Sunday, January 2, 2011

200th post - Happy New Year!

Yes indeed!  I have finally made it to my 200th post.  It took 2 3/4 years, but here I am.  I would love to be one of those full time bloggers who manage to post something new and exciting every day or so, but that just isn't my life.  For the entire time I have been blogging, I have been working a crazy amount of hours at my job (and commuting an hour and a half each day).  
When I look back, a lot has happened since I started blogging.  Of course, the major thing is the purchase of our home here in the pines.  Now we are focused on improving the property and personalizing it.  I'm interested in the homesteading lifestyle - or "simple, agrarian self-sufficiency" (according to wikipedia).  Charlie is pretty supportive of the whole thing -- if I want it, he will help me make it happen.  I am quite grateful to have such a supportive husband.  
This year for Christmas, he got me a chicken coop!  I wanted chickens last year but never got around to figuring out some housing for them.  Our shed in the back yard wouldn't work for the task -- the roof is caving in and we are going to tear it down.  Anyway, we assembled the coop yesterday and it is ready to go for this Spring.  It is a fairly small coop, but plenty big to hold 4-6 chickens.  

Charlie assembling the coop...

The finished coop...

The two nesting boxes...
We will probably raise it up off the ground about a foot.  I am also going to be constructing a chicken tractor so they can spend the summer outside.  I would let them free-range, but because of all the trees we have, I'm concerned about predators.  I'm just really excited about the coop and the prospect of keeping chickens!
We have a few more projects planned for this year as well.  We have decided to cut down some clusters of box elder trees in the back yard and to smooth out the ground back there.  Right now there is a steep drop off back there from when the septic field was re-done.  We are gonna try to get a more gentle slope and clear out the brush so that I can plant a small orchard.  I realize it could be years before I get much fruit, but I'd like to use that space for something other than deer/turkey trails.
I'd also like to tear out that old shed, expand my gardening space (amend the soil in a few areas of the yard for plants that won't fit in the raised beds), and plant some fruit trees, bushes, canes, etc.  We also need to get the wood burning portion of our furnace checked for safety and have it cleaned out.  It would be nice to try it out next year, so we may need to stock up on some wood this year.
Other goals:  go fishing more often, explore food dehydration/freezing techniques, look into keeping rabbits, continue pursuing home fermentation, etc.  The list could go on and on.  Right now, we'll see what actually gets accomplished as the year progresses.  Life always seems to have it's curve balls and I hate setting anything in stone.  We also have a trip to Georgia in March (for a wedding) and a week in late summer to do with as we please (perhaps travel west?).  I'm itching for travel so I am really looking forward to these two mini vacations.
2011 has a lot of potential -- I can't wait to see what happens!  I hope you have an awesome new year!


Emily said...

very cool coop! did he design it and everything himself or did he have some kind of pattern to go by? i'm impressed. my aunt gave me a book for xmas full of projects made of wood for the garden, i'm excited to try some...i've never built stuff out of wood by myself before.

Shari said...

Actually he bought the kit on e-bay and then assembled it. He isn't really a carpenter or creative type. He IS really good at spoiling me though. :)

The kit was a really good deal though -- especially compared to most of the ones you find on-line. I thought we'd have to spend $500 on a coop when we looked around the internet. I'm glad he found this one.

I have a similar book with fairly easy projects in it. I'm going to have to give it a try soon. I'm just deathly afraid of power saws...