homestead- describe it....greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I was just wondering if someone would like to describe their homestead??? how many acres???? is your house old ? how do you decorate it?? What is your kitchen like?? I would like to build a new/old house..Any ideas would be appreciated...Thank You......Chris
-- Chris Parris (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001
Well, here goes! We have 13 acres which fronts a state highway. To me the house is too close to the highway but I can't help that. The house is brick and was built in 1965. It looks nice outside but needs LOTS of work inside!!! I redid the kitchen cabinets, stripping them, sanding, and then painting them deep green and putting glossy stuff on them since Christmas and that made a big improvement.
We have a small building we call our barn which is basically in three parts now. The upper part is basically used for storage of tools like husband's table saw etc. Lower part used for tiller, riding mower, etc and larger hand tools. The rabbit barn adjorns this part and currently houses 18 rabbits. we jsut built it on this year and we're really proud of it.
We've just completed a 150 chain link fence/cedar post dog enclosure closer to the woods. Adjacent to the barn where our dogs used to be we're building a chicken enclosure for the 20 Golden Comet chicks I've raised from day one to now which is four weeks.
We have two grape arbors. Two old apples trees and one old pear tree. We have three new apple trees and one new pear tree planted last year.
We have about three acres cleared that I'm hoping to fence entirely for pasture. The remainder is "woods," There is a small creek that runs along one edge of the property.
I'd eventually like to fence in the entire thing.
We also have three house cats. Hope to get Angora goats and some sheep soon.
-- Suzy in Bama (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
Chris, we will be closing on our homestead in June. Built about the turn of the century it has 14 acres, 3BR home, newer roof, siding, windows, furnance, hot water heater a pond and a creek. The kitchen is about 20x16'. Since I bake and can a lot the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Even though it is large, there are not a lot of cabinets or countertop space....that will change. I want a warm, country feel to the kitchen but I like the blues and greys so I need to work on the decorating. All ideas are welcome. We will be putting wainscoating in the dining room and the bathroom...figure that will help with the country feel. There is an enclosed patio connected to the house off the kitchen so it makes the kitchen dark. We are going to put in a couple of skylights and extra windows on that wall. My wood cookstove will go out there (when I find one to replace the one I had). The rest of the house has 50' and 60's decor. That will all take time to remedy. No garden space or fruit trees. The garden space will be tilled in early July and we will begin to plant fruit trees in the fall. Eventually, we want to produce enough fruit and produce to compliment my bakery items and sell them at farmer's markets. The home is frame and considered a 1 1/2 story, it has a full basement that we will probably convert into a certified kitchen if possible. Where are you building?
-- Cordy (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
Chris, We live in a log home on about 30 acres. We built our home around 23 years ago doing everything ourselves including peeling all those logs. I get such a comforting feeling looking at the walls knowing that most of those shaving marks are mine and all that hard work did pay off. It has 3 bedrooms ( we have 5 sons) and 1 bath, although we do have an outhouse...in case of emergencies! Ha!! and a partial basement (which we wish now that we had made it full). We lived for 12 years without electricity so I have a lot of non-electric items still around and in use. I still cook entirely on a wood cookstove, use a lp gas refrigerator, we also still have our gas lights hooked up along with quite a few kerosene ones believe me they have come in really handy during power outages... I love doing things the old way and guess that is why I have a lot of useable "antiques" around...including me.. :) I have always wanted to have an old farmhouse kitchen which is why I still use the cookstove but will have to admit that I have a small microwave tucked away in there. I have an open cabinet that holds all my jars of bulk food items such as beans, pastas, teas, flour,sugars, etc.. It makes is so easy to grab when I am cooking and I just love looking at all those jars of different colors and shapes. Strange I know!! I also have an old small table that has 2 fold up leaves that I use as an island. It has my meat grinder and grain mill attached to it. I have to tell you about my sink, it was given to me by my dear grandmother (who just passed away Good Friday and who I deeply miss) I think it is from the 40's??? and was originally bought by my g. grandmother it is a porcelain double sink with a built in drainboards. It came with a white metal base but my husband build a different base for it out of birch and used the old base with its now different top for his workshop. It turned out so nice that when my grandmother saw what we had done wanted it back. Ha! It is one of my greatest treasures especially when I do the dishes and think of just how many dishes that sink has seen and those who lovingly washed them. The rest of the house has country feel to it with lots of quilts, some lace curtains and my downfall lots of books.. most of which do make it to the bookshelves!! Yes! I do have more than one. Ha! In the winter there is no better place to read than in my rocking chair next to the wood stove... Well I didn't mean to go on so but when I start to talk about houses and especially kitchens.. I just can't seem to stop.
