Building A Farm... From Scratch

When we bought our place, it had nothing set up to farm. No chicken house, no barns, just woods and lots of grass. We have built everything thus far ourselves. I have taught myself everything I know from old world farming books, experts in organic (and beyond) agriculture and by lots of mistakes. But I can confidently say, this is the life for me. I do with very little to enhance my natural farming. I let the heritage breeds I have live with nature and allowing them to make their own wallows in the summers and straw beds in the winter. Heritage animals are very intelligent. You just have to give them the room and insulation in order to be so.
In the summer, I grow an extra garden plot for my animals so they too have healthy greens. I naturally raise  most of my animals in the open and in huts, shielded from the elements. They have all thrived even in the harshest of winters. 

While I love being in the open and won't change much about that, it would be so beneficial for my artificial insemination and other future farming exploration, to have an indoor place that I can bring the animals for, if they are hurt and need repair, or better shelter for my goats. I also have been dreaming of a place to store my farming and essential oil extracting equipment.
I am sensing, and by sensing, I mean been told several times, my stuff is 'outstaying' it's welcome in Mr. Hunky's shop.

Therefore, this year, after adding the 5 prime tillable acres this past fall, we are building a barn. Let me say that again... WE ARE BUILDING A BARN! One that has a milking room, farrowing stalls for in the winter, and to have a cozy place for my goats and other farm chaos. I can confidently say we are building a barn for my animals. I have a major problem with thinking about things for LOOONG periods of time before making decisions. Processing really. It's all about processing and the time it takes me to do so. But I am now comfortable saying, we are in the process of building a barn! 

I am writing and designing plans that I can pasture rotate groups of similar animals bi-weekly on the acreage around the barn. I want to show how to develop land to it's fullest like it was done hundreds of years ago. I can't tell you how amazing it is for me to see my expanding farm dreams grow and I encourage anyone contemplating starting their own purposeful natural farm over and over again. It is hard, wonderful work.

In order to build the barn, it needs a driveway to access it. I needed to get a permit to put in a separate driveway since the acreage would be very difficult to access from our current driveway.

Well, Try to explain that to the county. This was NO easy feat. In fact, this entire process has been tiresome and at times I see myself throwing my hands up. But no, I find the energy to push on. The saying "where there's a will there's a way," is so true for me. In a nutshell in 1980 my county passed a 'general' rule that all accesses were 1 per 80 acres unless the acreage bought was in someone else's name. All the accesses thus far that were put in previous to this were grandfathered in. But apparently because the acreage we bought is in my husband and I's name, the same as our house, that doesn't count. BUT if I put it in Joe Schmoe's name, I could have a driveway. I promptly told them this was ridiculous. Then they expressed to me that on Google Earth (oh Google, google knows all) it showed that I could technically access the acreage by driving  through our shop and around the back side of our house down the field onto the new part. Ahem, yea, really accessible. Again, I pointed out how ridiculous this was. Then they wanted me to ask my neighbor (the guy I bothered for 3 years to sell me 5 acres, awkward) if I could have HIS access. meaning taking his access out (yea he farms) and move it to my land. His access is about 2000 feet down the road. On what planet does this make sense?! Regardless, because I just KNEW anyone in their right mind isn't going to get rid of one of their grandfathered accesses, I asked him anyway. He laughed. I laughed. And I asked him to let the county know what he thought of that. He did.

So, after going round and round with them about having an access for that property, they finally granted it to me. And I am so thankful. As a side note, I do understand, for road safety, you can not have roadways and accesses where ever you want.
The driveway is important for it's own access to the barn. It needs to be easily accessible so a semi can deliver feed and have enough area to turn around. I need feed delivery to supplement my animals with NON GMO feeds and hay in the winter and delivery is so much better than unloading literally a ton at a time of 50 lb feed bags. I do have some nice pipes though ;)

After the driveway gets put in the barn can get started. who knew there was so much to building a driveway! Culverts, clay, gravel, compacting, road restrictions. Uff duh. But soon it should be done and the beginning phase of my barn building can begin. This picture is the driveway getting started.... not much to see but now that you know the details of how difficult it was to proceed, it is a beautiful site. More to come on the barn building