Getting acquainted

We figured that we’d start things off with a photo tour of our farmyard. The yard and outbuildings cover a bit over 3.5 acres, and the remaining 4.5 acres or so were in bean and corn rotation, but we’ve put that parcel to pasture.

Our house was built in 1916 and is in remarkably good shape considering its age. About 1300 square feet, with a kitchen, dining, and living room downstairs and four bedrooms upstairs. It’s got hardwood floors in the dining room and some of the bedrooms and the original woodwork is still throughout most of the house. There are a few other features that add even more “character” to our place: only one outlet—directly below the light switch—per bedroom, no shower in the upstairs bathroom, and endless hidden piles of dust.

The immediate house to-do list includes painting or siding the outside and installing new windows. The long-term list is more than I care to think about.

Mark freely admits that he wanted to buy the farm because of the shop. It’s 60×40, half of which is heated and has a cement floor, the other half which has a gravel floor. Mark moved to the house about two weeks before I did, and, knowing how important it would be to me, was considerate enough to make sure that the shop was in tip-top condition before I arrived. He has graciously given over one wall to a garden bench and a makeshift canning kitchen put together from counters, a sink, and a stove left over from the kitchen remodels of friends and family.

The barn is also in remarkably good shape for its age. The small granary behind it is also in good shape, and part of it will soon become our chicken coop.

We tilled our garden out of the former corn/bean land, the rest of which has been sown to pasture. The garden is too big for our own good. At the point of this picture, there were only onions, radishes, lettuce, and spinach in the ground, but it’s almost completely full now, if not with crops than with weeds.


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