Last week, to my surprise, we observed the second anniversary of our purchasing this wonderful property. This always provides a great opportunity for a look back, and a time to think about what we have accomplished. I have to admit, I was simultaneously thinking that it seemed like we just got here, and also like we've been here forever.
The reason that it feels like we've been here for far longer than twenty-four months is that no place in my life has ever felt more like home. Even with the rustic lifestyle we are leading, no place has ever felt so comfortable and homey as this place.
Most of our most outwardly noticeable changes on the property happened our first year living here. After all, what we first purchased was a barn full of decades old hay, equipment, and falling down cattle stalls with an un-traversable floor. Over the course of our first winter working on the place we put in new floors and stalls to accommodate our animals, as well as a temporary kitchen space.
This summer we continued to clear fields and burn the brush that keeps piling up from our clearing efforts. Most notably this was the first year we had a vegetable garden at our new home - and that has turned out fantastically! After a year without a garden, we went big, putting in a quarter acre for vegetables to feed us all summer long and into the winter. And the plants responded. I harvested more than I've been able to reap from any previous garden, and we are still collecting plump red tomatoes and tasty cucumbers from our beds.
I credit the leap in our garden's success to the healthy soil of this new property. Providing a good balance for our plants, the soil where we put our garden had been used for a vegetable garden for many years before it was abandoned. It was rich with years of being supplemented with cow manure, and next spring we'll mix in some fresh compost to keep it healthy and producing.
This fall's big project is re-siding the two short sides of our barn. The amazing structure that is our barn was a huge part of the reason that we chose this property. While structurally sound, the shingles on the short sides of the barn had started to age together. The shingles higher up on the barn are original from when it was first built in the late 1800s, so it is no surprise that they need replacing.
While we re-shingle the barn we will also take the time to replace the windows, which were missing most of their panes, and the doors, which were on old runners and were difficult to open and close. When the project is done the barn will be weather-tight for the winter.
It is good to take the time to stop and look back, since it is easy to forget just how much work we have put into this place. The barn and fields are totally transformed, and the place is awoken with the sounds and sights of animals eagerly going about their days.
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