So now we are reaching the end of the season at Rainbow’s End. We are past the first frost (a month ago), past the first snowfall, and well into mandatory heating season. However,it is time for one of my favourite farm activities: planning the next season.
We need a vehicle shed to store tractors and implements.
This needs a large (drive through) door with good height clearance. Perhaps 14 x 30 x 10. This could be situated between the barn and the run-in.
Tacking up spot
Cross ties, standing pad with an adjacent tack shed beside arena.
We need to construct at least 2 stalls in the barn (might as well make 4 at this point), an animal pen area and some designated hay storage shelves. Once we have more stalls, we can designate a lean-to stall as a feed room.
This can be a lean-to against the South wall of the house.
Build up new arena area by installing drainage, add footing on top of grade. This will avoid potential flooding isues as ground is low lying.
We can use arena as an outdoor facility until we complete it.
Design living facilities at near (West) end, stables along south wall.
Repair fence at neighbour’s corner.
Install H posts at each corner.
Install swinging gates into each paddock.
Pipe to padocks. Run off collection at run-in. Tap on water tote.
Gravel or other firm footing in front of stalls besides barn.
Firm footing to West of driveway to Barn (between drive and ditch and between Pen and Gate) for parking area for trailers etc.
Improve driveway beside house and under trailer.
Solar panels. Electricity to run-in.
Another chicken run would be good. Female ducks to pair with Call Ducks, Cayuga and Indian Runner. Incubator for egg hatching. Nice to get Peacock/hen.
Marshmallow returns (need stalls complete).
Lincoln Longwool sheep - 4-6 (fencing needs to be upgraded).
Scrap the garden-bed area because it is wet for too long into the season. Build new raised beds along the slope from the house on the South side. Plant each row as temperature permits, going progressively downslope.
Last year for Ron to plant cash crops on land. Underseed pasture grass.
With the recent purchase of my first utility tractor - the Oliver Super 55, I can look forward to some serious (albeit small scale) farming. Here are some of the tasks I plan to use her for:
- Manure management.
- Hay storage/management.
- Driveway maintenance.
- Fence building.
- Hay making.
- Crop planting.
Luckily my purchase included a front loader attachment (with a scraper blade), so item 3 is taken care of, and a loader bucket and bale fork will take care of items 1 & 2. Used items should run me around $300 for both.
A post auger is a reasonable investment, and getting a portable auger around to the far ends of fields is tricky business especially when damp. Around $5-800 should get me what a 3-point hitch P.T.O. driven auger.
At some future point, probably in 2021, I will get into the hay making business. A sickle bar mower, rake and baler will be required - and probably cost on average $500 each. As for crops - I may get a plow and/or cultivator that I can at least turn the soil for some vegetable crops. All in all, I think the strategy will be to watch auctions and Kijiji and see what comes up at my kinds of prices.