-- Kathleen Kruger (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
Chris, I live in an 1840 farmhouse that was renovated by the previous owner. The kitchen is interesting and I have really grown to like it. It's hard to explain but it is like two rooms in one divided by a large fireplace. When you walk in from the front hallway, directly in front of you is a dining area, where I have a large English pine table with mismatched old chairs, and a deep bay window. In the corner behind the table I have a primitive cupboard full of old dishes and cookbooks that I pick up at garage sales, plus there is a shelf for the herbal tinctures and oils I am currently preparing. There is also a door leading to the pouch. To the left of the dining area is a large fireplace and the area in front of it, which is quite wide, contains a rocking chair, an old maple container with a handle and a hutch full of my bowl collection. The fireplace is wonderful and cozy. To the left of the fireplace is the kitchen area which is U-shaped and all the usual conveniences, such as sink, fridge, stove, oven and dishwasher. There is a nice window over the sink that faces the porch side of the house. I can see my birdfeeders from that window. The laundry area is off the kitchen in a closet. I also have a deep pantry that is stocked with food and herbs. I painted my kitchen a "country" blue and have decorated it with all kinds of "junk" and old stuff, such as samplers (I also collect those), string holders, pot holders, pictures, and anything primitive or crafty. I have useful things on shelves, such as my Daizy Churn, rolling pins, and nesting bowls. I forgot to mention I also have an oval rope rug under the dining table. The floor of the entire room is a light vinyl. I hate the floor but cannot afford to replace it now. No doubt the original floor, which would have been a wide pine, is worn down. I'm not even going to bother to see if it can be restored. I forgot to mention, the ceiling contains two original, hand-cut, wide, exposed beams which are a focal point of the room. I adore collecting, so I use my collections for decorating. I was never into traditional or fancy stuff--I'll take an old wooden box any day over a piece of "fine" furniture! My home is set on a fairly busy main road, as many older homes are. The porch faces the road and the front of the house faces the driveway. We have lots of mature trees that give us privacy. We are set on 50 acres, approx. 10 of field, 20 of swamp, and 20 of dry woods. I have a large garden with a 7 foot fence and a small barn/shed. The chicken house is currently being built by my husband. We are trying to rid of our woodchuck problem right now, before they devour the cabbage we will be planting. I love my old house and our land. While we aren't self-suffient by any means, we are working on it and are trying hard to cut debt and save money.
-- amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
Hello Chris, We purchased undeveloped land almost one year ago. We have been living in our camper on the land and will probably have the house built by this fall/winter. The first things that we did was just observe the land. When it rained I would go and look and how the water rolled off the hills. When it snowed I looked at where the snow melted or did not melt. I watch where the sun shined and what areas were most shaded. After all that I THEN decided where to build my house, gardens, etc. We spent months clearing the areas that we needed to build on using basic tools. All our observations of the weather and how everything sat on the land were the determining factors of where to build what. The first project was the toolshed. It was built in a near level and fully shaded part of my forest. I built and open air pole building using natural materials. The second project was the outhouse. I located it facing south, (as the view is spectacular). It is on a near level spot also in the forest, located between the toolshed and the site for our new house. The garden and chicken runs are across from it as well. The outhouse is built from oak correl 2x6s with a forest green tin roof. It is and a-frame with double dutch doors, so when you are sitting on the throne you may have the upper door open and enjoy the spectatular view of the mountains. The third project was the chicken moat and the garden areas. All were built to suit the slope of the land and take advantage of the southern exposure from the sun. While Meli and I were clearing the land we left some trees at the far end of the chicken moat as to allow shade for the chicken coup and the chickens. Finally, the fourth project was the house. A two-story a-frame that Meli and I are presently building ourselves. It is being built on the corner of a slope allowing the back pier to be nearly flush with the hill and the front one to be 48 inches high. Like the outhouse it is also facing south so that the front view will be of the mountains. We have the cellar dug out and have gathered all the stones from our hill to use in the slip form construction of the cellar walls. We have poured the footers and the piers for the deck to be built upon. Our wood for the shell has just been delivered and as soon as I get our utility pole installed we will begin construction of the superstructure. In the meantime, we have chickens in the chicken moat and they are producing about 5-8 eggs a day. And with a rooster we are planning on raising more chickens as they hatch. I also built and a-frame green house and it is full of plants that are just about ready to transplant into the gardens as well. I planted 13 plum trees and three more persimmon trees and alreay have a variety of wild edibles around the cleared areas including grapes, persimmons, walnut, comfrey, pawpaw, and yucca. We have enough things to forage off our land that will keep us in fresh greens until the spinach and other leaf crops finish coming in. The camper is a 21 foot RV made in 1976. It is very small but, Meli, Caroline and I manage well in it. We closed in the awning out front with 2x4 framework and plastic for the winter months as a