You ever get that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling? You know, the one that makes you just stand there wondering where to begin? Well, that’s how it was for us as we were jumping in and getting our Farmstead started. Preparing the farmstead, from scratch has been an overwhelming chore.
Starting Point for the Farmstead
When we found the property, we knew at that time that it would need a great deal of work. The land itself needed work, buildings needed to get built, and the list goes on. But we felt good about it and after talking, praying and stressing over it, we decided to go for it.
We’ve never been scared off by hard work…it’s a good thing since farming is exactly that! My husband and I are both builders and knew that we would have no problem putting up those structures, it would just take time and thoughtful preparation.
Building on a Shoe String Budget
Being low on funds kept us from just putting everything all together at once, but I happen to be a world class scavenger and saved us a lot of cash in materials! (My husband really likes to make fun of me for my love of scavenging as well as my theory on never throwing away a piece of wood regardless of its size.)
Preparing – Know What You Want
One of the first things to think about in these cases is your goal. What is it that you want out of your farm? Preparing to begin, before beginning, is the first step. Determining your goals helps to determine your focus in the beginning prep work.
We know that we eventually want to have cattle grazing the pasture, however, that will be a little further down the road. The livestock that we currently raise is what helps feed our family so that had to be a priority. Therefore, other than putting our home together (which was a real undertaking and will be detailed later), the barn had to be first.
Construction is something, in which, we have a great deal of experience, however a basic barn structure can be built by most people, with a little bit of studying. There are lots of books out there that offer detailed information on basic building and framing. We knew what we wanted, so we designed it together, made a list of supplies needed and I went to work scavenging.
Scavenging Building Supplies
The main posts of the structure are quite large; very tall and very thick. To purchase that kind of lumber would be quite expensive, however, we used old utility poles that I got from the local electric company for free. We just had to go pick them up! Great savings!
Much of the framing wood and all of the tin used on the exterior of the barn, was free. (Well, they cost a lot of sweat, but no money!) We tore down a couple of old barns for people and kept the supplies that we removed. The supplies that we actually purchased were framing members for the roof (rafters) and beams as well as new tin for the roof. (Much better idea than used tin on a roof.)
When we designed the barn and its layout, we did so based on how we would be utilizing it. We knew that we needed a large shop area in the middle for our woodwork and construction. And we knew that we would need separate housing areas for our various livestock and all of the tools and supplies for each. The designs can certainly change if change is required. I like to leave things open and fluid because as time goes by, goals and needs shift. There’s no need to create a barrier to expansion!
If you are preparing to or thinking about starting a farmstead of your own, I wish you the best of luck and all the happiness that it can provide! My next posts will be the specifics of the construction of the barn. As always I welcome any comments or questions and I hope that our experiences can add to your knowledge base and provide some sort of help!
NEVER MISS A THING!!
Be sure to check out the other awesome content on Two Oaks Farm Talk as well as A Life on the Farm for the more personal side of the homestead life. And don’t forget to go subscribe to the Two Oaks Farmstead Youtube Channel for all kinds of terrific content!!!
God Bless! See ya next time!