Tractor, New Structures and Fencing

We will be upgrading our property FINALLY with a barn, shop and fencing! These three things, as you all know, we desperately have needed! Not to mention, we were able to purchase our dream tractor after many years of it being part of our goal! AAAAAAND we purchased a lofted cabin for yours truly, to have a sewing and craft studio and the kids’ homeschooling! So excited! (Plus now Ken wants a game room/man cave, and he totally deserves it!)

Our tractor has been putting in work since we got it! We’ve added gates and started our board fence in the front!
The lofted barn will serve as a studio, schoolhouse and guest lodging.

Now, the design of our new barn is to be able to set up stalls inside and corrals leading to those stalls that can remain open or shut. It will need to be placed in a central location to our cross fencing. The garage/shop is paramount to keeping our tractor, implements and any other farm equipment that may not fit in the barn safe from the elements. As well as being able to work on things without the wind or sun beating down on us. We are really excited for the shop because it’s very hard to work on small projects in the blazing sun!

Now is when planning of our property is important. What do we want to section off and how much? What animals do we plan on keeping, and where? These are permanent structures and fences that need to be placed in a particular manner. It makes me really nervous making these kind of decisions! I’m a super indecisive person so this is really tricky for me. We have an idea of the general areas we want these structures to go. The vision we’ve had in our minds is coming to fruition and I think we question whether or not we are making the right decisions. Everything needs to be conveniently located and they need to “work” for the systems we will have set!

This is the barn! The openings on the sides are where stalls will be. The two garage doors will be an entrance or exit for the tractor to bring in feed/hay. We opted for roll up doors because the wind here would destroy anything else. The placement of the barn will be so that the animals get optimal protection from the wind.

The Budget

Let’s talk about our budget and the search for the company to purchase from. In the beginning, we were expecting to spend upwards of 50k-60k for what we wanted. That was including a concrete foundation for a shop. In our area concrete is ridiculously priced so a large portion of those estimates were foundation pricing. Luckily, I met local Alpaca Farmers who had the most practical set up for their Alpacas. They supply us with manure from their Alpacas. I saw their beautiful barn set up and inquired on it. They were kind enough to give me information, to which I was able to do more research with and now we are in the process of getting ours built. We could not believe the price difference! What we estimated contacting other metal building companies versus the local companies we were looking to purchase through originally, were massively different. On a much much lower budget, we removed the need of a concrete foundation for a shop, are getting a barn and a carport. After getting multiple quotes, we found an out of state dealer that offered us a discount we couldn’t refuse, putting us at a little over 21K total for the three structures, including installation! Like I mentioned before, at the beginning, we were looking at 50K minimum for only one building. Again, that’s a huuuuuuge price difference! The lofted cabin price is separate from these structures.

The shop/garage.
Carport

We have been waiting for a very long time to do these upgrades. We saved and budgeted and calculated numbers until we were blue in the face. I can’t tell you how many times Ken and I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote it all out. Never give up on your goals, even if they take longer than you originally planned. Never be ashamed that it did take longer to get done. Just don’t give up. At the end what counts is that you reached your goal and you made it happen.

It’s been a super exhausting roller coaster, emotionally, mentally and physically to get us where we are today. Things are starting to come together and we haven’t even started producing anything yet. Getting things in order today will make everything we do better tomorrow. Ken has sacrificed so many hours away from our family to make the financial side possible and we owe it all to his work ethics and leadership. I hold the fort down no question, but he is the catalyst.

Ive put a hold on projects like the garden pallet fence. Even though we have the tractor now and I have more materials to continue to work on it. There are other projects being put on top priority. I will work on it when the weather gets cooler.

Nonetheless, things are getting exciting!


Update On The Pigs

So far, the pigs on pasture with electric fencing is working out great. Our pallet pen where the big momma pig was will need to be adjusted or better yet just taken down. Because of her size and strength she’s actually able to lift the pallets. She busted out a couple of times doing so with the door. She broke one of the pallets that led to the other pigs on pasture and we found that she just wanted to be with the group. She’s been ok so we have left them all together. So far so good! They have a huge area and it’s almost time for them to be separated into smaller groups. I’ve noticed recently the males are losing weight. Probably because females were in heat. I do think I have a few that may be pregnant, which is super exciting!

The overall goal is to regenerate our soil using the pigs, goats and other livestock we have to create a lush pasture that holds water and stops erosion and runoff’s. I already see a difference where we’ve been keeping the goats. I want to encourage the growth of perennial grasses that return nutrition to the soil and feed our animals. Winter is my only obstacle. Through research and lots of patience I am learning what overwinters in our zone. I just need to come up with a sustainable cycle for us to continually practice.


We have a lot more to share with you all so I’ll just continue to write more blog posts. Next, I want to show y’all a closer look of the board fence and gates we put up. Also, we built our dogs a new run and are building a new area for the ducks with above ground pools!

Please forgive my inability to write often. I’m really trying to work on that and keep my readers up to date more often. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Instagram @livingonloveblog, as I post on our stories more often!

Until next time! God bless!

-Cristina

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