Week Thirty-Seven – Alpaca Construction Limbo

By September 14, 2015February 29th, 2016farm journal

Hey! It’s hard work to build things!

Week Thirty-Seven : The Saga of the Loaf

Planning for the loafing shed (that’s really what they’re called) and alpaca fortress continues, and we keep reaching conclusions only to think of another factor that makes us change our minds again. Over labor day weekend, with the kids away, we eventually agreed on a design that put the loaf, an enclosed hay barn, the chicken coop, and a covered tool-storage/planting bench space all under one roof. We rented a skid steer to move the compost pile out of the way, scrape and clear the ground, trench the fence lines and auger the post holes. And in driving the skid steer back and forth Kemper realized we were about to block the only access for a rig to get in to service the well. Foiled again! So we went back to the drawings and decided we can shift the whole structure to the west, leaving a 25 ft easement along the house. Only problem with that is it means abandoning out sweet adobe chicken coop that we took so much time to build. It’s probably for the best, since it’s a little small for all eight chickens. (And since Remy can apparently get in and steal eggs.) We started digging for the new location, but the skid steer was so low on hydraulic fluid it could barely break through the ground. By the time we got fluid and topped it off, our time on the rental skid steer was almost up and all we got were a couple of trenches. We’re both so fed up with the poor maintenance on rental equipment. But those machines have attachments for for tilling, scooping, drilling, digging… and they can turn in much smaller spaces than a tractor can. Though it’s much less romantic than an antique tractor, we’re considering getting one for all our small-farm needs.

We’ve continued harvesting apples and have planned one final harvest day to get the remaining apples and send a truckload up to Santa Fe for cider. We also discovered that what we thought were Red Delicious might actually be Braeburns, which sounds and sell much better since everyone knows that most Red Delicious are actually totally gross!

Over the weekend, the door was left open on the 4-Runner and Candle made a little nest of toilet paper and laid an egg in the front seat!