Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Down On The Farm...

Spent St Patty's day getting to know the farm a bit better. I've got lots of pictures here, so will keep the captions as small as possible. But first, a bit of 'mood music'...

It was a gorgeous day! 
Works is being done down by the barn to get the old equipment off the place. The excavator helps with that.

A closeup of the milk room, which I am claiming as my garden and potting shed.

Inside the milk room, it's being cleaned out. It has a cement floor and electricity. The barn's breaker panel is in there. That metal stuff stacked on the upper right side is the roll up door for the block building, now known as 'Tinkerman's Workshop'. I am looking inward from the barn here. There is a door.

Workshop in back of barn.

Good section of the wall here has been replaced with cement blocks.

Back wall of Barn with one of the better windows.

Stalls used for storage. Lots of goodies may get left behind.

Barn renovations had been ongoing. 

Easiest to come out the big door on this end right now.

The far end is still somewhat blocked, and a door needs to be rehung.

The barn is right below the house and the driveway runs past it.

Looking up from the east side of the barn toward the house.

Across the driveway is the garage and the old house trailer that was used as an office. Only this side of the garage looks rough, the rest is corrugated metal and is in very good condition. 

At the end of the garage, the invasive honeysuckle is taking over. That stuff is going. We have it on our present property too.
From behind the garage you can see the honeysuckle, sumac and multiflora rose has crowded the buildings. Lots of clearing work there. 

Lots of multiflora rose here. Might even be some Oriental bittersweet. That is one end of the old office trailer, and you can barely see it!

The office trailer from the front entrance. This may be staying now. It has electricity, phone line, AC and a small heater. Hmm, everything but a little john... A writer's retreat! And right across the field from the garden. Wonder if we can get wifi out there?

The field across the driveway with the office and garage to the right, the garden by the pine trees, and the highway beyond. The property sideline is somewhere in those trees in the distance.

Partway across the field. The edge of the pond is now to your right.

Behind the garden, looking back toward the house. I want to fence this in, eventually.

The shadow of the office spreads toward the treeline and garden late in the day. I'm standing in the driveway.

Tinkerman's workshop from the west side. All that stuff outside is leaving.

Tinkerman's workshop from the east side, looking down from the house. It has electricity, water, and part time heat. The property line is not far behind it. Yeah, more brush to cut. 

Right below the workshop near the side boundary is a loading dock from the trucking business days. I was asked if I wanted it torn out. Hell no! We own a small box trailer which we bought from these folks, and used at my present home for storage during construction. I was forced to move it last year when this town said we aren't allowed to have commercial vehicles. It's on the farm property now, because I had to have it hauled off. This will make accessing it much easier. Look at the nice, long, gradual ramp!

Top of the ramp. Those trailers will be moving, they are being loaded with stuff from the yard. A nice flat surface to work on, you can park three trailers across the side and one in the back. We have just the one trailer, but that open side of the loading dock will give our tractor access from below. The John Deere has a bucket and loader, and that is very handy for moving big stuff around.

Where you see that open trailer in the back, is where I want ours parked. Our trailer does shut and lock. How handy will this be? :D

That's our trailer, a 28 footer. From the side...

...and from the rear. So good to have everything on one property again. And here it will not be an eyesore. The farm is zoned to allow large equipment. You won't be able to see this from the road. Not even from the house!

Looking back up the driveway from outside the block building area. This is a big circular area full of packed sand and gravel and a little tar, designed as a turnaround for large and heavy equipment. It will never be lawn, but it makes getting things in and out much easier. Good parking for a large gathering too. 
The lower end of the pond out by the office is shallow and filling with cattails. That is lovely for marsh wildlife.

Cattails in thick patches are so dense I'm told the deer on the property will walk out there amongst them. 

Brush around the near side of the pond has gotten quite thick. I want to clear selectively.

You can barely see the pond in some areas, and can't get all that close.

But where you can see through, it is a lovely view. This is maybe halfway along one side, in the deeper end. There was still some ice on St. Patty's day.

Couldn't resist a beauty shot. The 'berries' are multiflora rose hips.

Looking across the pond, toward the field and the white pines along the road line. 

Some of the brush and growth will get to stay. All wildlife appreciates the cover. I will replace some of the invasive scrub with plants I like and those that draw wild birds and other creatures.

I love the little wild junipers, you don't see them much anymore. So much of the land around here has been clearcut and developed. This is a pretty big pond!

