*****Updated: check it out --> pictures of our organizational work in the shed COMPLETE!
There are a lot of animals and vegetables on this farm. But there are also a lot of things that don't look quite like farming at all. For example, one thing that I am constantly working on here on the farm is our freezer situation. We really hope to get a walk-in freezer sometime in the near future. But right now, we actually have ... wait for it ... nine freezers on our property. We have them numbered so that we can quickly tell someone where something is.
But see, when you process, chickens for instance, you can't put them all in the same freezer. It is too much "warm meat" and they wouldn't freeze fast enough. So you have to spread them all out. So then you have chickens in one of nine freezers and you can't find the chicken when you need it. Then you go and process a pig and the same thing happens, and before you know it, you don't even want to cook because you can't find anything.
After we received this freezer below as a hand-me-down gift from our family in middle Tennessee, I felt I could finally do some organizing. We now have different meat in each of our freezers, and I can immediately go and grab ground turkey) top shelf or ground pork (third shelf). It's brilliant and so incredibly exciting for an organized person like me:
Next project? The tool shed. When my in-laws joined our "family" here on the farm, they brought something incredibly valuable: forty years of Grampa's work collection. This includes more parts and gadgets and things than you could ever imagine. The money we can save by shopping at our own "store" cannot be over emphasized! This collection of valuable work tools and equipment is a huge asset for us!
However, the issue was that when Dad and Mom arrived, all of this "stuff" was simply put inside a shed on the side of our garage. We all had grand hopes of getting it organized, but then real life took over. We all had so much stuff we had to do that this "extra project" just kept getting put off.
Enter Jacob. Our current WWOOFer. Jacob has been here since December. He is taking off March and April but will be returning to spend six months with us in May. He is an incredibly intelligent and hard-working guy who wants to learn everything he can about permaculture in preparation for his own farm someday.
So Jacob saw our shed and told us he'd like to help us tackle our organization issue in some of his free time. This was an over and above offer as he already is doing more work than we "require" of our volunteers. The shed organization was hard for Dad to let go of, but he admitted it was for the best as he has been very busy renovating mom and his house (they haven't had an indoor shower in it since we got here a year and a half ago!) Between those renovations and the gazillions of other things Dad helps with on the farm, this project may have never gotten done. With a promise that he would not throw anything away without Dad's permission, Jacob got underway.
He started by moving everything out of the shed and into the garage. This is about half the stuff below:
After he did a lot of the preliminary work, he recruited me to help. Mom watched the kiddos yesterday so that I could devote myself on a sunny and dry day to help Jacob get over the hump. He and I worked very well together and actually had a good time! Here is a photo of our driveway skills:
And here is just a sampling of our progress:
The stuff pictured above is probably about one-fourth of the total things that have to be organized, but we feel really good about our start. I'll make sure to include a picture of the completely finished project. Basically we just need a system to find things needed for farm projects. Dad had some metal shelving that he put up for us. It will line all the walls of this shed.
We are well on our way!
I realized that these things aren't very "farmish" at all, but they are definitely a significant part of my life. I am an incredibly organized person and staying that way is very important to me. I've been very proud to hear, when WWOOFers come to visit how "clean" our farm is. It is actually incredibly important to me that our farm is not junky. (We also don't want it to be one of those fake farms that is so clean and immaculate that it isn't actually functioning as a farm.) But our farm looks nice. Junk is put away. Garbage is thrown away.
And while there will always be organizing to keep on, getting this project done will be one of the final organizational things from our move completed. So excited!
Here is the final result:
This is what is left in the garage. Dad I need to go through the boxes on the table together because the stuff in them is so random, Jacob and I couldn't categorize them. We hope to do that in the next few weeks.
And here is the shed! I can't believe we pulled this out. We truly would have never gotten this done without Jacob. I was especially impressed that he stayed a few extra days after his scheduled departure to make sure the job got done!