|Horses muddy paddock in front of property|
I hate the farm at this time of year. Ugly. Super ugly. Bleak. Especially with the crap weather we've had this winter. so far. Rain. Snow. Ice, Freeze. Thaw. Freeze. Mud, Sleet. Fog. WIND WIND WIND. All of that, in fact, we've had just over the last 6 days. Mother Earth, make up your flippin' mind.
|View from Cow Milking Shed|
|My Writing Studio in a bleak landscape.|
Poe and Plath would approve.
It affects our ability to work outside, our old wood buildings, our fences, and our mental attitude, It's tough on animals too, but I'll address that in the livestock section of the budget coming in a future post. Today I'll focus on our budget of just $50 month ( $600/year) for farm maintenance. This includes: fencing, building repair, pasture upkeep, and landscaping. Keep in mind the following: my husband is capable of doing most anything, woodworking, basic electrical and plumbing, fencing, etc. That saves us a ton of cash alone. We also have three sons who possess similar skills plus mechanical and small engine know-how and they all live close by. To add some icing to our self-sufficient maintenance cake, Keith throws away very little in the way of materials.
This can at times be an irritant to me, as I think we save too much, but there have been many times we've needed a particular bolt, piece of wood, certain size hinge, and Keith was able to root around in his "inventory" and unearth the item for use. He even saves nails from old wood before we burn it. He is a man of great patience, whereas I am a woman who can be a big pain in the ass. Lucky him. Thus, for the sake of marital bliss, I have shifted my goal of getting rid of junk to a more reasonable organizing and efficient storage of "junk", which many times, is not junk at all.
This past summer, one of my sisters gifted us with all the fencing materials from their property (they sold their horse) which will now meet our fencing needs for at least the next five years. Our immediate needs are tons of gravel for our drive and parking areas, mulch for our walkways around the Looney Bin, relocating some of our fencing for improved animal pastures, garden enclosures, shoring up of our current feed shed until we can build a new one, trash tire removal and landscaping for soil erosion issues.
Fortunately, our kids gifted us with several gift cards this Christmas for home building stores like Menards. (They know not to buy their mother bubble bath :0 ) This will help us purchase the items not found in our piles of inventory and allow us to stay within our budget. We hope. So tell me, how do you deal with maintenance on your farm or homestead? Do you plan ahead or wing it as you go? What takes up the majority of your resources? Do you barter for repair services? Spill it people.
A final picture of our current weather, proving winter also has a beautiful side,
if we pause long enough to recognize it.