On the last day of the last month of the year 2013, the last fencing staple went into the acre garden fence. Spiking the ball in the end zone today as the last of the major infrastructure projects to get the homestead functional are finished. There are many more projects to embark upon as we anticipate planting the garden for the first time, but the huge, necessary and often ridiculously heavy projects are done! What an amazing year this has been. We are so happy to have gotten to this point. There have been major frustrations, setbacks, expenses, cuts, scars, and mental duress, but the JAZ Farm is now a very nice and tidy place. A place to call our farm, our refuge, and our pride.
For my own processing I thought I’d simply run down the list of things that have gone into this place. It is kind of astounding to all three of us what has gone into it. As I know there are several folks who follow this blog who are either getting started in homesteading or wanting to, here is what you can expect if you buy a foreclosure and it needs a little “fixing up”! :
> 10 yards of fill dirt around the foundation to create positive draining
>Fixing 10 broken windows
>Fixing 12 holes in the drywall
>Cleaning out dirt, dog mess, beer bottles, dead moths, and all manner of crud out of the basement
>Cleaning out the barn
>Replacing the water heater
>Cleaning the furnace
>Steam cleaning and re-stretching all the carpeting.
>Buying hauling and installing all new appliances (it didn’t have any)
>Cleaning all of the blinds and getting rid of smoke infused dusty drapes
>Replacing the sinks in the bathroom, removing all of the rust from the sinks, shower, and toilets
>Buying new toilets.
>Re-mounting the kitchen counters and cupboards from where they had been pulled from the walls.
>Trying to find the linoleum in the kitchen (It was caked with dust, mud and dog mess)
>Scrubbing every wall in the house to get rid of the smoke, dust and urine smells
>Priming all of the walls both upstairs and down
>Choosing colors and painting the walls
>Priming and painting the entire ceiling
>Moving truckloads of belongings out here
>Building a dog run
>Pulling out destroyed ranch fences and corral gates
>Demolishing the horse shed and rebuilding it into a chicken coop (took several months of weekends)
>Installing chain link, field fence and privacy fences needed for the chickens, gardens and observing field
>Buying a tractor
>Plowing up the old horse corral to build the raised beds for the future garden
>Cleaning all of the windows and making them functional
>Having the place re-sealed up, weatherized and painted before the snow flies
>Replacing all of the doors and a leaky bathroom window
>Buying plows, tillers and fencing tools
>Learning how to keep the water for the chickens from freezing up in arctic cold
>Replacing the major light fixtures
>Getting a kid graduated from high school
>Sending a kid off to college
>Installing a washing machine and stringing clotheslines as we don’t want to use a dryer
>Learning how to and then brooding 33 chickens
>Setting up seedling tables
>Actually getting the urban farm planted at the same time.
>Harvesting, canning and freezing the urban farm produce
>Learning how to navigate the property either during blizzards or our recent Colorado floods – we had lake front property for a couple of weeks because of it.
>Both Ma and Pa Farmer people holding down full time jobs at the same time.
>Oh yes…. and more trips to the Home Depot than I can even count!
Happy New Year! I think we may simply collapse for the rest of our holiday break. If you want to build a farm….. be careful what you wish for! It is exceedingly satisfying. The work will make you feel like superman when it is all done.