Looking Forward in 2016

We are really looking forward to this year. Justin and I have got a lot of exciting things on the docket for the farm in 2016. The following are our 2016 projects (in no particular order).

  • Buy a tractor! We’re looking at Branson tractors around the 35 horsepower mark. This tractor will allow us to accomplish a lot of projects we’ve had on our list like re-grading our driveway, transplanting some mature trees, digging a root cellar, creating some hugelkultur beds for an orchard and building some additional structures around the property. It will also make our regular chores much easier – being able to till the garden in 15 minutes instead of 3 hours sounds great to me!
  • Create a privacy hedge. This is a project where the tractor will be indispensable. Our front-most field is full of mixed evergreen trees (leyland cypress and juniper) about 10-15 years old. These trees are growing haphazardly in a field we’d like to convert to pasture. We hope to move these trees to our property line along our driveway to create a privacy hedge.
  • Raise Pigs. This is something Justin and I looked into doing last spring but we were unable to figure out how to provide water and shelter so we could rotationally pasture them. We stumbled across this video in which those solutions are neatly and simply presented. So we’re going to re-create those ideas and raise us some bacon! We plan to graze the pigs over the front field after the trees are removed. Theoretically, the pigs will root around and loosen up the soil in that field and their manure will provide some much needed fertilizer. After they move through, we’ll smooth the field with the tractor and seed grass.
  • Finish our camper. Justin and I have used our Christmas break to continue working on our camper. We’ve found a lot more rotten wood in the structure, so this project sort of spiraled into a huge undertaking. I plan to write a post soon to share where in the project we are. We definitely want to have it finished soon, though.
  •  Expand and move the garden. We’d like to shift the garden toward the center of the field where it’s now located. The edge of the field where it is now fades from rich dark soil to sad sandy soil. Everything we planted along that edge of the garden was just stunted and unproductive.
  • Grow A LOT of corn. In 2015 we grew a test stand of corn to see if it was something we wanted to do. Well, we got about 5 cups of dried corn from our 1 little seed packet! We made some polenta from that corn over Christmas break and it was SO GOOD! We plan to plant the remaining 4 cups of corn we grew last year and hopefully we’ll have heaps of awesome field corn come fall.
  • Re-roof our mudroom and bathroom. This was a project that was supposed to happen in 2015. We got a quote to have that 200 square foot section done and that quote came to $3,000.00. So after I finished choking, we decided we were going to learn how to roof and do it ourselves.
  • Renovate the bathroom. After our roof is done, we plan to renovate the bathroom. The plan is to finish the camper first so we can use it’s bathroom while the house’s bathroom is being finished.
  • Finish the mudroom. The mudroom project has stalled since we discovered the roof leaked in there. We definitely didn’t want to add drywall to that room if there was a chance that it could be ruined. Once the roof is replaced, the mudroom should be a fairly quick project to finish.
  • Build a carport. We are in great need of a carport. All of our cars are over 10 years old and 2 of them have mystery leaks so we really need somewhere to keep them sheltered from the elements.

So that’s the list. Wish us luck – it’s a long one. We’ll keep you updated with our progress. Cheers to a happy, healthy, and productive new year!

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