Today’s assignment is to take a ride observing details of various properties (ranches and farms) around us. Not to be boring, but since we have been developing our idea and vision of a homestead for awhile now, we have been doing this for awhile. There really isn’t anyone in our vicinity that is doing what we are thinking of doing so in some ways it has been difficult finding a “role model” that lives in this type of environment. We live in the Colorado Rockies but in a HUGE valley that is surrounded by 360 degree views of mountains. The altitude of the ranch is 9500 feet above sea level so even though you think we should have a ton of trees and vegetation in the valley, we do not. In fact, at this point in time, we have a total of three tree! HA!
However, on one of our drives around, we saw someone that had literally planted banks of trees to defend against the bad winds we have here in the winter and of course, they then provide great picnic spots for in the summer and a place for some benches and quiet solitude for our family and guests. This was an important observation and one that we hope to implement.
We have also taken careful not of the direction buildings face as they are built and I would assume that is because of the wind and blowing snow too. For example, when we built t the new “chicken mansion” we took careful note as to how the snow drifted, where the melt off flowed as the weather warmed up, and even where we should put snow fences throughout the property to avoid having to plow so much during our second winter as we did our first winter. All of this we learned by driving around and seeing what other ranchers did on their own properties.
The weather here has been consistently much warmer than normal this time of year. Although we desperately need the moisture, this tease of warm weather has me anxious to get outside and start work on all the projects I listed out during my first week of this custom homestead journey. But alas, I have a feeling we have a good couple of HUGE snowstorms left at some point during the months of March and April…..so until then, I’ll keep reading, writing, planning and of course, taking some more drives looking for more ideas and insight.
Faith and Courage,