Heading into winter, we have a big To Do List that we don't really discuss for fear of all being over-whelmed by it. But when you're building a farm from scratch - and we are, as this property hadn't been a proper farm for decades - there is an incredible amount of work to do on infrastructure, in addition to the normal, anticipated work of caring for the animals and garden.
Although, when I consider the things that Frank and Maddrey were able to accomplish in the first year - before I joined them and while Maddrey was pregnant - I feel confidence that our To Do list will be a Got Done list by January.
Our List. in no particular order: trench and install a water line with three frost-free hydrants, build all-weather road from driveway to the barn, including installing footing in the two horse sheds and pads at each of three main pasture gates, finish woodshed and fill it with firewood (mostly done), 600 feet of garden bed prep (involves plowing, add seaweed and manure), garden bed clean up, replace low hoop house plastic, secure all four hoop houses with earth bags, install wood stove in basement (refurbish it first), hook up kitchen wood stove, line two chimneys, create floor board for wood stove, build barn addition, build cow shed, finish fencing for ram and buck paddock, build permanent fence winter paddock for pigs, build winter dog house and fence new area for them, empty the unfinished portion of the attic so construction of two new bedrooms can go on during winter, insulate over the kitchen, pull down wall tent and prep for storage, build half-wall in basement, build basement dog door, lime garden and pasture, build new hoop house for the tractor, add chicken wire fence to the entire garden perimeter fencing, insulate three large water troughs for the horses and I probably left out something. Oh, I think we are cutting the pastures in half to put the horses on dry lot over winter, replacing the current electric fence with permanent stock fence.
And that's just the list we think we can get accomplished. We did already fill the barn and a large hoop house with hay for our 12 horses, we have a good start on firewood (well ahead of last year, when they had just moved and were struggling to be merely behind rather than really, really behind), two chest freezers are stuffed with garden veggies, the pigs and piglets all have cozy houses built by Frank, Maddrey and Frank have their Master Plan for hay getting used out of the hoop house, which then becomes chicken and duck housing, and what animals get shifted to what pasture. We'll keep you posted on how successful we are, but between the time I started writing this post and the time I hit "publish" Maddrey got halfway through creating the floor board for the wood stove and Frank insulted over the kitchen, and started taking down one of the chimneys that will be replaced.