It’s almost Christmas. A foot of snow has fallen since we moved to our land. The house stands strong with gaping holes where the long-awaited doors and windows will be. If only our order would come in…
My man is finishing up the last of the back framing while we wait. And we decided to put the loft in now,instead of waiting until we need the extra space. I’m excited for the day when we can move in and truly claim this home as our own. I haven’t had that since I left my parent’s farm in the Cascade Mountains. And really, that was their home.
There are days when I still can’t believe this little piece of earth is ours!
Building our farmstead’s home has been a big deal. And in some ways, it’s beginning to feel like the end is in sight. I can see the structure, the location of our interior walls, the cold room and the size of my kitchen. Exciting stuff!
I find myself letting down. That is, until I realize it’s nearly the new year. And the new year quickly leads to spring. And once spring arrives? It’s time to tackle the land itself.
We only need to landscape the house for drainage purposes,clean up logs and debris lying around the back, clear an acre of timber for pastureland, take out a long strip of sun-blocking pines,run soil tests, establish a 300 foot edible hedgerow, develop and start a garden or two in this rocky ground, create several hugelkultars, plant an orchard, put up deer fencing in the front portion of the property and then fence the back pasture for dairy animals, build a barn and construct the root cellar…!
All this, while my man is working a full time job and trying to complete finishing work on the house.
As we approach the new year, my man andI are realizing we need to come up with a master, land development plan. And then? We’ll tackle our highest priorities first.
If you’d been in one of our local coffee shops last Wednesday, you’d have seen us bent over a notebook of graph paper. With hot drinks in hand, we sketched, discussed, debated, erased and drew things back into their original location.We’re thinking it over.
Call us boring, but we have neither time nor the desire to do things twice. Fences need to be put in their proper place the very first time. As do gardens, outbuildings, poultry pens, orchards and the like.
I think we’re in a good place.
And in our planning, there’s another important aspect to consider: building a small farm from scratch isn’t only about time and work.
It’s about the money, honey!
It takes money to live. And it takes money to build a home. And it certainly takes money to develop and build a farmstead, to fill it with life.
Hauling in garden soil for growing vegetables? Cha-ching!
Implementing hay bale gardening for the first year? Cha-ching!
Fencing for the back pasture? Ching-ching! The house andgardens? Double-chingy! Putting in fruit trees and building a root cellar? Ching-ity-ching!
Our wallets are going to feel very light, come next winter. Not that I expect to accomplish all that’s on our list by then. Certainly not!
It’s going to take time and it’s certainly going to take money!
In the bigger picture, I realize the work has just begun. That’s the bottom line!
From here on out, we need to pace ourselves. No more sprinting! We have resolved to only tackle two projects this spring: gardening (which I usually do anyway) and fencing. We’re trying to remember to slow down.
But it’s not easy! Our maternal clocks are beginning to tick and I ain’t getting’ any younger. Somehow, thatcan add pressure to a couple’s work pace.
Because let’s be real. A farmish woman not only feels the need to work the land and create beauty while raising fruits and veggies and poultry and other farmyard creatures.The space isn’t complete until it has a few bright eyed, diaper clad,garden-destroying, dirt eating, tousle-haired wee ones to go with.
And one of those gremlins better look just like their daddy. Or I’ll never get over my disappointment!
Surely and truly, the work has just begun!