Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ninety bales of hay in the barn, ninety bales of hay, take one down, pass it around...

This afternoon we drove 2.5 kms south to the Curlew Farm, owned by the Simpsons. This is the farm where we've been buying hay since we started 4-H last year.

Pam and Pete keep cows and horses but sell their extra hay to others. We were lucky; we've been busy and have put off getting stocked up. Pam had enough for us, but not much more. We were a bit worried as we had been hearing of a hay shortage on the prairies. Most places either got too much rain or not enough and I believe B.C. farmers have been selling and shipping more this year and for better prices.

After pointing us to the right area, Pam left and we loaded up the 16' trailer with 54 bales and brought them home. On our second trip we hauled 36 bales. We figure 90 bales will keep us going until Curlew Farm starts bringing in the second cut of hay next year.

Second cut hay is more desirable because the grasses are finer. Sheep are more picky than cows and leave less of the second cut behind. First cut hay is $5.50 a bale and second cut is $6.00. This is pretty much par for the course price wise.

Although we were eying all the hay conveyors as we drove home, we lifted our bales to the loft using equipment we already had. We off loaded from the trailer onto the forklift forks and raised the stack of 12 bales to the loft opening.

It was not extremely difficult work but it got us warmed up a little! As you can see we had another really sunny day, although it was a little windy and cold, about seven degrees Celsius. It's hard to complain. Some Octobers are really wet, or really cloudy and cold.

We have a handful of chores left to do to take care of the livestock this winter. First is to place an immersion heater in the lambs' self waterer. The second is to remove the chickens' self waterer;
the kids will water them each day. Next year we will bury the waterline to the chicken coop. We also intend to cut a small opening in the loft floor directly above the hay feeder in the barn so the kids can simply drop hay into it from above. We hope this will limit the amount of hay that is going to insulate the ground directly in front of the barn (when they toss it down). We also have to vaccinate and de-worm our new lamb. I'm holding off on this until I talk to Janet Huber, the kids' 4-H sheep leader. She may be pregnant (the lamb, not Janet!) and I need to figure out what is safe for Hershey right now.

Tomorrow the kids will work on their livestock record books in the morning and then we will head up to Tom and Steph's cabin. Looking forward to a bit of relaxation (after we help dig holes for fenceposts!) Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

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