One of the first major projects we wanted to tackle when we arrived at Four Fruitcake Farm was to build a chicken coop and get some laying hens.
We began the project in late July. When the ground was at its driest. And hardest. And most pick axe unfriendly. Good times...
Mr. Farmer Man and The Farm Boy started out by leveling the area we'd designated as the premier spot for the coop. Using an axe, hose, and shovel, they dug through the natural grasses to the hard packed earth below. It was a slow, laborious process.
Seeing the long grasses with their even longer roots made me have more respect for those brave, strong pioneers who "busted sod" in order to forge a new way of life for generations to come. In fact, there have been many things we've done on our homestead that make me very grateful for the technologies we have today that those who came before us did not have. Even if that technology comes in the form of a pick axe. Dreaded, nasty thing!!
After leveling the ground, Mr. Man began to mill the wood he'd felled in the forest. He was able to use the logs to make enough 2x4s to frame out the coop walls.
There was also some scrap lumber around the property when we bought it, so we used some of that in the project too. Have you ever tried to nail into weather beaten, old, decrepit boards that seem to have petrified? No? You should try it some time. It's a true test in patience. And perseverance. And attention. Take your eye off that nail for a millisecond, and that hammer will hit your fingers. Every. Single. Time. True story!
Everybody "helped" in some way. Brother helped hold up the framework. Sister took photos. The dog... well, he checked our work frequently.
And at the end of the day, the building was beginning to take shape. We had a building with wood that Husband had retrieved from the forest, milled, and hammered together into the frame. We had a door and window that were given to us free of charge. And we had sore muscles. Oh, boy! Did we have sore muscles!
Coming up next: The Poultry Palace, Part Two: Varmint Precautions
P.S... Please do not gag at my choice of work clothing. While they don't fit well any longer (hello, Clean eating!) and are so unshapely and lack any style whatsoever, these have been the clothes I've worn for any major house project for the last 10 years. They have paint from two different South Carolina houses (babies' rooms!), cement from a Florida house, and they're just nostalgic. Okay? 'Nuf said...