I think one of the big reasons that I have been able to make my dream of owning my own farm a reality in less than 8 months is that I have high expectations - for myself and for everyone helping me to achieve my dream. Don't get me wrong - I HATE calling everyone everyday to make sure that things are on track and guiding the process along. But I can say for sure that if I just waited for things to fall into place, I'd be waiting my whole life. I believe in fighting for what I need and finding a way to make it happen.
Oftentimes, however, my expectations are a little too high. Like today, when I planned to get a million things done and then I needed to make an unexpected trip to agway, then to the hardware store, then I got a bunch of measurements wrong and the saw broke. All minor setbacks that added up to a lot of frustration.
So, after dinner, instead of dwelling on the fact that I didn't get all of these projects done, I made a new list and made sure to accomplish a few things that didn't involve power tools. Thank goodness for the endless amounts of paperwork in my life right now. And for online shopping.
Despite the setbacks, I did get a bunch of things done today. I built 4 new bucket feeders (out of 5 gallon pails and garden pot bases) for the meat chickens. I simply drilled a bunch of 1.5" diameter holes in the bottom of the bucket, and then bolted it to the planter base using 4" bolts (with 5 nuts between to allow space for the food to flow out). The containers are sturdy, hold a lot of food, and cost only about $12 each (in supplies) to make.
The best part? They stack for easy storage! Well, that and I was able to build 3 for the price of purchasing 1 commercial feeder. Score!
I also built one (of two) portable roost before I broke the saw. In my haste to get back to the hardware store to order the part, I forgot to take pictures, but it's simply an A-frame with 2x3s going across. I estimate each one will sleep about 25 birds and they cost about $10 each in lumber and screws to build.
In other exciting news, my seeds arrived today! It's hard to believe that a 1/4 acre garden fits in such a tiny box! (But then again, I always think the same thing when the tiny boxes full of chicks arrive!).
I also had the good fortune of visiting a neighboring farm that is getting out of the veggie business and was getting rid of a bunch of supplies. I loaded up the truck with a ton of tomato cages, earthway seeders, soil block makers, heating pads, flats, and planting paper. I also checked in on my 50 pullets, who are looking great! Now if only I could decide on a movable coop design and build them a place to live...
The countdown is ON and I'm totally stressed. I know it won't be any easier to actually own a farm, but at this point I can't wait until the closing is over (and paid for! the closing costs seem to be my biggest concern right now) and I can start pulling together all of these pieces. My parent's basement is a disaster - chock full of nearly everything I need to run a farm, plus all of my stuff for the house. In fact, everything seems like it's a mess. Just a few more days...
Stressed, excited, overwhelmed, excited. Rinse and repeat.