An Illustration of the Coop and Yard

We named them "Lunch" and "Dinner" so the kids would remember what they were for.

~Jim & Marcy Lilly (High Lonesome Ranch, Inc.)

Well, since I'm still without camera, I thought I'd draw up the map of my henhouse and chicken yard. It's in progress as we speak, but should be ready for the chickens by Sunday. (Monday I go to visit the local Bee keeper club (Buzz Club). It's a potluck and we know one person there, so maybe not too awkward? An excuse to hit the Farmer's Market again!) 
Anyway, here's what I've got set up on the coop:

Today I'll be digging & putting 5 long wooden fenceposts upright into the ground to hold up the trampoline netting as a predator deterrent over the chicken yard (owls, hawks, eagle). Yesterday I trimmed some scraggly oak tree growth and still need to rake up all the broken twigs and branches littering the ground (as all our land is prolifically covered with broken pieces of wood). Every day one more little something to do. I'd like to figure out how to hang some flowering plants from the eves...pretty it up a bit! That may have to wait until next year, but it's in my plans.

Here, I'd like to stop and recommend the video: “Food Inc.” (Netflix)
It really enlightened me as to how the food supply system really works. I promise, you won't like the truth of it... but you need to know.
It has changed my entire outlook on life and what our dependency means. Watching the fires of California last year, and in AZ, NM, and TX this year, makes me certain that I'm not even adequately prepared to evacuate or put up with loss of electricity in case of a fire here either. It makes me feel vulnerable to anything and everything- and I hate that feeling of knowing I'm dependent on others- others you can't count on anymore with all the economic factors.

Food production, preservation, longterm storage, and processing is big on my priority focus list right now and will continue to be. Maybe my agenda will look like this – I’m still working on it (and there are other options I haven’t included because they depend on others at this point, more on that if it pans out):

spring – clear out storage areas
summer– build chicken coop and yard, find source for chickens, start compost pile, save seeds
fall - get chickens, start peach & nectarine trees from seed, purchase soil, seeds, & containers (on sale now)
winter- indoor greenhouse (buy bulbs & install light fixtures (6 light fixtures that need tubes were in the shed rafters), set up tables & start seeds to grow container plants), paint pictures to sell later, sew up a few gathering apron(s), dehydrate veggies in "chip" form (beet, sweet potato, zucchini, etc.), experiment with homemade dressings and vinaigrettes

spring - hatch new chicks to grow the flock, build goat shed and put up fencing, get bees, start seeds indoors, put up a clothesline, build 3 coldframes (I already have 3 windows to use. I found them leaning on a garbage can 3 years ago.)
summer - get canning supplies, raise herbs and vegetable and berries (in containers if nec.), sell eggs, try growing feed seed (like black oil sunflowers)
fall – cull & process (roosters will go to freezer camp) or sell roosters from hatched chicks, buy 2 meat goats, clear the property of weeds, harvest produce, process/dehydrate and store
winter – buy canning supplies (on sale), order berry root stock, paint pictures and sew up some new clothes, try tanning a goat hide

spring- breed meat goats, plant berries, hatch chicks, try growing a food staple grain
summer- buy Ron a UtiliKilt for 18th wedding anniversary (yes he will hate it but I will love it and so I’m sure he’ll wear it), sell eggs & paintings
fall – get a milk goat, can 2nd-season produce, harvest honey, start coldframes, cull roosters (freezer camp), sell hens
winter – sell honey, buy stone fruit trees (*or at appropriate delivery time), sew up a new bed cover, grow food indoors (try some unusual plants like black pepper), paint

spring- breed 2 meat and 1milk goat, get a freezer, build a root cellar/secure longterm storage, expand gardening efforts, hatch chicks
summer- get meat ducks, turkey, geese, and expand chicken yard, sell paintings & eggs
fall - harvest, process, store food crops, harvest honey and beeswax, sell 1 meat and 1 milk goat, cull & process 1 meat goat (for freezer), cull roosters (freezer camp), sell hens
winter – make beeswax candles, grow food indoors (try growing some unusual plants like black pepper), paint

spring- breed meat goats, get a pig, sheep, or rabbits and/or start raising fish (via pond or aquaponics)?

spring - get a horse (done with BK, free to get another horse)

Now, don't take this as written in stone of course. I'm a novice at this farmgirl thing, so if any of you have any suggestions or corrections- they are mighty welcome!

Thanks for visiting!

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