Becoming a Do-It-Yourselfer

| 5/16/2014 8:40:00 AM

Tags: Goats, Shed, Barn, Do It Yourself, Goat Barn, Milk Stand, Conley Farm, Amy Conley,

Amy ConleyMy dad had three girls, and not one of us was interested in learning how to build stuff. My mom was a hairdresser, and I definitely wanted to use a comb and scissors over a hammer and nails. My dad will tell you he isn’t a very good builder, but I tend to disagree. He helped build our childhood home, built our sheep barn when I was a kid, built our current chicken coop and just finished building my milking stand (shown below) among lots of other projects over the years.

Homemade Milking Stand

I refer to my dad as my own personal handyman. I figure he’s retired so it gives him something to do. Of course, he isn’t getting any younger. Well, when it was time to build our shed for the goats, I figured I wasn’t going to let him do it by himself. We had an idea of what we wanted, just a simple three-sided shed to keep the animals out of the elements. He came up with some plans and measurements, and I went with him to the local hardware store to purchase materials.

My Dad

I should back up a minute and tell you that when we had the eaves redone on our 150-year-old house, the contractor told us to keep the wood because we could reuse it for our shed. At the time, this pile of wood with nails all sticking out did not appeal to me, but when we didn’t have to purchase extra wood to cover the sides, it became really appealing. We have become really good at recycling leftover materials. I have learned, that is what farmers do. It was also really cool to see the old nails that were used when the house was originally built, a little piece of history.

The Goat Shed

5/17/2014 5:33:09 PM

Amy, being a homesteader is not about knowing how to do everything but just figuring out how to do it with a little help from friends and family. Homesteading is definitely about recycling everything or I like to call it repurposing. It's great that you have a Dad that can help. My Dad could build anything and never backed away from work. He once did a house addition by hand digging a 20 by 30 foot basement that was 10 feet deep. He still worked all day at his truck repair business and would come home and dig until dark. It took all summer. He was a great example of how huge things could be accomplished if just a little effort each day was put forth. He didn't make it passed the 8th grade in school but accomplished great things in life because of his can do attitude. ***** Have a great becoming a do-it-yourselfer day.

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