You can see some of the stone and gravel berming they did as they excavated this end. I'm told the upper end in the middle is 10-15 feet deep 

I'm peeking through the branches, seeing it the way the deer and birds do. I will be interested to see what kind of wildlife the pond attracts. Living on a place tells you more than visiting does. There are fish in there, I'm told. I haven't fished in years!

The best picture to show you the size of this pond. Can you tell I'm excited about it? LOL. I'm a bit of an amateur naturalist, and will have fun watching the changes through the seasons. 

This is the back of the pond. There is a stream leading out of it toward the back of the property, and that is the little snow line you see. A trail goes around the far side here, and it is wide and well open half way down. A hill rises over on that side, the land of others.

The trail behind the driveway is wide enough for a good sized vehicle, and open to walk without pushing through brush. The pond is on the left, the piles of topsoil and mushroom compost stored there are on the right. Those will be leaving soon, but I begged a bit for the garden. There is also a gravel pit that I'm told will be graded down as flat as possible. With all the recent torrential downpours this was the only wet spot in the trail I found.

This is the first of the topsoil piles. It belongs to the owners and they will haul it off.. The lumber is old and rotten, and will get burned or buried. No pressure treated in it. It's a small pile. You see stuff like that on old farms.
A little bit better picture of the soil pile. These folks ran a couple multi-faceted businesses from this place including construction and masonry, trucking, the topsoil blending operation, and they sold home heating oil. Yet they kept the place clean of all potential hazards and contaminants, and I am very impressed with that. 

You can see the mushroom compost piles behind the gravel pit.

The gravel pit from the front, designed for trucks to back in. We have no need for it, and I am hoping it can be graded down to make usable land again.

A mountain of mushroom compost lies beneath these weeds!

Wild poplar trees growing on a mountain top of mushroom compost.

In the far southwest corner of the property, it begins to look 'woodsy'. Not sure if those big old trees are part of it or not, we couldn't find a pin. There is a stone wall that runs past the big oak in the background and down a gully into the woods and then just peters out. We're still searching and will go to the town hall and look at the survey map.

Back down to the house and yard again...

The side yard between the end of the ell and the barn. Looking out in the distance, that is the nearest neighbor's house, in what used to be a cornfield owned by these folks. Nicely spread out for such an open area.  You can just see the top of the barn to the left.

A nice contrasting look at the original footing wall facing west at the end of the ell, and the owner's block footing addition on the southern side. Some work has been done to this place. I like the way this is well off the ground, but that is because it follows the slope.

Not hiding anything from myself, there are rot spots that will have to be repaired. I've been pleased to see not too many of them because that is the bane of old houses with dirt cellars and close soil contact. Looks like mostly a patch job here, and some sill replacement. We've done that before! The place I live now was built similarly. This is on the northern side.

This is farther down that same northern side wall toward the end of the ell. A very nice upgrade and repair. Seeing that gives me hope for the entire structure. If I didn't believe it was worth saving, we wouldn't be buying it, as we can't afford to build a new house. 

This is the north side of the house. Yes, I know it looks 'crooked', old homes often do. The roof over the ell does have some sway but it is solid and has been refurbed. Old houses settle and you get that. This is a rather nice side lawn, but it drops off steeply by the barn. 

The front of the house faces east and is right on the highway. That is the lowest part of the footing and I see some rot there too. Note the overhang on the roof, that helps direct water away. I'd like gutters someday as well, and rain barrel to collect water. All in good time. 

The northeastern boundary of the property right on the road. There were horses and cattle here at one time, so it still has the fence posts. There's one right up by the corner of the house! 

Not sure but I think this is a magnolia. If it is, I am excited, there are some huge buds on it. 

The taller weeds denote a little abandoned garden patch that I plan on reclaiming for my mother to plant flowers in. Plenty of old bricks on the place to edge it with. This is a nice level spot on the north side lawn for her to putter in, well in sight of the distant neighbors' houses. I don't think she will find this property as confining feeling as where we live now, which is heavily wooded and just as sparsely settled. The entire property has an open and welcoming feeling. 
Looking back the other way, an inviting seat beneath the crabapple tree. Can't wait to see that in bloom. There are a couple of small pear trees on the property too.

Plenty to do at this new place, it will keep us busy indoors and out. I am really looking forward to this move, and being 'down on the farm' at last!

Have a great week! 

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