Jul 12, 2016

Tour Our New Homestead

A few nights ago, as hubby and I enjoyed the view from our master bedroom, windows wide open,
rain sending in cool, refreshing air, I turned to him and said, "There's no doubt God gave us this homestead. That said, though...We did it! Yay for us!"

Getting here has taken a lot of hard, hard work, so it's good to relax a little and enjoy the fruit of our efforts - and the gift from our Father. However, there's also no doubt there's a lot of hard, hard work ahead of us. The difference, though, is that this is the sort of work that's fun to dream about; it's work that's more satisfying, too, because it's about building our dream, not prepping something for a future buyer (who will mow down all the amazing flowers you've tended for 15 years...but that's another story).

I'm sure I'll be sharing a lot of our projects on our Piece of Heaven Homestead, so you may as well see what the homestead looks like now. But first, I'd like to preface things by saying that the people we purchased this property from really build this land up from nothing but God's creation. When they moved onto this place, there was nothing but one apple tree and an old, uninsulated building to live in. Little by little, they worked hard to build a home - first just a small building, then building an addition, then a second story - plus outbuildings, an orchard, and so on. Though our homestead needs work, I by no means belittle all the amazing work they put into this place. And they'd be the first to acknowledge that the work needs to continue.

So let's start with the house. As I said, it was built piecemeal - and it's not yet finished. Hence all the quirks. When you walk in, you see the kitchen and dining area, and the living room. All are small. The kitchen is really just makeshift; the original owners always intended to expand and put in a proper kitchen. For now, it's serviceable, but once I'm preserving and cook more from scratch, it's gonna drive me crazy.

Most of the "counter space" is really little moveable carts (including one intended for a mechanic). The only two cabinets are so high up, I can't get into them without a stepping stool. And they have no doors. The real counter is orange Formica and is higher than average. The gas stove is pretty nice. But they left the whole kitchen really, really dirty, so I spent all of the first day in the house cleaning it...and it still isn't spotless.


The living room is small and narrow. By the way, all the furniture and whatnot that you see in these photos was left by the original owners.

From the living room, you walk through a closet into the one bathroom, which is oddly laid out and not quite finished.

Just off the living room is this wide hallway. They used it as a den. I'm thinking maybe the piano and bookshelves go here. By the way, throughout is newer laminate flooring.


I'll leave off showing the bedrooms, but this unfinished staircase (love the orange glow paint on the bottom step?) leads to the upstairs, which is all master bedroom. It's very large, but needs mudding, texturing, flooring...There is no bathroom upstairs. Oh, and the master came with a pool table. (A nice one, actually.)

There's a ton to do inside this house. Every wall needs paint, many surfaces need finishing. And, yes, I need a better kitchen. But any time I start to feel overwhelmed by the inside, I just look outside. And then I feel super duper happy.

Outdoors, the original owners put in a couple of pole barns and miscellaneous smaller structures. Over the years, they had chickens, ducks, turkey, sheep, goats, rabbits...and probably other livestock I don't know about. It's fun exploring, because every once in a while you bump into some little structure you didn't realize was there before, like this old chicken coup, half hidden in the brush.

And tubs. Lots of old tubs. Like this one.
My favorite outbuilding, though, is the hot house. It's not much to look at from the outside...

But I love, love, love the inside.
The original owners grew tomatoes here, well into December. They also had succulents and sunflowers in here, and left a few for us. The plants in the ground are some tomatoes I planted a few days ago. I'm about a month late getting them in, but I think they'll still produce well. The soil here - and in the main garden - is really bad. It's sandy, wormless, and looks totally dead. I need to add tons of organic matter to it. In the meantime, a little bit of good potting soil added to the stuff in the ground helps.

And lookee here. Outside, the hothouse has a huge rainwater collection tank next to it that feeds this little container with irrigation water. There are a number of rainwater collection tanks on the property. I love that this is already done for us!


Figs! I honestly had never eaten one (except in Fig Newtons). But there are four fig trees here, so I'm going to be experimenting a lot with figs, I expect! We tasted our first figs a few days ago; happily, we really liked them!

There are also lots of apple trees - I haven't counted how many yet - and their fruit is yummy. (I ate some when we came to view the property last year.) There's even at least one tree that bears winter apples. In addition, there are two mature cherry trees, a bunch of mature plum trees, bearing blueberries, and a young pear and apricot tree. I may add an additional pear tree and a peach tree this fall. I've been told peaches don't do well here, but our micro climate is warmer than much of the surrounding area, so I might get away with it. There's also a grape vine, but it's awfully shaded and doesn't bear much.


There are also berries everywhere. Most are wild..but there are also these domesticated blackberries that are huge.

This is the original home. It was also used as a schoolhouse at some point. It was here the people we bought from lived - with small children! - while they slowly built the house we now live in. I actually love how rustic and old it looks, but for the sake of it not rotting, we will be painting and probably shingling it. The top story has the washer and dryer - plus a sink, tub, and wood stove. Once we clean it up, I hope it will become a really awesome canning kitchen.

Like all the outbuildings, it's full of stuff. Some of it is kind of neat.


Like this cool vintage sink. The bottom story of the same building has been used as a sort of workshop and storage area. There are some neat things here, too, like these vintage trunks.

And this loom. (Which my husband and dad-in-law are awfully excited about, but which makes me think, "I'm not sure I'm that hard core.")

There are so many odd ball items down here. It seems like I could do something Pinteresty with these for the garden:
And that concludes the tour. There's tons I didn't share, of course. We have 15 acres of forest, for example! But now you know the basics.

I confess I'm loving this place - even the quirky house - more every day. And I keep thinking back to what the original owner told me (tears in her eyes) the day she and her family moved out: "But who better to leave this place to? It's like we worked and prepared this place just for your family!" I think there's a lot of truth to that. It's just like something God would do :)


1 comment:

  1. Welcome to our neck of the woods. Loved seeing your place. Wish our fruit trees had done as well over the last 15+ years as yours have. This is the first year we've had apples, and porcupines always get our plums. This year they even got to the blueberries (which are fenced to keep the deer out). Still, it's gorgeous and we are grateful God led us here. No complaints. Smile.

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