August 10, 2012 we closed escrow on this homestead property. The house was a striped foreclosure and without a toilet (just a hole), no bathroom floor, no light fixtures, beer cans littered around the house and very dirty. One wall in the kitchen was used as a dartboard. Outside, the yard was completely unkept for at least a year, the pasture was 4 feet high and the creek was hidden. It was so exciting but oh so much work. We began work immediately and moved the family in October. Immediately I wanted to bring the goats over (they used to be boarded at Kid Creek Pastures). Without a milking stall and only exterior fencing, the goats roamed the yard free. I once found a goat in the house. Can you say…”Crazy!”
Since then much has changed and evolved…
In 3 years Todd has worked his maagic and made this a real homestead with:
- A warm farm house complete with toilets, light fixtures, flooring and more.
- A mobile chicken camper for our hens.
- A garden patch cleared by chickens and planted 3 consecutive summers.
- Almost 1000 ft of fencing installed, replaced or reinforced to be goat proof.
- Goat barn and milking stall and cleanroom.
- A pasture barn and breeding area.
- Two bee hives with ever increasing number of boxes.
- 2015 addition includes a mini-high tunnel greenhouse for winter greens.
Todd originally took the old fence and made an 8×8 stall and small overhang for milking. Blocked on the southside, it worked amazing and kept the snow off the stantion. (Dec. 2012)
Then he expanded to 2 stalls and a larger milking overhang. (Mar. 2013)
Then we expanded the cover are for the goats in the winter of 2014. At first it was all constructed with pallet walls and gates and cattle panel walls on the Northside. Amazingly it kept the snow and rain out and goats dry.
Summer 2014 we moved all the goats out of the stalls and began milking on the patio. It was open air and covered by an awning, but walking the goats past the garden daily was a workout in itself. For a short period (5 days), I tried a milking machine. Not for me. I prefer hand milking and have never used again.
Now I milk in style in a milking temple, complete with concrete milking area and a cleanroom. The improvements make milking even more fun and much more clean.
The Hen Camper
Photos of the greenhouse coming soon!