Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Farm

We've were very busy around the farm this weekend. The weather has been so up and down lately, nice during the week, cold and windy on the weekends. This past weekend was the first weekend that we had great weather and we didn't have to do something off the farm. So, we declared it FARM WEEKEND!

 Hubby is working on the chicken coop again.  He got a lot done.  I can't wait to have Jack (our St. Bernard) run free in our yard all the time. We can't have him free and the chickens free at the same time. The chickens lose out.

We also got our lawn mower fixed so that I can mow the grass. Now, Hubby doesn't have to bush hog our yard. That's how we "mowed" it last year. Hey, it only took 45 minutes that way. LOL.  Now I just pop in my ear buds and listen to a bit of music as I go around and around our yard. Not too bad. It does take a bit more time,(like, 3 hours) but, I find it relaxing. I do know though, I'm gonna have to invest in a good sun hat. This was the first time that we actually got to spend time outside for a long time and I got sun burned. I have Scottish skin that's for sure.

We really needed this weekend of work to get us focused on the farm again.  There for a while, we lived like city folk, just doing the basics to get by. I think we just felt overwhelmed by all the stuff that needed to be done. That's one down fall for having a farm.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my house and farm but there are times I wished we didn't have such a BIG house and farm.

Don't get sucked into the thought of bigger is better. That's not always true.  Me and Hubby have talked and we decided if we could do it again, we would have made our new house a LOT smaller.  When we were designing our house we weren't in the same mind set that we are in now.  We thought like most people do, Go Big!  We thought that with a bigger house we could have holiday dinners, birthday parties, and just everyday get togethers at our house.  Well, it doesn't happen. By the time we even moved into our house, the family has their own places to go for things like that.   Now we're living in a WAY too big house for just two people. Also now that we're in the "homesteading" state of mind, we wished we had a smaller house and a bigger barn. LOL. Strange how your priorities change.

We had no say in the size of our farm acreage.  Hubby inherited it.  I want to make this clear, I AM NOT COMPLAINING!  I'm glad we have the 55 acres that we have, but I'm just pointing out the troubles with a lot of land.  That way if you are making a decision on whether to get a big farm or a smaller farm you will be informed.  A bigger farm means bigger chores, more taxes, and bigger worries.  When we got the farm, it maybe has only a 15% wooded area. The rest had been cleared for pasture. Hubby's Grandpa had it cleared so that he could put cattle on it. And he DID! He had over 35 cows plus their calves on it.  Now that he is gone, we don't want that many cows. Right now we have 3 and they are as wild as deer. The land is so large, they don't depend on us for their food. Therefore, they want nothing to do with us. We are planning on getting some young heifers and put them in a lot so that they have to depend on us for their food and they will like to see us come towards them. People = food.

Anyway, right now, we have the 3 cows and 4 horses in the pastures. That is not enough to keep the grass and weeds down. In fact, we have to watch one of our mares to make sure she doesn't founder herself on all the grass that she has to eat.  Why not fence off sections of the fields? Fence, that big = a lot more money, more time and more work. See, once again big farm, big problems.  So we have to make sure that we have some kind of animals out in the field to eat the grass and weeds. But once again, more animals, bigger expense and more chores. It's just a big circle.  We don't want to just let it grow up. Certain weeds can take over and you will NEVER be able to stop them whenever we do get enough livestock.

Another problem about a bigger farm, and I know some of you wouldn't worry about this, is getting around the farm.  We have a 4 wheeler that we use to check fence and go from one place to the other on the farm.  Sure we could walk, but it would take FOREVER to get from one place to the other and there are times when we have to be at a certain place NOW. Some kind of equipment like a 4 wheeler is a necessity.  Those are not cheap.

Now there are many good things about a farm this size too. We can do ANYTHING with it. We are not restricted by land. The possibilities are quite endless on what we want to do.  What I'm pointing out is if you are in the process of looking for a farm, make sure you are aware of what you are getting into.  Sometimes bigger isn't always better.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, super sized.  


CrankyPuppy said...

Hey, SFG. What a really great post for those folks thinking about buying land. We bought 40 acres quite some time ago and worked really hard to pay it off. Now that it's all ours, we're glad that we went ahead and went bigger than 5, 10 or even 15 acres. As you said, it's nice to not be constrained by land.

I really took your comments to heart about the house size. We'll be building eventually and I have been looking at house designs that are smaller and have a more efficient use for space. For example, having a living room and separate family room are kinda silly, in my opinion. We don't need a McMansion...what we need is a bigger barn!

SweetLand Farm said...

I'd love to have 55 acres and a bigger house. But I've got 6 in my family. Keep up the work! It'l pay off in the end!

Candy C. said...

Good post! We are happy with our 4 acres, it is enough for what we want to do, but we wish the house was a "little" bit bigger than 1350 sq feet. ;)
Could you rent part of the pasture to someone else with cows?

small farm girl said...

Thanks Cranky, I'm glad it helped you out!

SweetLand, I would want a bigger house too if we had 6 in our family. lol

Candy, We went from a 800 sq ft house to a 2400 sq ft house. Now that includes the basement, but it will be a finished basement when we are done. Way too big for only 2 people.

Holly said...

I totally get what you're saying! We bought our property for the land, not the house. For a family of 3, 2,800 sq. feet is way to big...too expensive to heat and there's always this need to fill the empty rooms because they look odd. The basement is nice for storing canned goods and squash in the winter. Have you considered planting a small orchard and berry plant area on some of the acreage?

small farm girl said...

Holly, we have wild berries EVERYWHERE here. No need to plant! Woo Hoo!! hehehe. We just got done planting 4 apple trees. I'm hoping that they will produce something. lol. But if we would plant them in the pastures, the cows and horses would eat them before they get big enough to do anything. Then if the apple trees produce a lot of apples, then we have to work on keeping the horses away from all the apples so that they wont founder on them. LOL. It's always something. hehehe