Hunt and Gather

There are quite a few things we need to hunt and gather in the coming months as we begin to develop new, bare land. Some items on our list are tools, some are related to fencing (phew!– going to need a lot of that!), and some things are for projects to look forward to. In all these areas we are starting from scratch… again. We have lived on this quarter-acre about three years and in that time we have come to rely on our neighbor’s gardening tools and fences. Now that we are moving out and onward, we need to come up with a lot of the basics for ourselves. I anticipate many hours spent on FreeCycle and the dreaded Craigslist looking for tools and building materials that we can buy inexpensively, barter for, or even better: find for free. If you are coming into our neck of the woods and have some old garden gear that you’d like to pass on, let me know and we can make some sort of trade or deal.

We have so much to do and you know what? I love it. You know me, I always need a project to work on. Or two. Or fifty. Boredom just doesn’t suit me. I think that’s why I love having animals to care for. I thrive on this life of constant baking, fermenting, soap making, woodstove stoking, cheese making, sewing, building, painting, baby critter care taking, grooming, planting, weeding, and harvesting. It is all a harvest I suppose.

This year, you can expect the blog to be flooded with photos, new tutorials, and hands-on workshop announcements. In the meantime, here is what we will be gathering and buying for the farm. This will be a slow process of course since we will be sourcing mostly recycled materials:

Garden:

  • Pointy shovel (technical name)
  • Flat shovel (that might actually be a technical name)
  • Rake –heavy duty
  • Pitch fork
  • Wheelbarrow
  • One of those cool garden carts/wagon on steroids
  • Logs and brush for hügelkultur
  • Straw bales for hügelkultur

Fencing:

  • ____ft./____yds. Electric wire fencing
  • Electric wire connectors for T-posts
  • T-posts; 6-8 foot tall (billions of them)
  • T-post hammerthingy
  • ____ft./____yds. garden fencing for deer (8 feet tall?)

Goats & Donkey:

  • Shelter –lumber or pallet walls?
  • Shelter roof –shingles, tin, or PVC material
  • Water containers
  • Feed containers
  • Hay manger –1 or 2 for goats, 1 separate for donkey
  • Mineral dishes –accessible only to goats
  • Goat grooming tools
  • Donkey grooming tools
  • Milking pail and filter/funnel set –stainless steel only
  • Donkey halter & lead

Miscellaneous:

  • Skill saw
  • Lumber of all sorts –2×4’s, plywood, 6×6’s, OSB, wood screws, etc.
  • Bricks for new cob oven
  • Clay & sand for new cob oven
  • Thick gauge wire rolls –9 gauge (best) to 16 gauge (least desirable)
  • Turkey tractor –for 2-6 turkeys
  • Greenhouse plastic
  • Big fodder trays for bigger, better setup
  • More rabbit cages –30×36″ minimum
  • Fruit trees for an orchard

14 thoughts on “Hunt and Gather

  1. Might I suggest a hoop house for housing your animals. Fast to put up for your livestock. Hay manger and assorted other cheap builds check out michigansnowpony on youtube. As for fencing go as needed. Don’t look at fencing as the big picture.

    For tools, storage locker auctions and yard sales. I bought 15,000 linear ft of gorgeous red oak crown molding for $10 at a storage locker auction. There was also a paint gun and 50 sq ft of indoor/outdoor carpeting in the lot. I sold the carpeting and paint gun for $5 a piece so the cost was nothing. Also buy your tools off season or very early at the beginning of the new season for a good price.

    Did you find the property and buy it yet or still dreaming? In your list your forgot Caring for Trevor and Cami. LOL The most important two. You are also looking at the BIG picture. Start small for better results. One or two projects at a time.

    • I will look into hoop housing as a temporary option. In my dream world, I’d like to make a strawbale or cob “stable” for the future goats and donkey. That would be awesome.

      Where we are looking to move, good fencing really IS a number one priority. There are bears, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, and who knows what else. We have never contended with bears before, so that will be interesting for the bees, but we have a lot of experience with what the other major predators can do when they’re hungry.

      Not only that, but the deer around here can decimate a garden in a matter of minutes. I am not even close to joking. There is no way I am going to leave a new garden to chance… That puppy is getting fenced in first!

      By the way, michigansnowpony is awesome. I’m already subscribed to her YouTube channel.

      • I hate to tell you but fencing really doesn’t deter a determined bear. With their claws they can make short work of any fencing besides concrete. Deer can clear a 5′ fence. They do here. They do shy away from barbed wire though.

        A word about hoop houses. After the animals move on to better accommodations, you have fertilized greenhouses!

      • Oh, I’m sure not much keeps out a bear. I am actually most concerned about the mountain lions. They have quite the reputation for dragging off goats in the middle of the night. The fence only has to deter them during the day. At night I plan to lock everyone up.

        We have deer here that can clear 8′ fences! They practically have wings!

        Good point on the hoop houses… It would be so nice to have a greenhouse or two as a reward for building a permanent shelter.

  2. fruit trees are easy and they can start from branches cut from another tree. try that and you can have a wealth of trees.

    fodder trays you can get from any nursery. I used “flats” that 6 pack plants came from, they were perfect and free

    Feed containers are totally unnessary, what do animals do in the wild. Come see my set up!

  3. find a metal recycling center/scrap yard near you, I found my T post hammer and Whole Rolls of Barbed wire at mine and I think you pay 55 cents per pound or something like that, I find all sorts of stuff that can be repurposed at my local place.

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