Five acres, 10-12 horses, chickens, cats, a couple of acres of horse manure, a trash-filled outbuilding, and a tenant in well over their head. That was the situation when we moved in three months ago. The property owner was so upset about the condition of the property that he literally bulldozed the out building. You will notice it on the left side under the trees in the aerial photos on my first blog. It no longer exists. (I could have used it!) We’ve put a LOT of work in so far and are just starting to realize the potential. After getting somewhat settled I spent a lot of time walking the property with my wife, Liane, getting an idea of what needs to happen. I wanted to start with the low-hanging fruit. That would allow me to ease into this project. One of the first things we noticed was a corner of the property that was essentially inaccessible due to the thick overgrowth of weeds and bushes. After having a gardener friend stop by and evaluate what plant life was worth keeping we decided to completely clear the area and see what comes up in the spring. As you can see in the photos, some of the growth was over eight feet tall. As luck would have it, my oldest is a wildland firefighter and has access to some great tools. There was also old t-post fencing that needed to come out since we will never use that part of the property for animals. We spent the next couple of days pulling posts (with the awesome post puller I bought at D&B Supply), cutting bushes and shrubs, raking, hauling, mowing, and burning. When it was all said and done, the kids had a new found appreciation for hard work and I had about half a cord of new firewood!
As we work our way around the property I have noticed a lot of scrap material lying around, an old dog kennel, corrugated sheet metal, fence gates and posts. I made a mental note of what I have available for future projects. I will do my best to reuse what I can. Our plans include chickens, goats, horses, and possibly sheep. Any advice or opinions on those topics would be greatly appreciated. I would like to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on different breeds and how you care for and raise them. Tips and pointers are always welcome!