There is a house for sale down the street. It is a nice-looking place, with 5.89 acres and many outbuildings. The owner is asking $125,000. Following are some pictures.
This picture shows the garage, which is an over-sized two-car just a few steps from the back door.
Following we have a large barn. The windmill in front of it was turning when we took this picture, but I don’t know if it was connected to anything.
Next up is another picture of the front of the house, showing some buildings behind the house.
The building at right in this picture is the same as the barn in the earlier picture, then there are the other two sheds.
There are several more buildings behind the house. Notice the beautiful lawn this guy kept.
Finally, off to the north there are a few older buildings and a beautiful rolling pasture. It didn’t look like this was part of the property, but it did look like some pretty scenery.
Come join us in southeast Nebraska! We would love to have some more like-minded neighbors.
I have been having a hard time telling folks around here that we own a farm, because they invariably ask what my crop is. So I had taken to telling folks that I am a farmer without a crop and with no livestock. Well, all that change about a week-and-a-half ago. On a Thursday morning, my wife and kids went down to the post office and picked up our very first livestock: 78 chicks. We ordered 25 brown-egg layers, 25 rainbow-egg layers, and 25 heavy breed males from Murray McMurray and they have finally arrived. Initially we put them all in a 2×6 foot trough, but they quickly outgrew that and are now living in two troughs.
They are growing quickly and are starting to stink up my basement. Following are two pictures of them from that first day:
I will try to post some two-week-old shots later this week.
So the next project for the chickens is to get them out of my house and into their own house. One of the quaint old structures on our place, they I never figured I would use, is a chicken coop, which came complete with busted out old windows and windows that had been boarded up. Most recently, the denizens of our coop were a pride of cats that seems to have largely disappeared. As I said, the chicks have got to move out of my house and into their own house. More to follow on this one:
Caleb & I finished building our Whizbang Garden Cart and used it for the first time this morning. I decided to paint it with some left over exterior paint we had laying around. I had been, and may still be, hoping to paint some designs on it like an old hippie VW bus-van. The construction was fairly easy to follow, although at first I was following blindly until I figured out what was going on. It is very solidly constructed, well balanced, and I love the wheels.
Unfortunately, I still live in the Valley of the Sun and my backyard is as agrarian of a setting as I can find at this point. In just a few short weeks, our Whizbang Garden Cart will be in the most agrarian of agrarian settings, when it makes it to our farm in Nebraska! I can’t wait — we are less than three weeks away!
Before we leave Arizona, I want to order our day-old baby chicks, so they can arrive at our farm shortly after we do. Gina really wants some rainbow egg layers (Araucanas I think), because she likes the look of the easter eggs. I really want some New Hampshire Reds, because I am worried about our ability to protect these chicks through their and our first Nebraska winter, so some rapid-maturing, and rapid full feathering is what I want/need.
We should be arriving at our farm on a Sunday afternoon. We will be painting on Monday and Tuesday (although Gina has a medical appointment on Tuesday afternoon). We will continue painting on Wednesday, when the truck will be delivered. Thursday and Friday we should complete the painting and start unloading some of the items off our truck. Saturday we will get alot of assistance in unloading the truck, and that is when we should finally get a refrigerator. My guess is that I won’t want those chicks delivered until after the truck is unloaded, the house is painted, and my wife is generally happy.
I am thinking that during the move-in/painting week, there should be some time for me to put together a brooder for the chicks to live in and go into town to pick up some feed and a feeder and waterer. So I am thinking that the Monday after move-in/painting week is when I want the chicks delivered.
I had talked to Gina about the possibility of getting the Reds for the Winter, so they will be ready to lay eggs in the Spring, and then ordering some easter egg chicks in the Spring, so they will have an easier time of maturing, but she isn’t digging it. So, my current thought is to order 25 straight run (male & female) NH Reds and 11-12 Araucanas. We’ll see what Gina thinks of that when she wakes up.
Gina & I have been discussing the need to set up a new website. I am envisioning a website where we will have a homepage that might have some pictures and basic facts about who we are and what we do. There would be photos of the farm, links to how to find us, and a section on how we try to help others (I would want to call it uturnfarm.com or something like that). Then, there would be subpages where Gina could blog about her hobbies, I could blog about my hobbies, and a page for my solo law firm. Maybe customers would even be able to shop on this website for available farm products.
I don’t know where to get started with something like this. I have recently subscribed to two lists hoping to learn more — Macs in Law Offices and ABA’s solosez. Hopefully I will start to understand the technology soon.
Only 27 more days!
With just 44 days left until my last day at work, I am at a loss for things to do in preparation for the big move. We have almost worked out the choreography for our trip, including when I will take the pick-up to Nebraska, when the moving truck will come and go and when it needs to get to NE, when we will move out of our house and into a hotel for the moving days. We don’t want to go public with the days because our neighborhood is a bit prone to stealing, so we don’t want to take the chance that the 2-3 people who will look at this blog between now and then might know someone in our neighborhood.
The transition has been moving slowly — I have changed the address on my resume to reflect the Sterling address. I am contemplating changing my phone number from a Phoenix number to a Nebraska number.
Gina’s dad is planning to help out quite a bit with the move, which should be nice.
Yesterday, Caleb & I ‘finished’ putting together the Whizbang Garden Cart. It is now a functional cart. We still need to put the finishing touches on it, though, including a handle, and sanding, sealing, and staining it. It should be picture-ready before we leave!
One of my desired projects on the farm will be the building of a root cellar so we can naturally store food. I have been reading the book Root Cellaring by the Bubles, and I have been thinking of possible locations for the root cellar, and I see four basic possible locations, listed from simplest to most complex:
1. We could partition off a corner of the basement and insulate it from the heat of the house. This is the easiest, cheapest, and also least reliable.
2. The initial vision I had of the root cellar was to put it to the south of the house, with the entrance facing North, so that when Gina walks out the kitchen door and crosses the driveway, she reaches the root cellar. This would probably be a fairly straightforward application and would be cost-effective.
3. We could dig out the ground to the North of the house and have the root cellar rest against the North side of the house. One of the issues with our house is that in the past the North wall has bowed in a bit from the pressure of the land around it. I am thinking that if I dig out the land, it will relieve that pressure so the wall can straighten back up. Also, the presence of the root cellar there would/could continue to protect the North wall from that pressure in the future. I like this idea because historically root cellars were on the North side of the house in order to protect against too much solar heat gain. Also, with the root cellar being connected to the basement, it will be easily accessible no matter how bad the weather is, and it could easily be used as a storm cellar without having to run across the yard.
4. The final idea is one that may be a bit hare-brained. We could dig out around the pump house, thus allowing the root cellar to perform triple duty as a storm cellar and a pump house also. With the pump house being in the root cellar, this would provide additional insulation to the piping — right now I have to turn on an incandescent bulb in the pump house when the temperatures are expected to drop below 0°. Also, the water running through the root cellar is supposed to provide additional temperature controls — I wonder if it will contribute to maintaining humidity?