As we hit early May, I figured we'd give a few updates on a few "enabling" projects around the property.
We'll be putting up some perimeter fencing this year to continue some work we started last year. This is not really a "farm" project, but will help beautify our property and give us some privacy. The side of our backyard has two neighboring backyards that back up to it, so we're a bit "on display". That particular fence line was all over the place, so I expected it wasn't the true property line.
So, we hired a survey company to come in...and I'm glad we did, the old fence and the property line were pretty different. In some spots, we lost a few feet of land, in others, we gained a few feet. I expect it mostly evened out, but now we can put up a fence with confidence.
Check out the image above for a view of how far off the fence line was from the property line at the back part of the lot (orange line added to show the property line). Pretty crazy.
Additionally, I plan to re-fence the back of our property, which backs up to woods, with some new welded wire fence to replace the very old, very beat up wire fence that is there currently. Since this fence is going to be holding up livestock, I think a little bit taller, sturdier, and less beaten down fence will be a good investment.
The survey wrapped up in late April.
OK, so, one thing the survey DID uncover is that we owned 6-7 more trees than we THOUGHT we did. A few of these need to come down because they appear to have been planted directly on the property line and would be in the way of the perimeter fencing.
Cutting down trees isn't great from an environmental standpoint, but these are straggly second growth pine (and one cherry). Whatever parts of the wood can be chipped will be and the chips left on our property. We'll use them on the farm in the chicken runs, coops, and compost piles.
Any logs too large for the chipper will be cut to size and seasoned, then burned either in a wood stove (the hardwood) or a fire pit (pine). Some of that fire pit wood will likely be used to make biochar, either by becoming char itself or providing the heat to produce char. The additional light that will get onto the property (and our neighbors property) thanks to the removal of the the trees will hopefully allow for more growing of grass, and other plants, which will help offset the CO2 sequestration lost with the trees.
Again, the photo above does a nice job of showing some of the soon-to-be cut trees.
I expect the tree removal to happen by late May.
Perimeter fence install
As soon as the trees are removed, I expect the professional installation will begin. This will be a six-foot vinyl fence that will go down the property line I mentioned earlier that has neighbor's yards backing up to it. This wasn't an inexpensive choice, but it should look great, provide a lot of privacy, and help keep livestock from escaping our property.
Meanwhile, a very unprofessional fence install will be going on along the back of the property. That's the one I'm doing along the part of the yard that backs up to woods.
I reused three 4-foot fence panels that had been replaced last year with some vinyl fence in another part of the yard. These will extend from the vinyl fence that is being installed and provide a little extra privacy for a corner of the lot.
The rest will be the replacement of the aging welded wire fence with new fence. I'll be using a mix of wood fence posts and heavy-duty t-posts for reasons I'll go into in a future blog post.
I expect the fencing projects to be done in May. I have most of the fence posts I need for my part. I do need to measure and grab some 5-foot welded wire fence, which I'll get and install sometime very soon.
Mobile Coop Move
A couple of weeks ago, I helped a neighbor move a couple big shed/chicken coops off his property - he was giving them to a relative, who happens to be a friend of ours. The friend brought a small front end loader and a trailer, and through a series of pvc pipes, boards, tractor work, and some good old fashioned muscle, we got the coops loaded.
Since there was a tractor in the neighborhood, I figured I'd take advantage. Our large mobile coop, which got delivered on a cold day in January, was a little crooked along the property line. Not only did this offend the part of my brain that likes things straight and tidy, it also allowed for not a lot of space around the coop.
Thankfully, the tractor made short work of moving the coop forward, then pushing it back in a way that gets us a bit more space and makes the coop a lot straighter in relation to the property line and other fencing.
This was a project I wanted to get done before some for the run/paddock building I'll talk more about below could get started.
Anyway, always good to help neighbors/friends and get some help in return. That was a busy day....in addition to the coop/shed moving, I had done a lot of compost work and cleaned the chicken coops. Tiring and dirty day, but a great early spring Saturday!
Wow, that's a long post...and a long list of projects, and there's more to come after these...we'll save those for another post.