We got the farm! On April 28, the old house, the 3.35 acres, and all the brier patches became ours. Now the work begins. Here’s an update.
The dog: We promised our 4 year old daughter a dog if we ever moved to property. So, as of April 25, the newest member of our family is a 6 month old boarder collie named “Buddy.” The girls love him, and he loves them. Our 20-month-old feeds him from his dish and they all cuddle together. When the girls drive their John Deere truck up and down the driveway he is right by them, nose to tires just like a good herding dog. And when they jump on the trampoline he lays underneath.
The tractor: We bought a Kubota with a mower and a front loader. We mowed the tall field immediately, including many of the blackberries growing in the middle. We also mowed the blackberries that grew over the second floor balcony of the house and much of the overgrowth between the house and pool. We love the tractor! Makes the job so much more fun, and we now feel like there’s potential for a real farm now that we have a farm tractor.
The truck: We also bought a farm truck off craigslist. It’s ugly on the outside; a perfect farm truck. But it has a backseat for the kids and the dog. I’ve already taken 3 loads to the dump. The previous owners left quite a lot of trash.
The shop: The farm as a great shop. But it was filled with trash, dirt, rat poop, and spiders. We had an exterminator verify that there is no current rodent activity in the shop and that it had no rodent access except for the big doors that were not hung properly and left large gaps. We had a garage door specialist rehang the doors and add plastic seals all around the doors to seal all access to future rodent invasion. We cleaned out the trash and dirt and vacuumed the spiders and spider webs. We are now in the process of moving all of our stuff from the house to the shop so we can begin demo and renovation in the house.
Our living arrangements: We are currently living in a motor home with a small bathroom and bedroom. I have it well organized and its actually working well. We have the washer and dryer hooked up in the house so I no longer have to rely on laundry mats and quarters for clean towels and clothes. We parked the motor home in a carport-size bay attached to the barn to keep it cooler. There is a cement pad under the motor home and in front of the barn, perfect for a tidy seating area and kid pool.
The big pool: The farm came with a 16 x 28 above ground dough-boy pool with a wooden deck surrounding it. The pool was filled with green water, dead raccoons, and mosquitoes, and the deck is not completely safe: some boards are broken and others are soft. We originally planned to drain the pool for this summer and deal with it next summer but we found out that we can’t drain the soft pool liner without it shrinking. It was originally made a bit smaller than the frame and made to expand to fit when filled with water. If drained and exposed to sun it will shrink back to original size but will not expand again when refilled. So we were told by the local pool supply store to drain within a foot or so of the bottom, add a lot of chlorine, strain out, re-fill, and continually filter with pool pump. So…we ordered a new pump, filer, and solar cover. They should be here any day. And we plan to pressure wash the deck and replace any broken or soft boards.
Goals for the next few weeks:
- Clear the driveway (Overgrowth makes the driveway tight, especially for RVs.)
- Clean cottage (There is a small cottage on the property. We plan to clear overgrowth from around it, possibly paint the outside, eradicate rodents, seal it off from future rodent invasion, clean the bathroom, replace sheet rock in the bathroom, clean and paint the inside, install and washer and dryer, and set up kitchen unit and refrigerator.)
- Clean pool (Install pump and filter; brush and strain the pool; pressure wash deck; replace broken and soft boards on deck)