The Birth of a Farm

This is the story of the farm that just got a new owner.   Read on and see how it came to be, how it was built and what is included on this land.

In the beginning was the land.  This was the only road into the seven acres we found and fell in love with.  It wasn’t much to look at then but it is beautiful now!

road from house to gate
The forest was too thick to grow anything so we began to plan. We started with a camping trip. There was a small clearing that had been bull dozed out and the former owners used that for tenting.

 This is home? Where do I start. Clear a spot for a tent, of course.

This is home? Where do I start. Clear a spot for a tent, of course.

Four of us came on this first camping trip. We each found a spot and cleaned up the weeds so we could set up our tents.

Four of us came on this first camping trip. We each found a spot and cleaned up the weeds so we could set up our tents.

This one is a two man tent so Norman and I used this one.

This one is a two man tent so Norman and I used this one.

Look over Tyler's shoulder and you will see the road we had to use. It wasn't much of a road but with a truck we had no trouble

Look over Tyler’s shoulder and you will see the road we had to use. It wasn’t much of a road but with a truck we had no trouble

We had planned to wait before moving to Tennessee but that camping trip set our minds on fire. We searched and found the house we wanted to build. We wanted a small place so we didn’t have to spend all our time keeping a house clean but we wanted room enough to hold all of our hobbies and interests. We found just such a place in the old mountain style home. It was in such homes that the early settlers lived and raised large families. We put our Georgia home on the market and went to the bank to get a bridge loan, then got a contractor to start building our dream. We were lucky and sold the house before we needed to pay the first draw and the building began. We rented a place in Spencer so we could go each day and watch the house go up.

Removing the forest.

Removing the forest.

Once the lot was cleared they began the building. I wanted a full cellar but this was a limestone mountain and if they ran into large rocks or ledge it would cost more to remove them to make the cellar and we had no extra money for that so it was agreed that they would make the cellar as large as they could without removing any ledge rock.

The cellar from the front of the house.

The cellar from the front of the house.

This cellar was dug and only one very small stone was found. Everyone was amazed, this was old farm land and had long ago been cleared of stones.

A full cellar and then some.

A full cellar and then some.

And so the house began. Each day we visited the site and watched it rise out of the side of the mountain. We got to ask questions and made decisions about the building.

The floor went down and the stairs set in.

The floor went down and the stairs set in.

The rafters went in and the house was framed.

The rafters were raised and the house framed.Windows went in... Windows went in…

 

 

 

 

The bathroom was framed--

The bathroom was framed–

The bedroom was framed and the stairs to the loft were installed.

The bedroom was framed and the stairs to the loft were installed.

The kitchen was laid out--

The kitchen in the cellar was wired for the laundry and plumbed for a kitchen and shower.

The loft was framed--

The loft was framed–

The loft was given two closets so it could be a second bedroom.

The loft was given two closets so it could be a second bedroom.

We didn't want a door on the linen closet, the space was too small for another door there.

We didn’t want a door on the linen closet, the space was too small for another door there.

And then the living room came alive with it's cathedral ceiling and high window.

And then the living room came alive with it’s cathedral ceiling and high window.

Because this wall was so high stronger studs were needed and they used two by sixes to frame this wall.

Because this wall was so high stronger studs were needed and they used two by sixes to frame this wall.

The windows are large and fills the rooms with light.

The windows are large and fills the rooms with light.

livingroon upper window

When the moon is full this high window floods the room with light at night, it is so beautiful!!  Winter was coming on but the weather remained good so work progressed.

The house began to take shape.

The house began to take shape.

Finishing the kitchen

Finishing the kitchen

Wall boarding began.

Wall boarding began.

Railings were installed.

Railings were installed.

The loft was finished.

The loft was finished.

Inside and out things took shape.  We left Spencer to spend Dec. and part of Jan. with our family in Florida.  When we returned the house was almost ready to move in.

The front deck was finished.

The front deck was finished.

The north side was done and ready for me to add a rock garden along the side of the house.

The north side was done and ready for me to add a rock garden along the side of the house.

The south side was ready for the fruit trees to adorn the land.

