Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why won't my arms move?

Why won't my arms move? Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I on this wall? Where is Buttercup?

I'm getting to a point where I have lots of questions. For instance:

  • We want a cow one day. What do I have to do to get ready for one?

  • What kind of fences should I use? Where do I get the materials and tools? How do I use them?

  • Will the newly patched shed roof withstand the wind load?

  • How do we keep the kittens from eating the chickens we have coming in a couple weeks?

  • How do I build a coop for the chickens, anyway, and with what?

  • Just how wacky is our electrical system, and how bad a sign is it that the lights dim whenever the dishwasher starts up?

  • I'd like to raise a pig or three, but I don't see pigs around here. Does anyone keep them? If not, why not?

  • The electrical box I meant to put a light in yesterday has six different cables coming into it. What for? What do they connect to?

  • When should we plant our fruit trees?

  • How do I go about actually using our irrigation water?

  • There are three big flood lights in our field that buzz, but don't turn on. What's the deal?

  • Can I convince someone to come plow a few acres for us?

... and so on. I realize my neighbors have those answers. What's more, the neighbors have been unfailingly kind, thoughtful, and helpful. I will, eventually, get answers to these and other questions from them -- but I'm hesitant simply to interrogate random neighbors outright until I burn through their last vestiges of benevolence, That said, I want the answers now! I'll console myself with the thought that even with the answers, I'd still not have the time to do anything useful with most of them.

As an aside, if you happen to drop a ladder on your toe after patching a shed roof, this is a really good idea. I prefer the melting method, but I don't own a jeweler's drill.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Fences: Look around for the style mostly used around you. Then ask neighbors. The fact that you want a cow may determine what type of fence and what type of crossing/gates you want (cows won't cross certain things, so that could make your life easier).

    Chickens and cats: have them grow up together. Strangely though, our cats show no interest in the chickens, and neither do our dogs. I've heard this is true from others too. Go with it-- you might not need to do anything!

    Chicken coop: It depends. How many chickens? Free range or not (this will mean smaller vs bigger coop)? You need access to eggs and cleaning, and the hens need access to their roost at night (this impacts the number of doors/access points). Smaller grade wire means better protection against predators (oddly enough: moreso than chicken wire). There are SO many designs out there, but I'd keep the above in mind when choosing one. I'd also recommend building it yourself (they are SO expensive to buy). Oh, and figure out what sort of outdoor access you want the hens to have in inclement weather. Mine are dumb and will get drenched, so I have to have them confined (which means a larger, dry, confinement area).

    Fruit trees: Late winter/early spring-- that's also when bareroot trees are widely available, and they're the cheapest too.