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Old 08-04-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
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Front Yard BBQ/Entertainment Area


(fully wife-approved!)

Ever since we bought our house, the yard has been rather boring. Nothing but bare dirt, tumbleweeds, and a few trees. Which is fine, as much of it is going to be taken up by animals (we currently have sheep, a goat, chickens, pigs, and soon to be ostrich!), but we needed at least a small portion for ourselves. Our dirt is absolutely terrible for growing anything, and I'm not much of a gardener anyways, so we're taking an alternate approach.

Just for reference, the red circle is where we're going to be building this. It's right in the middle of the circular area we use for driving/parking, and just seemed to be the natural place to put something.



First step, clearing out the tumbleweeds. A couple of organic weed eaters and a few weeks took care of that for us.



Shortly after, a light post sprung up from the ground!



Now, since we plan to have food out here, we definitely needed a way to keep our various animals out. We cut down a bunch of dead Eucalyptus when we moved in and the branches, cut to length, made a perfect "old west" style fence. Into the ground they go.



I will span them with more long branches and attach welded wire to complete the fence, but I haven't gotten to that yet.


My father in law found this out in the desert, which goes along perfectly with our theme:



What good are a bunch of light posts without actual lights? I found these at Tractor Supply, but they were meant to be solar-powered. The actual solar "guts" are sold separately so I bought just the lanterns themselves, drilled a couple holes, added in a bulb base from Home Depot, and a light bulb. This is the result:





Now comes the part I was absolutely dreading... electrical. All together I dug probably close to 150 feet of trench, by hand, in densely packed HARD clay. When dry, it's almost literally as hard as a rock, and when wet, it resembles quicksand. After two weeks of soaking, digging, and repeating, I had something resembling a trench.







[10 image limit, continued on next post]

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Old 08-04-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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Front Yard BBQ/Entertainment Area


Finally ready to start putting wires in the ground






Now I just have the wonderful job of back filling the trench, which was just rained on last night, and now all the soft dirt I dug out is starting to coagulate back into a hardened mess. Wish me luck!


...and that's where I'm at so far. I still need to finish the fence, put in a BBQ/kitchen area, a movie projector screen, and do a bit of landscaping. Going to have cactus, ocotillo, and maybe a couple of other plants that don't require watering here. As money allows, of course.


Oh, how could I forget, I did most of this myself, but I did have a couple of helpers along the way:








(Ok, maybe not much of a "helper" here, I dug the dirt out of the ground, and he kept trying to put it back in!)

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Old 08-04-2014, 01:34 PM   #3
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Goat, turkey, and javalina. Looks like the food supplied itself to this BBQ.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:35 AM   #4
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...let there be light!

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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Very country western and cool!
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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We had a bunch of rocks sitting around our property so now we have a fire pit

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Old 08-20-2014, 02:42 AM   #7
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Very cool. All that work will definitely pay off.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:47 AM   #8
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Wow! Lots of work, but it's something you and your family / friends will enjoy for years to come. Lots of good memories waiting to be made!

Thanks for showing us.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:42 PM   #9
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Got started on the fence today. Only got up 3 sections before it got way too hot to continue working, though.

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Old 08-31-2014, 06:18 PM   #10
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I feel sorry for the goat. They're such sociable animals and it will be deprived of jumping on top of the picnic table.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:21 PM   #11
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Cool..... That is taking advantage and capitalizing on your surroundings.... looks great ,,,, and a most interesting driveway turnaround.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:21 AM   #12
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Love the animal contingent.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:32 AM   #13
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Now that the weather has finally cooled down (a bit...still supposed to hit 90 next week...) and for once I didn't have anything more critical to work on, I was able to get a bit more done on this.

Frame for the movie screen has gone up.

Front Yard BBQ/Entertainment Area-uploadfromtaptalk1414387719977.jpg

I'm going to add a small shingled roof to this, a hanging projector screen, and a set of bluetooth speakers under the roof.

We have built 2 animal pens lately and had a lot of scrap wood.

Front Yard BBQ/Entertainment Area-uploadfromtaptalk1414387842106.jpg

Fire pit is a success!

Front Yard BBQ/Entertainment Area-uploadfromtaptalk1414387870454.jpg

Celebratory milk and cookies

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Old 10-27-2014, 11:06 AM   #14
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The animals remind me of my place! This looks like a rewarding project - I am really interested to see how the movie screen works out for you!
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:10 PM   #15
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After the turkey wore off, I got to work during the 3 day weekend

Built some rafters




And we have (part of) a roof!










The weather is quite nice this time of year, but I hate this lack of daylight. OSB, paper, and shingles coming soon.

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