The south side was ready for the fruit trees to adorn the land.

The gas tank would be added here later to  supply fuel for the fire place incase of power failure in bad weather.  In seven years we have only had to use it once.

East side boasts a screened in upper deck, double doors for entrance into the workshop side of the cellar and a window for my country kitchen.

East side boasts a screened in upper deck, double doors for entrance into the workshop side of the cellar and a window for my country kitchen.

Now our work began.  There was tile in the bathroom, we had carpet installed in the bedrooms and on the stairs and Norman installed Pergo flooring in the living room and kitchen.  We moved in our furniture from storage and began work on the cellar.  One half of the cellar was to be Norman’s workshop and the other half was my country kitchen for canning and other farm work.  It had been all plumbed and wired for this. The whole house took shape now.

The dinning room as seen from the loft.

The dinning room as seen from the loft.

dinningroom kitchen

This is a galley kitchen, the working kitchen is down stairs.

This is a galley kitchen, the working kitchen is down stairs.

This kitchen is small but enough room for three cooks as long as they all get along. Otherwise send one down stairs to work.
This kitchen is small but enough room for three cooks as long as they all get along. Otherwise send one down stairs to work.

living room from loft

The living room becomes a bedroom when more than five family members arrive.

The living room becomes a bedroom when more than five family members arrive.

The living room is large enough for visiting with several people at once.

The living room is large enough for visiting with several people at once.

The loft area doubles as my office and the spare bedroom. The trundle bed opens to two single beds.

The loft area doubles as my office and the spare bedroom. The trundle bed opens to two single beds.

The loft is a great second bedroom and play area.

The loft is a great second bedroom and play area.

My sewing room.

My sewing room.

When we use the loft as a bedroom we put a quilt over the railing to give the guests some privacy.

When we use the loft as a bedroom we put a quilt over the railing to give the guests some privacy.

In my sewing room there is room for sewing, ironing and storing my cloth and patterns.

In my sewing room there is room for sewing, ironing and storing my cloth and patterns.

Then we went to work on the cellar.  Norman had put in his workshop so he had a place for his tools and a place to work on his projects.  He then finished my kitchen,

Here is his workbench with shelves to the left.

Here is his workbench with shelves to the left.

One of the set of shelves, he had the rest of the floor to make the big projects that he made for my side.

One of the set of shelves, he had the rest of the floor to make the big projects that he made for my side.

I have two freezers, shelves and a stove in this corner.

I have two freezers, shelves and a stove in this corner.

Along the north awl I have the stove, sink, and counters. In the center of the room I have two work tables and a large pot holder.l

Along the north  wall I have the stove, sink, and counters. In the center of the room I have two work tables and a large pot holder.l

On the east wall Norman built me three large sets of shelves. One is closed in to keep my best dishes clean.

On the east wall Norman built me three large sets of shelves. One is closed in to keep my best dishes clean.

After the sink area is my laundry room, this gives me more counter space when we can tomatoes.

After the sink area is my laundry room, this gives me more counter space when we can tomatoes.

On the east wall I have my big window, a micro wave and small fridge and a low table under the window. Norman made all my tables to order for me.

On the east wall I have my big window, a micro wave and small fridge and a low table under the window. Norman made all my tables to order for me.

Looking down the cellar stairs you see the large set of shelves Norman made for some of my canned goods. Most of the ones we give to the family have to be stored in cases.

Looking down the cellar stairs you see the large set of shelves Norman made for some of my canned goods. Most of the ones we give to the family have to be stored in cases.

The biggest job we do is make spaghetti sauce. This year we canned 120 quarts.

The biggest job we do is make spaghetti sauce. This year we canned 120 quarts.

Under the stairs in the pantry which we also use as a root cellar. Not as cold as I would like but in TN things don't get that cold.

Under the stairs in the pantry which we also use as a root cellar. Not as cold as I would like but in TN things don’t get that cold.

the tractor has been the work horse of this farm.

the tractor has been the work horse of this farm.

