Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Barn Raising?

The weather has finally relented just enough make it bearable in the early mornings and the late afternoons to begin working on the barn. YaY!!!!  Right now it is just a pipe frame that used to be a barn, with a few pieces of tin and old wood still attached.  One day it will actually be a real barn again.  The end product will have an area for storage, which is badly needed here.  Living in an RV has some disadvantages as far as places to store things go.  Right now we have things under tarps and plastic, under the RV, stuck in every nook and cranny IN the RV and stacked to the ceiling along the walls in the bedroom.  Not much else to do with it all right now. So the aim is to have storage area of the barn done first so we can actually keep things out of the weather and maybe even find things we are looking for. 
The barn will be in three "sections" when it is finished.  One large area for storage, a work shop (Man Cave) for Mars' tools, and an area for the livestock.  Livestock meaning one day some goats and a place for the rabbits during the winter.  We purchased most of the materials back when I got my small settlement, knowing that they would be needed later.  I'm still thankful we were able to do that.  We found some "lightly used" sheet metal and lumber from a chicken farm that was dismantling one of its houses and got a great deal on it.  New would have cost close to $20 a sheet.  Needless to say we didn't  pay half that! 
We will still have to come up with more nails,screws for the tin, a few more pieces of lumber and a bit of hardware but in the end we will have a nice barn.  With just the two of us working on it (and me being of little more help than holding material in place) it might take a little time. I figure that's ok though, the one thing we have plenty of is time!  As long as it's done by winter I figure we will be just fine.  Heck, we might get lucky and find a couple of goats by then... you never know!  At least our things and the rabbits will have a place out of the weather.

I got some broccoli, cabbage, bush beans, and more cucumbers in the ground this week. I know its a little late for the broccoli but I'm willing to take my chances what with the weather being as screwy as its been lately.  Heck, I figure "Nothing ventured, Nothing gained".  I'll be starting some lettuce, spinach, kohlrabi, more carrots and turnips in the next couple of weeks as well.  We are still working on the new large beds where I plan on putting things.  Who ever said retirement was going to be laid back sure wasn't trying to homestead and never heard of the word prepper either!

We still haven't had any rain here and there isn't any even mentioned in the 95+ degree forecast over the next 10 days. I'm thankful daily for having a good well because without it there sure wouldn't be a garden to even worry about.  I'm still fighting the squash bugs but we are seeing some butternut and spaghetti squash getting bigger!  If they don't eat down the plants we should have some on the table really soon.  The radishes, Swiss Chard and the little area of turnips that were planted last week are all coming up!  There is nothing in the world like the feeling you get when you see little green shoots pushing out of the ground and reaching for the heavens! 

The little kitten that BB the dog found and wanted for a play-toy is doing great.  We have taken to calling her Puddy Cat (yeah from Tweety and Puddy Cat fame) and she is a handful.  She's starting to eat some wet food now and I'll be trying to ween her off the bottle soon.  That could be interesting since she attacks it like it's a living thing and becomes quite "attached" to it during feeding time.  For such a little thing she is vicious in her attack on it!  LOL  MissKitty is still refusing to come in the house with that "creature" and has once again become the outside cat she used to be.  I bet she changes her tune once winter gets here! 

I've been thinking about maybe getting some ducks for the homestead.  A friend of mine has ducks and was telling me that they really don't need a coop like the chickens do.  And since we still don't have anything to build a coop with I was thinking it might be an option.  What do you think?  Have you raised ducks?  Would it work?  I haven't done any research into them yet, just thinking on it right now. 
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~


  1. Lucky, It is not until 8:30 PM or so, right at dark, before we can do much at the Mini Farm. Still way over 100 degrees. Maybe one day it will cool down.
    Remember, if you need us to help with anything we are not to far away. Email me and we can be there.

  2. When it comes to ducks they will need some sort of shelter at night or it won't be long before raccoon s, opossums, dogs etc. finish them.We raised a few ducks last year but ended up giving them to my parents because they have a pond and we don't. There are breeds of ducks that are more land ducks and lay quite a few eggs.
    My parents built a cage out of wire with one side with wood for wind protection that sat on the ground. It worked great until they quit closing them up at night and something started finishing them off one by one. Good luck!
    P.S. They are great to have around even though they get kind of sloppy with water.

  3. Barn Raising? That sounds more like a Barn Resurrecting to me! One of my sisters has a knack for real estate, finding badly neglected properties ...being able to see past the mess to the property's real potential and turning them into show places. She's not flipping houses ...she just finds great deals on the few houses she's owned over the years and worked her wonders while she lived there. One of the phrases she likes to use is 'good bones.' If a property has 'good bones' she figures she can take care of the rest. Your old barn sounds like it has good bones, even if that's all that's left of it. You can finish out the rest and it will probably be a better barn than it ever was in the past.

    I've never had ducks but I have had people tell me they prefer duck eggs, especially for baking. We're having a hard enough time with the chickens right now. The heat is awful. Amelia, one of our Barred Rock hens, died yesterday from the heat. We named her Amelia because she was an adventurous spirit, always finding a way over the fence to get out of the yard. Apparently, she did that early and in the heat of the day yesterday and by the time we found her, she had dehydrated and died. She was snuggled up in the shade against the wall of the coop on the outside of the yard fence. There was no water for her out there and it was just too hot. Poor girl.

    Keep praying for rain and cooler weather. We need both!

  4. MDR I sure do understand about the heat, Ya'll probably won't get a whole lot better for at least another month there. Thanks so much for your kind words and the offer.

    Coley, it sounds like I need to do a bit of research before making a decision. Thanks for stopping by today!

    HB I love duck eggs for baking. My sister used to have them and share the "wealth" with me. I'm so sorry to hear about your hen. And you can be sure prayers are being sent up for rain and cooler weather for us all!

  5. My first visit, i love the name of your web site. Richard

  6. HB,my deepest sympathies. I love my girls like they are my own kids and it would break my heart to lose one of them.


  7. Richard,Nina, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will come back often.

  8. We had 24 ducks at one time in our pond. And in 28 days all of them were gone. Something kept coming back every night and having lunch. Good luck.