After our storm of Sunday night passed through… (next post!) We were talking to a friend and she thought we had neighbors like within feet of us… she was confused by the poultry barn in a rainy video and so I thought, oh, I’ll just go and grab a link to Google Maps to show her the layout of the homestead in relationship to other neighbors.
Boy, did I get a happy surprise! Our Google Map has been updated! No longer was it from years ago with the old owners.. it was OUR Windhaven! Complete with our modifications and even my garden raised beds and such! How neat it that!
The picture above shows our little 3 acres of heaven. As you can see, we are pretty much surrounded by farmer fields… and that diagonal road is actually a train track. The little cluster of buildings to the right, middle is actually an abandoned migrant farm worker camp. My big ag neighbor owns it and just uses the building now for storage. So there is no one living there. I guess my closest neighbor is the old gentleman across the street and to the left. The house to the middle left is the home of the farmer who owns everything pretty much around us.
It’s when you see the closer shot that it gets pretty exciting! From the road you can see Blue parked in the driveway! You can see the fallen tree up front to the far right, so judging from the thick tree cover and a few other key things, we think this was taken in the early spring. In the back pasture, you can see the beginnings of our goat playground, but it was only one wire spool and two board ramps. Not the whole complex setup we have for them now! You can still see the white truck cap in the old foundation next to the big barn. Jeremy helped Jessy and I move that shortly after Maggie broke her leg.
I can also see the plastic that we laid down in the garden to help kill off some of the weed growth and where we planted pumpkins and squash. It looks like there are few small plants growing so I am guessing it was like late June that this was taken. You can even make out our asparagus patch right behind the big barn in the back! It looks like a row of green blobs next to that little odd retangular patch which was once a garden and we tried to till up and use but it overgrew like nuts before we could get it planted right.
It’s quite amazing all the detail that can picked out by those satellites in space! A little scary as well, but hey, who wants to spy on us anyway? Learn how to maintain a little homestead? How to make raised beds outta all sorts of weird things? Go ahead!
The only bummer was that the street view was still the old views from awhile back. I rather doubt that will change soon. Still, it’s neat to see that we’ve made our mark on this old planet Earth, eh?
However, once I saw that print out and was looking at it, I just could not help but to start visualizing the various expansions that we want to do eventually with our pastures/fencing and such. If you really think about it, that upper right quadrant is what we call our weed path and wood lot and it is totally underutilized. You can sort of see how we fenced in the weed patch and have started to use it for grazing. Still, there is a lot there. And the wood lot, well, it’s just not like we would really like it to be. It’s way too overgrown. You can’t hardly even walk back there. Our goal is to get that back part fenced as soon as possible… the purple line in the back. It’s about 400 linear feet of fence. And then just let everyone in there to graze it back and down for us. It will probably take them a whole season, but that’s fine. We’re in no rush. And just slash and cutting it all, well, that’s a lot of good goat grazing gone to waste!
We have a friend, John, who has some great big mechanical toys that we might be doing a little trade and barter with to help us dig out a little fence line back there. It’s a little hard to see, but the plan is to leave some vegetation at the fence line, a sort of living hedge and green privacy fence. We will come in about 8 to 10 feet, and cut a fence path about 4 or 5 feet wide. In that path we will pretty much cut down any small trees and brush to make a clear zone for the fence to be installed. And so that we can see the fence once it’s up and keep the area clean… it’s so helpful to be able to walk the fence every so often to make sure there are no breaks or trees down on it, etc. The hedge behind the fence will work as a sort of animal barrier as well, a second line of protection. There is a wee bit of old fence entangled in the hedge already and areas are very thick, but some are open. We will probably continue to weave in some old chicken wire, low, so that the weeds and bramble grow over it. It seems to have worked in other areas of the hedge and it would be a great way to encourage that living fence there! It’s so pretty in the spring and summer, all the wildflowers and such back there, birds, butterflies and little critters. We like that a lot. They just don’t need one whole quarter of our property for it!
Another plan is to expand the dog yard so that we don’t have to mow that area! If it was fenced, like the dog yard is, we can let the sheep and goats in there every so often to eat it all down. Our goal is to only have to mow right around the house and in the driveway courtyard!!! After all, when you have grass eating livestock, why not let them take care of it. I do not like mowing that much! And it’s good fodder for them. And gives them something to do!
Eventually, we’d like to also fence in the upper left quadrant with perimeter fence. Then we could let the flock in that long skinny area now and then, to keep it cleaned back and all, but still preserve the beauty of the privacy hedge. Not sure if that will happen in 2014, but it’s on the planbook. The wood lot pasture WILL go down… it’s our last big project. I hope to get the fence soon and we are talking with John to possibly even cut the path before it gets too cold and too into the winter months. It will be sure easier to do with everything dormant and dead, like all the grasses and brush. Way easier! We’ll have to probably go in there and start with a chainsaw and just cut a preliminary path, make sure we can cut as straight a path as we can.
It’s fun to plot and plan… and these satellite maps really make it neat to see the whole overall plot of your homestead. It also helps you to see the areas that are not being used well and how you can improve your little estate, too!