We worked on the cellar when it rained and worked outside when the sun shone.  We found a place to get mulch by the truck load and put three loads on the yard/hill to help hold the soil until the plants and grass took root.  Feb. and March were busy months laying out gardens and getting them planted.  There wasn’t much to see at first but in three years things looked great!  We put out six grapes, twelve blueberries and twelve raspberries.

The grapes are in the first bed, blueberries in the middle bed and raspberries at the foot of the hill.

The grapes are in the first bed, blueberries in the middle bed and raspberries at the foot of the hill.

That first spring we got everything planted but on April 21-23 we had the worst late freeze in the history of Tennessee.  We lost all the new growth on the fruit trees, berries and grapes.  There were no berries or apples in the state that year but we had hope and felt lucky that we only lost one peach tree and 8 of the raspberries.  We replaced the peach tree and we let the raspberries spread and make new plants so that in three years my raspberry bed was full and we were getting all the raspberries we needed.

The rose garden and grapes.

The rose garden and grapes.

The roses began to grow but never did make it.  I don’t know if it was because I know nothing about growing roses or if it was because we got them into the ground too late in the spring or if the crushed lime stone was too much for the plants.  At any rate they all died and now we have grass there.  The grapes did very well and we had grapes the second year.  By the fifth year they were so big and heavy the arbor broke.  We had to cut the grapes back quite a ways and build a new stronger arbor so the sixth year we didn’t get as many grapes.  Last year we had our best crop ever and now we prune the grapes better so we will have a good crop every year.

This is the blueberry bed in winter.

This is the blueberry bed in winter.

The blue berries were a challenge at first but everyone is so helpful.  We asked the farmers at the farmer’s market in McMinnville and the men at the feed and seed stores and found out how to get blueberries to grow even on a limestone mountain.  We dress the bed twice a year with peat moss to raise the acidity and then fertilise with a 90% sulfur as well as 13-13-13 and for the last three years we have had a bumper crop of blueberries.

The raspberries need constant pruning now to keep them to only 6 foot tall so they can be picked.

The raspberries need constant pruning now to keep them to only 6 foot tall so they can be picked.

The raspberries are behind our grandson and his wife.  The kitchen garden to beside them.  There is not much grass, we have panted everywhere!  This year we took the extra raspberry plants and started a raspberry bed for our son in Whitwell.  Last year we gave a dozen plants to a friend that we swap produce with.

This was the last picking we got 8 quarts that day. We got about 30 quarts in all.

This was the last picking we got 8 quarts that day. We got about 30 quarts in all.

Peach trees in bloom.

Peach trees in bloom.

 

 

 

Once the raspberries get going good the blue berries start getting ripe.  At first we get a quart or two each day and we eat all we want and freeze the rest.  We froze 6 gallons this year and ate some fresh every day.  It is the blue berries that keep our eye sight good.  We started picking them the middle of June and picked all through July and into Aug.  The best part of the blue berries is having the whole family help with the picking and eating.  This year they were here for a week the end of July.DCP2027   This is Gina and her brother Colby picking berries.  You can just see a part of James and their Dad behind Gina.  I am on the other bush and her mother and grand mother are behind Grandad who is taking the picture.  They got a two quarts that day to take home as well as eat all they wanted to while picking.

When the blue berries are just about done the grapes are ready to harvest.  First we pick them.

DCP2007This is the first picking last year.  The second step is to pick through them and get out the stems and leaves.  Joe and his family came up to visit and got drafted into helping clean them. DCP2008

These are the grapes once they are cleaned up and ready to juice.  Some of the juice I turn into jelly, that is why we pick them while there are at least 15% green.  The green ones have more pectin so they jell better and they give the jelly a nice tangy flavor.  For jelly you add a cup of sugar for each cup of juice for juice you put in one cup of sugar for each two cups of juice and then mix this juice three water to one juice and you have the best grape juice in the world.DCP2009

 

These are the concentrated juice we canned last year plus we made 20 jars of grape jelly.  This year we didn’t get quite as much because we lost so many to the black spot but we had a good crop.

