Planning Days

After a crazy week and finalizing inspections it is time to circle back on lists and to-dos. While I am raring to get started on building the farm prep area out in the barn there are a multitude of little projects in the way. Most of them are time sensitive.

L is the project queen while I am that guy who will work till he can’t anymore and leave tools laying about in the garage because I am unfinished with the project or too tired to include putting things away as part of the work at hand. (I’m working on it – Bill and DM please don’t judge me too harshly!)

Whiteboard sessions get us both on the same page but don’t happen as often as needed… Given the amount of time we spent on the farm this week we are hunkered down this weekend planning.

The cool damp weather made a fire seem like a good idea… but a “blazer” was a little too much heat. It takes work for a cool fire.


November is spoken for.

Note”Martinis” on the 22nd. We are spending our anniversary on the farm. I have a plan, we’ll see how it works out.

The brain dump list

Day 2
I got up early to whip up some homemade bagels. Planning days have an upside. I wooed L with this brunch 9 years ago.

This whiteboard covers our barn buildout and layer coop thoughts including small grain bin under shed on the east wall.

Where the water and electricity go is important to understand before things get framed in. Also what appliances we need on hand is critical so I can frame to size and position outlets and gas connections in the right spot.

We spent a lot of time looking for info on 4ft fire resistant doors, BTU outputs, nest box ideas, and exterior lighting options.

For heating the 540 sqft space it seems like a propane wall heater might work in case of a power outage. If we should go off grid electric would be too high a load on a small battery bank.

Most of this needs to get done in December through early February. It seems hard to book it until we have some of the details in hand but I can start working on lumber estimates and figure out some of the tricky stuff like code requirements for putting in I-beam joists and distance from propane and water to electrical runs.

But a few things have enough impact on framing that we need to get on them sooner. Anyone know a good place to find a four foot wide door with a fire rating of 20 minutes?

L really wants to spread out planning days in weeknight evenings. I need to suck it up and oblige because a little planning goes a long way.


About M. Agriculteur

Designer, motorcycle junkie, traveler, wanna-be iron butter (more butt than iron), builder, foodie, farmer wanna-be.
This entry was posted in Barn, Construction, Farming, Gardening, Homesteading, Permaculture, Preparing the land and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Planning Days

  1. Masha Zager says:

    Inspiring! We need to do more of this, too

  2. Hmmm, bagels and martinis, now that sounds like a plan ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad you’re posting again. Makes me think I should get my butt in gear and get more done and maybe some blogging too.

    I have no idea how much rain you guys got, but we measured 9″ accumulation since it started raining on October 25th. Our spring and the ram has announced the drought is partially over, at least for now.

    • Honestly posting is hard since we keep getting in the mindset of “when it’s done” it’s really about the process and getting input and encouragement from friends like you who are doing it and farther along. It’s been pouring on and off here. I assume we’ll be in the rainy stuff until spring. Ram needs a cleanup and setup soon here too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Bill says:

    In our household Cherie has much better organizational skills than me, and I’m bad about putting off planning because there always seems to be something more pressing needing doing. About a year ago we adopted a practice of sitting down every Sunday morning at 10:30 for a weekly “farm meeting.” We go over whatever is on the schedule for the next week, then the next month. We review revenue and expenses for the week and any budgeting issues. And we discuss and resolve any open administrative issues. When something comes up that we need to discuss and agree on, unless it can’t wait we just add it to the agenda for our meeting. The meeting usually takes less than an hour and having it means we never get backed up on planning/paperwork stuff. It’s a way to force us to clear the desk once a week. Then at the end of the year we do an all-day thorough review of farm operations. That system has worked well for us and forces me to not allow planning to be neglected. From your description of things you probably don’t need the discipline as much as I do, but I thought I’d put it out there, for what its worth.

  4. I’m super impressed with the whole planning meeting concept – I know someone else who uses a whiteboard in the dining room to do do their farm planning, so maybe it’s a growing trend. Food always helps at meetings. Years ago, we used to hold family meetings and I used dessert at those meetings to bribe the kids into participating. Worked a treat.

    It occurred to me while reading about your planning session that I do most of my planning alone – this is pretty much accepted in the family because the farm as an enterprise is thought of by them as “Mum’s thing”, and they mostly aren’t interested in the nitty gritty of it all. Then I thought about it harder, and realized that it’s possible I don’t encourage participation. All of them have from time to time offered input (and hubby gets consulted regularly especially for plans involving spending), but I haven’t always taken that input on board as positively as I might have. Something for me to think about.

    • Well don’t be too impressed. Planning is really different from semi-accurate time estimates. Last weekend we ticked 10 things off the list but 5 were left staring at us. Then we added a couple more. The biggest win is getting everyone “on board” (get it? I made a funny) seriously even the broad brush strokes of the planning seem better than nothing. I think L feels better when we have a list we’ve agreed to and things certainly go smoother… To quote from “Hit by a Farm” … There can only be one Captain Kirk. When we have the list it becomes the boss instead of one of us so we both get to be team players together.

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