Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Day on the Farm

Yesterday we sat in the quiet, cool lawyer's office, signing our names a hundred times. In the late afternoon rain, after visiting the water department and calling the energy company, we pulled into the driveway of our new homestead for the first time.
1922 sharecropper farm house on 3.75 acres of land
We'd visited it before, but this time it was ours.
Above is the front of the little house. We're downsizing. The house is about 1100 square feet. It will house four adults and two dogs.
Today, husband Adam had some urgent pastoral work to do, so daughter Anna and I went to the new house to clean ... deep clean.
The tarp we so carefully put on the roof a few months ago is now in tatters and has mostly come off the roof. How much had the summer rains leaked into the living room? Was the ceiling there fallen to the floor?
Thankfully, no! It's exactly as it was in May. Phew! Now our contractor can begin repairing the roof, replacing the ceiling, and painting the interior, right? Except ...
Yesterday when we came in the pouring rain, we heard someone drive up to the house. It was the man from the water department, coming already to turn on the water! Yay! Cleaning cannot commence without water, right? He turned it on, and came to the front door. "Do you have water running in the house?" he asked.
"No," we replied.
"Then you've got a bad leak somewhere," he answered ominously.
Sure enough, we could hear water gushing under the house, beneath the bathroom.

So today our contractor could not begin with the roof. He began with the plumbing. As they say, Expect the Unexpected! Especially with an old house.
Let me show you a bit of the outside. In the next post, I'll give you a tour of the house.
The house sits rather close to the road, too close for my comfort. It's a two-lane state highway, not over-busy, but not quiet. I'm not a fan of roads. I hope we'll plant a row of privacy trees just to the left of that wooden fence you see above.
Since I don't want the main entrance of the house to come straight from the road, I'd like to change the front porch steps, having them come down this side, toward the driveway. I want to do everything I can to prevent people from thinking we want an approach straight from the highway to the front door.
This side yard is the sunniest spot. And since we want a homestead, not a lawn (ugh), Adam plans to remove the grass here, till the soil, and make this into a large herb garden. In the foreground to the left, you see the rosemary plant we put there already.
 
 

Look! A huge fig tree! The birds were chatttering there, fighting for fruit. I gathered a few. I love making fig preserves with lots of lemon. The tree needs pruning to get the fruit lower for good picking. You see how the birds have already taken some of the fruit.




The bulk of the property is in a pie-wedge-shaped field, nicely fenced already with water there. It's now overgrown, but we have a friend who's offered to come brush-hog it for us, to get it under control. Adam hopes to use a hand scythe to keep it mowed. He's watched all kinds of videos, and this is his preference. With the grass so tall, you can only barely see the barn back there:
 In addition to the cute red horse barn, there's a single garage with a shed on the back:
 And there's a square cement block outbuilding. Anna has claimed this for her own. We need to store some things out there, but she wants to clean it well and (hopefully) make it livable for her. She made a good start today with some elbow grease, after we conquered a massive zipper spider and egg sack at the doorway, and a very lively wasp nest as well.
Here's an aerial view of the farm, with labels to help you see where everything is:

1. house, with deck, covered carport, and garage immediately behind
2. cement outbuilding (the #2 is white and somewhat hard to see. It's to the right of the house.)
3. little red horse barn, complete with office, storage room, and two large stalls
4. main field. Adam will grow wheat here. He has many uses for the wheat, one of which is to help grow oyster mushrooms to sell.
5. orchard. This is a mysterious, overgrown part of the property, now tangled and full of poison ivy. Adam plans to clear it out in the winter when the ivy is less active. We hope for grape vines (the previous owner made wine, we think) and fruit trees.
6. overgrown area around outbuilding. It looks awful now, but has a couple of pretty, small fruit trees. I want to clear this area soon.
7. location of future cob house. We love cob house construction. We hope to build a cob home here, further away from the road. This might allow us later to rent/sell the original house, or have a family member live there.

That's it for the first day at the farm! Not much farming going on ... haha! ... but we're taking baby steps. More on the inside of the house in the next post.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, I loved the tour! Great possibilities. I have looked at cob house stuff, and it looks really cool. I hope you have many happy years here:)

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  2. God bless your little home and farm! Such exciting plans! I'll be keeping an eye on you! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa :) Now ... you're next!!

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  3. and it's YOURS! Praise God for this blessing and gift; may you all have many, many happy years full of love, laughter and Jesus in this new home.

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  4. Loved seeing the arial view -- really helps to visualize it.

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  5. My heart is so full for you. This is wonderful and God's gift to you all. So very happy the closing went well and is OVER! :)

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  6. And, one more thing. Your header and site design here is beautiful. Matches your lovely booth banner. Love that.

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  7. Thank you for the tour of your property. Hope the plumbing got fixed. If it's not one thing, it's another when you own your own place.

    You both have so many ideas for this place and Anna has claimed the cement building as her own. That's cute.

    Have fun ~ FlowerLady

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  8. A whole farm. That will be fun and rewarding.

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Welcome to the farm! Please let me hear from you ~