We have two peach trees that have produced well for us.  It took a couple years and lots of advice from other farmers to get the the trees to produce nice fruit with no worms but we made it.  We have two pear trees and had some pears this year for the first time.  We have two apple trees and this year had some blossom but no apples so we asked for help again and tried something new, we will see if we have solved the problem of the apple trees  We have had apple on the crab apple tree for a couple years and use those for jelly.  There is only one cherry tree so there is no fruit as we need two for cross pollination.

The first four years we had strawberries at the top of the hill  The first couple years we had all the strawberries we needed but then the wild violets got into the bed and I just couldn’t beat them so we gave up on the strawberries and let grass and violet have the area under the apple trees.

The azalea and forsythia bushes next to the road above the apple trees

The azalea and forsythia bushes next to the road above the apple trees

We put in many flower gardens and flowering bushes as well as a small vegetable garden.  And that first summer Norman built a gardens shed to hold the garden tools.

This is my May Flower bush. It is so pretty in the spring and smells so good!!

This is my May Flower bush. It is so pretty in the spring and smells so good!!

It took me a long time to find this bush!

Snowball bush, and a lilac bush, slow grows both but they are working at it.

Snowball bush, and a lilac bush, slow grows both but they are working at it.

These two bushes I brought up from Georgia in a pot.  The snowball bush is growing well and getting larger each year.  The lilac come from New Hampshire as a single stick and is a very slow grower but last year it bloomed for the first time and hopefully some year it will be a big bush.

strawberries

The strawberries between the forsythia and the apple trees.  They are no longer there.

The dogwood grows wild here.

The dogwood grows wild here.

The dogwood is sprinkled throughout the woods.  We have been very careful not to cut those down as we have cleared out the trees to let the sun in.  We found wild grapes but could not cultivate any so far.   There are many wild blueberries also and those we have had luck clearing out and getting them to grow.  Wild blueberries are small and the best for making muffins.

Garden shed with a wood shed on one side and a potting shed on the other side.

Garden shed with a wood shed on one side and a potting shed on the other side.

Each year Norman built a new building.  The first one was done with plywood from the lumber company.  The second two were built with rough cut lumber from the saw mill in Spencer- solid oak.

The barn.

The barn.

The barn now houses Norman’s large tools and most of his building is done in the barn to keep the saw dust is kept out of the cellar.

North east corner of the barn.

North east corner of the barn.

This section of the barn is lower than the rest of the barn.  We had planned on making this the hen house but then we decided we did not want to stay in Tennessee all winter, we like going to Florida for the holidays so could not have any animals.   The cat you see here is a wild cat we called Old Yella.  He was very beaten up from all the fights he had been in.  He stayed at our house for three years and then just didn’t come back.  He never got tame but once in a while we could touch him.

Normans power tools are housed in the barn.

Normans power tools are housed in the barn.

The loft in the barn for storage.

The loft in the barn for storage.

That is another of the cats that tried to adopt us.  We finally fed them outside so they would not live in the barn.  We also had a family of grey foxes that lived near the house and visited every day but now there are no wild animals that live near us and that  is just as well it takes a lot of time to clean up after them and some of them such as the deer get into the gardens and help themselves.  We had to put a fence around the gardens to keep them out.

The studio.

The studio.

The last building Norman made was my studio.  I have written several books and stories and like a quiet place to work, so he made this for me to work in and to keep my mess out of the house!!  The second year here Norman put a third porch outside my country kitchen so we had a nice place to have our morning break without having to take off our gardening cloths to sit and have a cup of tea.

Wood burning stove for cold days.

Wood burning stove for cold days.

My computer and work corner.

My computer and work corner.

The studio is just behind the house. The fruit trees are in the foreground.

The studio is just behind the house. The fruit trees are in the foreground.

lwer deck and swingThis is our lower deck where we have our mid-morning break.  The host bed is just in front of this and the kitchen garden is below that and a small garden before the studio.

Bluebird house.

Bluebird house.

We began clearing out the forest.  At first it was just making it so we could walk through the woods and then cut out the smaller trees, brush and briars.  As we could see the farm taking shape we cut more of the large trees so the sun could get in for larger gardens.  Many of the small trees we left stumps like this one and put a bird house on them.  This one was the biggest success.  It is near the barn and every year a blue bird nests here.  We love seeing the little one leave home.  The fly catcher nests on the rafters on the lower deck and they raise two broods each year and they keep all the flies and mosquito  out of our yard.  We have never had to think about screening in the lower deck in order to sit out there and enjoy the yard.  I put in small gardens in the area to the right of the bird house.  There isn’t much sun in this area but it is pretty to walk and enjoy.

