And, in an effort to complete the end of year/beginning of year list making - we bring you a list of things we hope to accomplish on the farm in 2011. Some things go without saying - as they are things we try to accomplish every season. So, we will try to stick with major changes, additions or events. It could be interesting to see how close we get to this list at the end of the year.
New Roof on the Granary
We've said it before, we'll say it again. One of the hazards of buying an older farm is the need to repair all of the buildings. The granary will fall apart if we don't get a roof on it soon. So, if you're wondering what some of our larger outlays will be in 2011 - here's one. And, no, I don't intend on doing that thing myself. It's taller than it looks - there is a reason the paint stops where it does!
Reconfiguring the Triangle Field
Triangles are fun - we like them. But, triangles are a pain when they are the shape of one of your fields you have to work with. They're hard to plan for, difficult to till and they don't lend themselves to efficient operations on the farm. So, we're going to try to get rid of them (we'll use triangles in other things, thank you). But, this requires removal of fences, stumps, irrigation lines and sod. We can always fall back on the old configuration - but we'd really rather not.
Just because we have the tractor, it doesn't mean it has been integrated into the farm fully. We still need to acquire appropriate implements. But, that's not all - the planting plan needs to be modified to handle new spacing requirements. Like all things that are worthwhile, it isn't as simple as it seems to just add the tool to toolbox. We've got to learn how best to use it.
Spring Growing in the High Tunnel
This enters into the 'we've never done that before' category. We don't know the timing. We're not sure about any number of things regarding using the high tunnel. We've read plenty, we've thought about it plenty and we've asked plenty of questions of those who seem to know. None of that is a substitute for actually doing it. So...awaaaaay we go!
Finishing Adaptation of the Poultry Palace/Pavilion
This task is far bigger than we give it credit for. In fact, an entire blog post would be required to explain what we hope to do there. Suffice it to say that we only have on secure room in that building for poultry right now. We are looking to build three more. This includes access doors to the outside, ramps, fencing and whatever else. The former hog pit needs filling and the lean to structure needs to come down. This doesn't even mention the desire to add solar collectors (among other things) to this building. We'll just be happy to get the poultry moved over there.
This was on last year's list and the prior year's list. It simply has to get done. If our capital is not devoured by a new boiler for the house (as it was last year) we should be able to get this done.
Putting the Fence(s) Up
It seems like this task never ends. Maybe if we can get motivated, we can actually become somewhat skillful in doing this? Here's hoping.
Acquiring a Sustainable Energy Grant/Loan
It's time for us to work on this one seriously. We have a great roof for mounting solar panels (poultry pavilion/palace) and we'd like to find ways to use sustainable energy for the farm needs. The problem with things like this is the need for significant chunks of time to research and complete the applications. Then, the real work begins once you do get the money.
Complete the "Truck Barn Repurposing" Project
It was named the "Truck Barn" because we could put our truck in it. No, not very creative. Sorry. However, this is the season we feel we need to complete the work that has been ongoing for the past few years. It has a new roof, it has shelves. We now need to reframe both the east and west walls, replacing one large door with a standard sized door and window. We need to put a working large door up and rearrange the west door a bit. I think we were reminded why this is important when we found that the snow blows all the way to the west side of the building (inside) through the gaping hole in the east that is supposed to have a door in it. The walk in cooler goes here as well. So, I guess we had better get electricity to the building. hm.
Create New Washing/Packing Area
We'd like to have our cleaning and packing area a bit closer to a water source so we don't have to drag hoses around so much. But, if we want it, we first have to finish cleaning up the old downed building (mostly done). We might be happy enough to finally get it all cleaned up. Anything more will be gravy. I like gravy.