Part of the fun of modeling the house using Google Sketchup is the fact that you can also use it to model the entire surrounding area. While my husband has been fighting with simulated 2×4’s and how many of each board we’ll need, I’ve been playing with outbuildings and placement of things like the chicken coop, orchard, garage, etc. While nothing is set in stone, I’m fairly happy with the way I’ve sketched the fenced-in garden area and chicken coop with the run adjacent to the garden. My reasoning for this set up is because once the harvest is in from the garden, the chickens will be allowed into the raised beds to scratch out any remaining plants or bugs and fertilize the soil directly.

There are a lot more things I have yet to include, and I’m still not sure if I like the firewood storage blocking the southern view. That’s what is great about this program, though – it’s so easy to change things. I still have to figure out where to put a rabbit house, a pig pen, a cow shed, the grain and livestock gardens, the soft fruit patch(es), a place for my ceramics venture… and that’s all just on the top of the hill where the house is! We still have 13 other acres to play with, including a pond site, paddocks, and the wonderful woods on the east border.

Obviously this year our main focus will be on the house, but I’d still like to try to put up a small chicken coop and get in at least a tiny garden. I’m thinking five years from now we’ll probably have the house done and a few of the outbuildings complete. No rush, especially since we’ll be trying to pay as we go.