place to go to on sunny days. We keep our freezer and wringer washer in the enclosure. Meli does the laundry using the water hose hooked to our hydrant. We built our water system last fall just before the snow fell. (Just barely got all the pipes in the ground covered). We had started the water system right after Thanksgiving. We had to dig 450 feet of trench to lay pipes and electric. Our water is pumped directly from the creek that runs across our property. The project did not get finished until about December 11th. We only got part of the trench backfill completely when a snow fall of 10 inches stopped our work. We did not get the rest finished until the snow melted in the middle of January. Now, we are digging a new trench up to the top of the hill so that we can have a storage tank. The elevation of the tank will increase our water pressure dramatically. Eventually, the water will be pumped from the creek up the hill and gravity feed back down to us. We do not have TV or do we really want it. Our leisure is better spent working of crafts or reading. Meli is making her third quilt and makes all of our soaps. We cook from stratch including breads and pizza dough. Meli spent last summer canning on a tiny propane stove that was outside, (the camper is too small for anything). This year she is going to can on a open firehearth that I will build in lieu of a summer kitchen. Our source of income is derived from what we can make and sell. I make doll size furniture and childrens toys and Meli makes soap both, we sell on Ebay. I also work as a handyman around the area. We use what we have here as much as possible instead of running to the nearest Walmart (60 miles away) and buying something new. If I can make something instead of buying it, I do, so does Meli. We do not have garbage pick up and recycle everything that we possibly can. Tin cans, aluminum cans and scrap metals are hauled off to the recycling center and sold as scrap. We do not have piles of garbage on our land as some do. Everything is either used up, sold or hauled off. The salvage yard does not buy glass, so we pack it all up about once every couple of months and drop it off at the local recycling center. Paper and cartons are burned in our burn barrel. The ash is used in our outhouse and the gardens. Kitchen waste is fed to the chickens to help reduce their cost. This has proven to be a better alternative than a garbage pick up service and has allowed us to be more enviromentally conscious. This is our homestead! We have a long way to go but, we have come a long way. But, never forget that sometimes all one has is a dream and a few tools! Sincerely, Ernest
-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
Hi Chris - we don't have our homestead yet - we close on a 120 year old home and 37 acres in a month, and we can't wait. The house is a beautiful old farmhouse, partly renovated. You come in on the side into a mudroom that will eventually be stripped for lumber to build our greenhouse onto that side (south) of the house. I have a pet peeve about front doors that no one ever uses, so I'll be building a pretty walkway across the lawn to the main entrance. From the mudroom, we go into the kitchen, which is basically functional but needs a lot of work to make it homestead useful - we need to install the woodstove, add open shelving, and a work surface (there are few cabinets and counters, and what there are were designed for short people, and we're both over 6'). There's a good-sized dining room with a beautiful view of the backyard, and the wall between the dining room and living room is a huge stone fireplace. We can't wait to use it. The living room runs the length of the whole front of the house, and the whole length of the living room is a glassed in sun porch (east facing). Then, there are four bedrooms and two baths (only 3 bedrooms and 1 bath are usable), and a nice, if low ceilinged basement into which our freezer, root storage and canning shelves will go. We're looking forward to renovating, so that we can fill the house with kids, and we're going to build on an additional apartment in the back for my husband's grandparents who will soon come live with us.
On the land, we've got a garage, a storage shed and an old henhouse, all backed up on one another (built off of the same walls). We'll be renovating the henhouse this summer so we can have chickens in the spring, and fencing in several parts of the yard for a chicken run, dog run and safe play space for my 14 month old and the baby in progress. There is a year-round stream that runs along the north side of the house, so we'll also probably run some fencing along that side of the house to keep our little ones safe.
There are 37 acres, of which about 24 are wooded - mostly older timber and brush. We plan to clear a couple of acres behind the house eventually, since much of the open land is around the corner and a ways from the house, and we'd like to be able to house livestock and orchard within sight of our home. We figure things are less likely to get out of control that way. The land curves around, and up a hill to the south is most of the open land - about half fenced (post and rail) pasture and the other half open. There is a small field in back also. The fenced area contains a small (2 horse) stable that will be used as a shelter for our first sheep until we put up something better and get larger livestock. We plan to put a greenhouse barn up within a couple of years to house our mix of stock. The back half of the field will be alternately hay meadow and small grain land. We plan to put in our first crop of winter wheat this fall. There's no garden yet, but we'll put a small one in this year (we'll be there too late to plant long season stuff like corn and beans), mostly with greens and fall veggies. Meanwhile, we'll site, dig and begin building up soil for the main garden which we can plant next year. There's so much to do, but it is so exciting - thanks for giving me a chance to describe it and letting me hear about everyone else's place.
-- Sharon (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2001.