After an excellent second week back at school, we are ready for a relaxing three day weekend. Not!!! The alpacas are finally coming home tomorrow afternoon; Autumn, Solstice, and baby Virgil. We have the grain for everyone, plenty of orchard grass, all of our buckets, and alpaca necessities. Also, the barn is all ready with electric and a cement floor; it was already existing when we bought this house.
However, we still have one more side of fence to put up for the spoil section, and another gate. "We" really meaning Donald, as the most I normally do is sit on the tractor, or hold tools. (Note: I do other things around the farm) Fencing is not my specialty; however, it seems to be Donald's. After hours of research, phone calls with professional fencing friends, and some heartache, it seems to be almost done. Who knew when we bought this place that it was the rockiest place in Virginia? Not us apparently. Yet Donald, ever my superhero, managed to make it happen.
Also, now that we are back to school and receiving regular pay, we are able to buy more fencing to create more paddocks. We want to rotate the alpacas into different pastures. Rotating pastures is a great way for the alpacas to not over eat in a particular area. In addition, it allows the pastures to be resting 75% while the others are in use. After tons of research we believe that this is the most effective way to allow the alpacas to naturally graze; in addition, to hay and grain.
Similarly, in the future as we expand the farm, we would like to allow all the farm animals to rotate pastures. This method is an ideal practice to maintain the land, and also allows you to control or evaluate animal intake. We shall have to see what the future holds, and take one step at a time.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Since we bought the farm we have...officially gotten engaged, bought 25 chicks, lost 2 chicks, seen multiple deer, started alpaca fencing, set up a kennel for the dogs, taken down a tree, experienced a strong wind storm (known as a Derecho), bought a truck, bought a tractor, built a chicken tractor, made plans for a chicken coop, started storing hay for the alpacas, started storing wood for the winter, finished setting up the house, killed a ground hornet's nest (5 feet wide by 3 feet deep at least), and numerous other things. Dreams do come true!
Ladies and gentleman it finally happened! On May 18th, 2012 we finally bought our hobby farm! We are now the proud owners of a beautiful 11+ acre property in Catawba, VA. Our amazing new place backs a few thousand acres of the Jefferson National Forest, while the Appalachian Trail is right in our own backyard. The past few months have been a whirlwind of To Do lists and emotions. However, we would not trade it for anything in the world.