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Deep breaths, aaaaaand begin again. I rolled around in my thoughts for a full 24 hours. I was really anxious because this was supposed to be cheap, and now it would cost money. I finally settled on an entirety different approach. I was trying to put something together fast and cheap until I could build the tractor I really want. But I really want to stick to the principle of working with what I already have, so I decided to convert an area in the big barn…which is a mess.

Old cheese boxes, skis, bird nests, homemade creations, giant wooden spools, safety gasses, building materials, farming equipment that hasn’t occurred to you before, owl pellets, soup dispensers, tools, adopted stray cats, and vast quantities of petrified poop. A variable treasure trove of trinkets reflecting life from the very founding of our nation (this home was build by a Revolutionary War veteran) to this day. Fascinating. Now they will hold chickens again.

I chose a stall that was used to hold grain. It is covered in flour. Task number one is to empty the things people have been flinging in it over the years and clean it out. It was one of those jobs that once you complete, you tip toe straight to the laundry room to strip down, throw your clothes directly into the washer, and then march directly to the shower. I strategically completed this during the small one’s nap time, so it was ready for construction the next day.

The plan is to convert the entire north end of the ground level in phases. Phase one:

The construction of a wall with a door to enclose the inner stall

The rehabilitation of an aluminum storm door that was laying around in another barn

The installation of a cheap vinyl floor for easy clean-up

The running of hose through the floor to the spring spout

The construction of a shelf of bucket nest boxes

The installation of roosts

Phase two:

The removal of bees from the wall of the outside stall

The installation of a real window in the barn wall

Second verse same as the first to expand chicken housing down the road

Phase three:

The conversation of the space directly in front of these coops into an organized garden shed. I don’t have steps for this yet.

All I need to start with is phase one. While this will not be done in the leisurely pace I had imagined when I first started throwing the busted up outdoor coop together, I am well on my way to having it completed by the time the chickens are large enough to move out of the brooder. I’m happy with this outcome and even pleased that it’s given me a reason to get started on the large barn and get my gardening tools out of the basement.

I’ve also managed to get some compost bins together this week, which has been bugging me for months. I simply nail several pallets together in a stall formation and rotate their use. This is compost system number one – I’ll get into it more once the big gardens are in.

The only other thing I’ve have time to do this week is get started on the leftover weeds in the tomato patch. This is not an exciting job, but they can’t all be as glamorous as decomposing kitchen waste and cleaning poop out of a barn.

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