Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Expectations

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.


  1. Keep breathing! We built the same feeders :) Always good to get some freebies...

    1. Excellent! I hope they hold up well! :-)

  2. Aah, once again I am loving your great ideas! The homemade chicken feeder is fabulous and I hope you don't mind if I steal that idea... I have 130 meat chicks coming on Friday, and I always wish for some sort of 5 gallon feeder once they're out on pasture. I was looking at feeders of the same size at my local feed store this evening and they were $40 to $70 each!!! Oy!

    Congrats on the lucky score of gardening supplies and good luck as you prepare for your next big leap in life of moving! I check your blog every day to see what's new! :)

    1. Steal away! Now I wish I had posted more helpful pictures. I went through a few different designs (because I have no construction skills) and ended up using 3 - 5/16" x 4" hex bolts run up through the plant base and the five gallon bucket. I separated the base and the bucket with 5 nuts (and washers touching all the plastic to help protect it) and seemed to get good grain flow without it spilling. I have 50 meat chickens coming next Friday, and it'll be a couple of weeks before they're outside, but I'll let you know how they hold up!

      And thanks for all your support! It feels SO good to know there are other people in the world secretly rooting for you! :-)