Sorry for many missing posts... but I have an excuse....
For those of you who have bee following a while you will know that we have several acres of field (around 13) and various outhouses and barns. The original plan was that we had this set up so that I could get a horse - a lifelong dream of mine. This has been put on hold somewhat with the arrival of Farm Baby, but the dream still lives on. So preparation is key! We have however decided to take that dream just one step further.
We decided that there was enough room and we had enough land to, in some small way, have a few liveries. Not many, just enough to help with a few bills and to make good use of the land we have. The idea was born and we began planning. The large green hay shed was chosen (pretty much as soon as we saw it on the first viewing of the property) as a likely candidate for stables. This was even before we had thought of liveries, this was just for me!!
A few months ago we had a company round to check the shed and to draw plans up for stabling. We liked them, they liked the shed and we liked the plans, so it was full steam ahead. The shed however needed a lot of work. The photo above shows how it was when we moved in, as you can see it was full of hay and straw and there was no solid bottom to the walls on two sides. The rabbits had also spent many years digging away and the floor level in the back right corner was somewhat lower than the rest of the barn. Before the stable fitters could get in we needed to get working.
After a whole weekend of manually clearing the hay and straw from the barn and having a succession of bonfires the shed was ready for some professional work! Our neighbour is a brickie and very kindly offered his services to put in a retaining wall all the way around the base. He did this in his spare time, just popping over when he had an hour or two! And very grateful we are too! Here is his work as of several weeks ago. He had done his bit as far as he could, the next step was ours.
We needed the heavy machinery...
We dug a trench out for a central drain and dug a large soak away at the back.
We then needed a whole lot of this....
This was to cover the whole floor of the barn to allow a concrete top to be added. This was as close to the barn that the delivery truck could get, so it took two full days of three person labour to get all this in to the barn. I am a mean digger driver, except when I think about it then it all went everywhere and I couldn't do anything! They definitely went out of there way to make it as complicated as possible. For those who haven't driven one it has two levers in front of you which are forward and backwards for each of the tracks beneath, then there is a joystick for each hand that controls buck scoop and empty, arm in and out, arm up and down and cab left and right! There were also two foot pedals which did something but I just left them alone! I got the hang of it though and it was quite a relaxing thing to do. As I chugged along at a slower than walking pace however I couldn't shake the idea of how funny it would be to race these little diggers, they go so ridiculously slowly!
But then it ended up like this, sorry for the bad photo, we finally have sunshine and it plays havoc with the camera, I also had a puppy pulling his lead at the same time!
This is were we are at the moment. We are hoping to have the concrete base on by the end of next weekend, so please keep your fingers crossed for us!!
While we were at it, we also re fenced our top paddock and 'claimed' a small section of it as BBQ area. We will be able to sit in here, watching our animals, eating our burgers and enjoying the fresh air. It will have a small gate here leading into the field, for person access. The bigger gate for animals and machinery is up the other end (and isn't actually there). I will do more on the paddocks at a later date but thought you may enjoy the sneak preview!