En Garde! Pret? Allez!

Oh, the excitement! The joy! The slightly smug feeling of a plan panning out! Yes! This is the week we bubbled to the top of the fencing contractor’s list.

Despite the lurking tractor, Marilyn makes the most of the gateless ex-duck residence

Although we’d gone over our What to Do When the Fencing Contractor Calls procedure a great many times in the six months we’ve been waiting, when it actually happened I felt decidedly caught on the hop. Once I’d finished fluttering around ineffectively, I consulted the list: prepare the temporary duck digs, move the ducks, ensure the sheep and goats are out of the way, turn off the electric fences, disconnect and remove fencing apparatus earmarked for saving from the scrapheap, clear access all areas…

Temporary Duck Digs in the barnyard. It appears to pass muster.

No words can express how I felt as I opened the goat paddock gate to a John Deere (sigh!) towing a ute (cool!) with flashing light ablinking. Sadly, neither can any pictures but, take it from me, it was one of the more farmy moments the humble Homestead has experienced.

Since our relocation to this patch of the planet, we’ve been brainstorming rejigging the paddock layout to make it more Homestead friendly. Over the past four and a bit years, we’ve added a sizeable vegetable garden, fashioned a hen run out of temporary fencing, built a pig pen, and repurposed an existing horse yard into our sheep pen but the paddocks, particularly the back one, just didn’t make for effective use of the ground.

Existing fencing. Yellow: fences; red: gates; blue: temporary fencing

After a great many sketches and arguments, pacings-out and what-about-if-we’s, we’d finally decided on a plan. Let’s create another paddock by pivoting the back goat paddock fence 90 degrees and carrying the front duck fence right across to the boundary; brilliant! That gives us four kind of equal sized paddocks AND (there is no underestimated how much this figured into it) while the fencer is here, he can put in the posts for the hazelnut orchard, path to the tiny house, and the permanent chicken run fencing. After the whole pig sty build, none of us were keen to ever again, in our lives, while we still have breath in our bodies, hand-dig in fence posts, so help me!

All those in favour say aye; a celebration meal was called for.

Sitting round the table that night with an enjoyable takeout and possibly a bottle of wine, The Farmer cleared his throat, rumbled and mumbled a bit, and then announced he and The Princess had something to us ask all. Something big. And it was okay if we said no, they’d totally, utterly. completely under….

“Oh, just get on with it!”

These two have been madly saving for a deposit on their first abode but, the world being where it is, the goalposts just keep moving to the point that this was becoming an unachievable dream. Would it be possible for them to perhaps put a tiny house in one of our paddocks? Just for a while? Just until they had enough behind them?

Once of us may have cried a few happy tears.

The Resident Engineer had it all worked out in seconds. Pull out the duck enclosure, deer fence a slice of the goat paddock including the old duck enclosure for the tiny house residents (which would, once they moved on, work as a prison paddock for wayward animals or even a buck) and move the ducks into the proposed hazelnut orchard…hang on; I’ll show you

While fencing is not the most photogenic subject, the pictures below give you an idea of both our new layout and the work still to be done.

Tiny houses, being quite de rigeuer at the moment, are not as cost effective as the once were but The Farmer and Princess Nikita shopped around a bit and came up with a workable solution. A caravan bathroom and kitchen; a sleepout bedroom-lounge.

Lessons were learnt along the way. The biggest was those winds do fair rip across the plains and it really was important to afix the sleepout to the Earth.

But, as usual on The Homestead, there was nothing so untoward as to halt proceedings -just slow them down a bit – and The Princess, The Farmer and Kora the dog will very soon be taking up residence – much to Farm Girl’s delight as she will takeover the tenancy of the vacated Farmer’s bedroom.

9 thoughts on “En Garde! Pret? Allez!

    • Its always nice when the finished product actually lives up to the dream.
      The tiny house idea is perfect…the property market feels very unfair for people starting out and its great to be able to help out like this. Its also nice to have them living so close… but sshhhh, families that like being around each other are viewed as decidedly odd ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. What a practical fencing solution. How wise to think ahead! It reminds me slightly of the utopian picture of a five acre homestead layout in Seymour’s New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency. And love the tiny house solution…as you know, one of our number and her husband have almost the identical set up.

    • Thanks! For us, smaller paddocks and pens work best. I think this will work a lot better but we will probably lose out on hay.
      The sort of tiny house arrangement makes me very happy ๐Ÿ˜Š

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