One of the woodland gardens in the spring.

One of the woodland gardens in the spring.

Before we started cleaning up the wooded areas it looked like this.

Edge of the cleared lot going into the woods.

Edge of the cleared lot going into the woods.

Once we cleaned t up we could walk through the area with ease and it is here that we put in several gardens like that first one.

Wood land gardens.

Wood land gardens.

We then worked beyond this going down to the cleared area where we tented that first year.  We took out all the trees there.  Before we leave the house area let me show you the flower gardens.

One of the six large hostas in the hosta garden.

One of the six large hostas in the hosta garden.

At the end of the hosta bed are the lilies with a rose bush and a lilac bush at the end. This bed goes the full length of the lower deck.

At the end of the hosta bed are the lilies with a rose bush and a lilac bush at the end. This bed goes the full length of the lower deck. The blue berries are just beyond this with the raspberries to the right of that.  The kitchen garden is below this.

spring bulbs

The first flowers to grow in the spring are the spring bulbs and as the late spring comes they are hidden by the lilies, iris and hosta.

Hellabors.

Hellabors.

These are the first flowers to grow.  They will even come up through the snow.  There are two big hellebores or sometimes called the lenten rose.  This garden goes the full length of the house on the north side and gets very little sun so I had to find flowers that did not require sun.  It starts with the hellebores, then the bleeding heart, the English primrose and a couple host and lillie of the valley and end the year covered with black-eye susans.  The whole garden is covered with vinca major and coral bells.

The bleeding heart in July.

The bleeding heart in July.

The English primrose

The English primrose

Flower box in front of the studio. These are the iris, there is also two peonies in here.

Flower box in front of the studio. These are the iris, there is also two peonies in here.

The other flower boxes are in front of the house and separate the house from the driveway.

The other flower boxes are in front of the house and separate the house from the driveway.

In the spring there are spring bulbs here, followed by a few iris and Chinese lanterns but by mid summer the mums appear and end a long summer with lots of color.  Now back to the woods and the lower gardens.

Cleared woods and burn barrel

Cleared woods and burn barrel

final clean up and burning of garden areaThis was the area we camped in.  We cut down the trees, cleaned up the brush and here you see the final stage of getting the garden area ready.  We had to burn all the brush and till the gardens.

The road from the house to the garden. Luke always beats us to the garden.

The road from the house to the garden. Luke always beats us to the garden.

Potatoes, onions and posts for the tomatoes. We planted 100 tomato plants here so it is a lot bigger than it looks.

Potatoes, onions and posts for the tomatoes. We planted 100 tomato plants here so it is a lot bigger than it looks. That is rhubarb in the foreground.  Green beans were planted in front of that when the weather was warm enough.

Vine garden,

Early spring onions and garlic

vine garden in spring

 

We have a separate garden for the vine vegetables so they have room to roam and not bother the other plants  They get planted in May.

Kitchen garden ready to plant.

Kitchen garden ready to plant.

This is the kitchen garden ready to plant.  This is the first garden we plant, we plant lettuce, spinach, onions and swiss chard here as soon as we get home the end of Feb.  Then we get the potatoes and onions in the ground, followed by the other vegetables as the weather warms up.  By April we are starting to eat from the garden.  Before that we have to rely on the things we canned and froze the fall before.  You can see the raspberries still sleeping.  Soon they leaf out and need to get their last pruning before they set their berries.

It's a beautiful walk from the house to the garden.

It’s a beautiful walk from the house to the garden.

woods from the gate before any clean up

A last look at the house before we leave.  We are not going to enlarge the gardens anymore, there is not enough time in a day to make them any larger.

