You often hear people say that ‘Country Life = Simple Life’, which in some ways it is, but living on land is a lot of work. Even more so if there has been no improvements to the usability and ease of upkeep of said land for the last 20 years!
We were under no false illusions that buying this property we have now named Kama Heights Farm, would require a lot of hard work, planning, sweat, tears and everything in between to bring it up to working farm order. Whilst we would love to take deliveries now of alpaca, goats and some cute as a button fluffy miniature cows, and spend our days frolicking in the paddocks alongside them with daisy chains atop our head, the reality is that we are quite a way off that picturesque image I just painted for you!
They say the first year of homesteading can be daunting and often overwhelming – Where do you start? What takes priority? How is it all going to fit together? We’ve quickly come to learn that if we want something done, there is a handful of other time consuming tasks that need to be done first!
So, aside from dreaming about fluffy miniature cows, here are some of the things we hope to achieve in 2017…
- The biggest and most important project – Upgrade from 1 to 3 phase power – This was one of the first balls we got rolling when we arrived. The purpose? Upgrading to 3 phase power will enable us to drop a few unsightly power poles we have throughout the front part of the property (the power lines will instead be underground), it will cater for a larger solar power set up, a bigger air conditioner system (Queensland Summer = all year round!), and provide us with the ability to run a large pump for irrigation purposes.
- Install air conditioning throughout. (We’ve basically spent Summer with Satan since we got up here…the last 3 months have been lived in various states of deliriousness and heat zombie movements!)
- Solar power installation
- Minor cosmetic updates – stair railings, light fixtures, painting.
- Dream up our designs for renovations! Think French Country, Provincial…
- Perimeter fencing. Not only are our current fences dilapidated but they’re also not great at…well, fencing anything in or out of the property. Neighboring dogs are a concern for our current and future farm family so something a bit more intact and sturdy is in need. The kangaroos and wallabies will have to learn to come up the driveway like everyone else!
- Define a ‘backyard’. This is a project that has many projects within it and will be a work in progress for quite some time to get our envisaged result. Our goal for this year will be to relocate the current structures in proposed area (chicken coop and run, shed etc.), level out and decide on a design for gardens. We’ll probably throw down some lawn seed in the meantime as the area begins to take shape. Think tall palm trees, tropical canopy, lazy days on a hammock with a book…ahhh the serenity!
- Internal fences. Division of paddocks.
- Build a new chicken coop: For a future expanding flock.
- Irrigation for proposed gardens, current orchard and the setup from our dams. We’ve cracked a few pipes already due to them being barely buried under the ground so it will be a whole new set up!
Whilst our focus will be a lot on the fundamental side of the farm, there are other areas that we will trial and learn about on a smaller scale. Some things of interest…
- Composting. If we can get a few piles started now, will come in handy for our new gardens.
- Preserving food (once our orchard has a water supply again we hope to have fruit coming out of our ears!).
- Dehydrating food.
- Baking bread.
- Vegetable and herb garden designs. Companion planting.
- Explore alternatives to what we feed our flock of happy hens – fodder (fresh sprouts), raising meal worms, herbs etc.
- Learning all we can about caring for the animals we plan to add to the farm family.
2017 is going to be a big year – We’re ready!