A few months into this, and I totally get why most working farms are not pretty. Okay, I should clarify. I think most farms are gorgeous, soul restorative places, but inevitably there are piles of broken down machinery, plastic feed buckets splattered with mud or pigshit or, most likely, both, and ramshackle outbuildings - and I'm not talking about picturesque weathered barns, but dubious looking repurposed "manufactured homes" with an old tarp thrown over the rusted out metal siding. Functional? yes. Pretty? No.
On the other hand, form is certainly following function here, and that's something I can get behind. This is the "gate" to our chicken run. it gets moved around a lot, to allow them to forage on fresh wild greens and then allow grazed areas to recover. What's not beautiful about happy chickens? And not needing to weed? And not throwing this old bungee cord into the landfill because there's a second life waiting for it here on the micro farm?
With time, I think my little backyard farm will be both functional and beautiful, but for now...mostly it's about quick fixes, like yesterday afternoon when I took advantage of a break in the rain to go out and check on my dear little hens, only to find the covered run of their coop completely flooded. They couldn't get to their feed without standing in a deep puddle of cold, dirty water...so I shoveled in a makeshift island of mulch for them to stand on, dragged over a panel of the moldy and rapidly crumbling wood panelling I've been stripping off the back shed to create more of a shelter...not pretty at all, but the chickens sure appreciated it.