Spring 2014-  We left the farm the second week of Nov. and have now returned the last week end of Feb.  We always return at this time so that we can begin the early planting.  This was a very hard winter here but the the farm was protected  by the plateau and Baker Mountain so there was no storm damage here.  Last year when we returned there were spring flowers in bloom .  The first to bloom is the hellebore and last year they were in full bloom but this year I had to pull the leaves off and hunt for the buds.Hellebor budding

This year they are just now starting to bud.  The old leaves are still there and the new leaves are just starting to grow.  They are about three or four weeks behind last year.  Every year is different in the garden. crocus

Last year the crocuses were almost gone by but this year they were just coming up.  This is the first to bloom, there are several more buds now and some haven’t even gotten their buds yet.

T

doffodils

The daffodils last year were in full bloom and this year as you see they aren’t even budded yet.  Last fall we took time to get the gardens all set for winter and left them all weeded and mulched.  You can see we came back this year to well manicured gardens.  I did have to take out the old hosta leaves in this garden but that took less than five minutes.  So far there is no sign of the wild violet so maybe the mulch will keep them out.                                 The first job was to till and plant the kitchen garden. The weeding we did in the fall really paid off here, so it was just to till and plant, sugar peas, lettuce, spinach, and beets.  We had a few old onion seeds so we put those in with the spinach, if they come up fine, if not there is nothing lost. kitchen green all planted

Now we are working on the lower garden.  This is where all the work is done.  Norman has tilled up about one-third of it so we can plant 30 pounds of seed potatoes and all our onions.  He used the small manis to till the garden as the soil is so good here now, there are no stones or roots so he does not need the heavy duty pony any longer.  Lets take a walk from the kitchen garden to the lower garden and back and look at the farm as it is in the early spring.   We will walk down the road that we use if we need the truck to go down.woodland area

Leaving the parking are and walking north you see on the right the wood land area.  We cut out about half the trees here and all the brush and briars.  Now we have a nice woodland path to the other end of the property.  As you see each spring we have some branches to pick up and burn.  Later in the spring the flowers we planted start to come up and boom which looks very nice in the woodland setting.  rhododendron

We have planted several rhododendrons in this area but this  is the only one that has survived.  There are several other flower bushes planted around the farm that seem to like the area. Norman planting onions

Looking north from here you see Norman planting onions.  Note the wire around the garden and the white lace hanging from it.  This is to keep the deer out of the garden.  T his was the only way we could keep them out of the gardens or the blueberries and it works great.  We just have to remember not to plant things so close to fence that they grow up and over the fence- that tempts the deer too much and they get in.  We have the sonic traps to keep the mole, voles, and ground squirrels out.  Now all we need is a sure fire thing to keep the woodchucks and crows out.  We will try a scare crow this year, I hope it works.Norman in the onions

This is the part of the garden we now have tilled and ready to plant potatoes and onion.  We got seven rows of potatoes planted yesterday.  It took Norman two days to till this much of the garden, it isn’t hard tilling but tilling is a hard job anytime.  I think he does great for 83 years old don’t you? I help but am not able to work as long as he does, I use the cooking duties to get out of some of this harder work.

This year we planted corn for the first time.  We got enough to feed the family and it was ready to pick when the kids came up for their vacation.DCP2029

The best part of corn is watching the twins work their way through the corn picking out their own ears.  The coons didn’t have as much trouble picking out which ones they wanted.  luckily we had enough so everyone got their fill, even the raccoons.  DCP2030

burn barrels

Just north of the garden is the burn barrels.  This is where we burn all the brush and trees we cut down or clean up around the farm.  We burn all our paper or burnable trash and all the dead plants from the garden so that any diseased plants are not spread to another year in the garden.  Just behind is the wooded area.  Notice we have clear the front part enough to let the sun in- it is here that the wild blueberries are coming back to life.  In the distance you can see the light through the trees, this is the bluff that looks down into the McMinnville Valley, we own right up to the bluff.  We have been clearing out here so it makes a nice walk to the bluff.Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.15 PM

This shows most of the garden, there is also the vine garden to the south of this .Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.15 PM #3

Looking east from the garden you see the untouched wooded area and beyond this is the goat farm.  They only have four goats now and are our closest neighbors.

