bench - perfect for our use.  We have a home for the split wood and tractor too.  But the thing we've been dreaming about from the very beginning is now, we will finally have a garden!

My men at work

Matt exercising his supervisory skills




Eric and the boys have worked hard rototilling, picking out rocks, and putting up the fence. They  added the darling pickets - just for me.  We still will need to put up metal fencing (like chicken wire) on the inside of the picket fencing to keep the voracious, little, cute, bunnies out.

We still need to rototill again and move dirt to level it out, but we are almost ready to plant!

We have a shorter growing season up here on the mountain, but that's o.k., we’ll plant starts. We can’t wait to enjoy some goodies from the garden. We've been dreaming about this for a long it's a dream come true!


  1. Wow! That looks amazing. After reading this post I felt compeled to look at all the other wonderful things you have done for your homestead. I've enjoyed my time! As I was reading one of your posts, you mentioned using GSE for the udder wash. We've been using the bleach concotion and I really hate having to use bleach on a living being. We lost half of our milking season last year due to both goats getting repeated cases of mastitis. I think the initial problem was our ground was too wet, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the bleach was only contributing to the lack of udder health. Anyways, I would love to hear why you use GSE, and how effective it has been. May I ask what you use to clean you milking pail with? Thank you for sharing your farm with us.

  2. Kerri - I did a GSE post just for you. ;-)
    As for cleaning our stainless steel milking pail and strainer, we could wash them in a GSE solution because it is safe to use on metal, but we just rinse them in cool water until all the milk residue is off, then wash in the dishwasher along with the other dishes on a sanitize setting.


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