Since we decided to stay on a farm for a year, my mom has been generating ideas like some kind of creative rollercoaster; all of us has been engaged in the planning of having numerous animals, and, armed with our very formal Project Management Plans, we have been working at it steadily (thanks again to mom) during January.
Plans and drawings....
We’re planning to have chickens (my project), piglets (Theuns’), and maybe even a horse or two (for Maarten, our family’s horse lover); things have made good progress so far.
I’m going to have 10 chickens in total (in their coop a short distance away from the house) and supply eggs to the farm’s grocery shop (for their own workers) and our household. Theuns and Maarten are going to handle batches of piglets, two at a time, one month apart (we buy them at six weeks old, and sell them as pork when they are about 4-5 months old).
One Saturday morning we got some of the farm workers to help put up a fence for Theuns’ piglets. We already have some cement pigsties a short distance from the house, but wanted to make a camp for them too. Charles (the supervisor) and company quickly wrote off our previous attempts at planting poles and what not (it was very funny actually; he would shake the pole we’d planted, pull it out of the ground, and remark how they’ll start with planting poles). They put up an elephant proof fence in 2 hours (something that would have taken us much longer), fixing my chicken coop’s one side as well.
Raising the fence.
The jaw smasher - a most useful and dangerous tool for putting up fences.
Standing and (hopefully) piglet proof!
Theuns fixing the gate.
Chicken coop business.
A work in progress.
A half completed roost.
The horses will probably take the longest, as there is no such thing as just quickly ‘buying a horse’. We visited some people up the mountain to go ask advice, because at first we were interested in miniature horses. The lady we saw breed with horses, and also has one adorable miniature horse stallion as a pet. She gave plenty of advice, and in the end we agreed with her that, as you can’t ride miniature horses, it wouldn’t work for us despite being very cute. We now had a quest; to find a horse/pony not too small to ride, but not too big to scare Maarten.
One adorable horse.
Some of her other horses.
Soon we heard about 2 ponies (a Shetland/Welsh cross) for sale near us, and went to take a look at them. They were beautiful, although a bit wild (from lack of attention). At the moment they seem to be the most viable option.
Smaller and thus more comfortable for Maarten.
The other one, Valk, was too wild to stroke.
Mom and dad also have their projects started; mom is going to try a vegetable garden and a worm farm, and dad is going to do some experiments.
We were surprised how hard it was to get our hands on some vegetable seedlings for mom, but finally managed to get a few from a small nursery in Uniondale. Crates we scavenged from the farm’s ‘dumping site’ (where everything that can still possibly have a use someday, somewhere are dumped) to form the beddings, outlined with cardboard and straw, then topped up with greens, (perfect, finely trampled sheep) manure and soil.
The worm farm without worms.
Getting our hands dirty.
Now all we need is the animals - watch out for their post next week. Thanks for reading!