Now we are working on the lower garden.  This is where all the work is done.Norman in the onions

This is Norman planting onions.  He tilled about 1/3 of the large garden and we put in 7 rows of potatoes.  We had 30 pounds of them cut up and ready to plant but ran out of space in this garden as we did not want to put any more of the garden into potatoes so we raked up the old compost pile and planted the last of them in that area.  The dirt there looked very good so they should do well there also.  Yesterday we went to McMinnville and got the onion sets,leeks and the cabbage family in plants and planted 150 onions and about 60 leeks.  I left room in that double wide row for some garlic.  It is forecasted to be in the 20’s tomorrow night so we will wait until Friday to set out the cabbage family seedlings. Now it is time to walk back up to the house.  We will walk up by way of the woodland area and I will show you how nice that area is.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.14 PM #2

As Norman cut down the large trees, he cut and split the wood and stacked it up for fire wood.  He gives some to the neighbors, we use some in the wood stove in the studio and some we bring to our kids when they go camping.  There are several of these piles drying in the area.  This area was once as thick a forest as the one you see behind this and the garden.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.16 PM

This is the woodland path to the house up on the side of Baker Mountain.  I have planted several small flower gardens in this area that will bloom later in the spring and summer.  It is such a quiet, peaceful place to walk.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.17 PMThis is the blue bird house that sits alone the path.  Every year we have a family of blue birds that nest here.  We are very quiet as we go past here.  They don’t mind the tractor but if you talk loudly as you go past the mother comes flying out so we are quiet.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.17 PM #2

Just to the left and down the hill a short ways we see the barn.  Notice the two benches in this picture.  Norman used the large logs sliced for legs and rough cut lumber for the seats.  He place these benches for me though out the woodland area and in the woods where I like to walk.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.18 PM

As we get near the house we came to the asparagus bed.  This was planted over a three year period.  You may be able to see the three different sections.  The long narrow one in front was the one we planted two years ago and that should be ready to eat this year along with the other two that we have been eating from before.  We love asparagus and never seem to get enough of it to freeze.  We have had five different farms in our 63 years of married life and on each one we have started an asparagus bed and each time it get producing well we sell the farm.  I guess the same thing will happen here as this year we should get enough asparagus to eat fresh and if we find the right person to love this farm we will sell this also.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.21 PM #2

Under the porch is the lower deck and beside that is the compost barrel.  We compost all our wet garbage in this and Norman empties it every couple months onto which ever garden is being tilled up.

Photo on 3-8-14 at 12.22 PM

Next to the asparagus bed is the blueberry bed here on the right and the raspberries on the left with the cloths line in-between.  I have to prune the raspberries three or four times  a year to keep them off the clothes line, they really like that spot.  Plants have a mind of their own and will only grow well in a spot they like.  Some of them I have had to move several times to find the correct spot but the raspberries have been happy from the first year.  And so we are back to the house.  We will take this walk again in June when everything is in bloom.

2 Responses to The Birth of a Farm

  1. nancy o'grady says:

    Enjoyed seeing and visiting your farm. Lots of work there and I wonder how you can think of leaving it all behind. Is it Bermuda that you dream of moving to next?? no trip to N.H. on your horizon? I am still in Keene at Peter’s and will put my house on the market when I get it in order and my head at a “moving on place “. I don’t have your gypsy blood Carol. Boys and families are all doing fine!! looking forward to the coming, but slowly, Spring weather.It has been a tough winter for everyone. More another day. Love always, Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, Glad you liked the tour. I never stay too long in any place, no matter how much I loved it and now it is time to move on. We are looking at the Bahamas. We can not stay for long periods at a time because of Norman’s eyes. He has to have a shot in the eye ball every 6 weeks so we will look for a small place there so we can spend 6 weeks in the Bahamas and then 6 weeks in Port St Lucie. He will have a shot at each end of each visit. I understand there is a shuttle that goes between Freeport and Miami and if so that is the way we will go if not we can just take a weekend cruise when we want to go. Either way it should be fun!! Spring is having a hard tie to get here also. Everything is a couple weeks behind normal and the warm weather never stays longer than a couple days at a time but by May it should be nice. Love Carol

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