Bringing Back the Farm

We bought Good Contrivance Farm, in part, because it hadn’t been touched since 1959. The farm house was like a time capsule. The kitchen was state-of-the-art circa 1960, as was the upstairs bathroom. The rest of the house was pretty much original, circa 1900.

We figure the house was originally built about 1880, then updated in the early 1900s. The 1959 upgrade was the last. That means we have lots to work with. Our aim is to bring the house back to about 1900 — with some significant exceptions.

Our first year, we were working mostly with the land. The fields were overgrown, vines were spreading over the buildings, the trees were hunkered down–burdened by branches that had never been trimmed, the water lines that used to run throughout the farm were dead, rotted stumps and logs littered the land, rampant plantlife was everywhere.

Here’s the work we completed in the first year:
1) Clear (grind out) 28  stumps; 2) Remove several damaged trees; 3) Trim all trees (none had been trimmed in decades); 4) Clear vines from buildings; 5) Clear 6-foot weeds from fields–four acres; 6) Remove rogue plants and bushes; re-locate valuable plants and bushes; 7) Fill five 30-yard Dumpsters with debris; 8) Remove stones and boulders from fields and yards; 9) Landscape to remove holes, dips, obstacles; 10) Run 4,000 feet of electrical lines to outbuildings and fields for lights; 12) install new bathroom adjacent to barn (for public use); 13) Install outdoor lights (30 so far) throughout the property; 14) Strip and paint barrack barn roof; 15) Enlarge and pave drive and parking area; 16) Install 2,000 feet of fencing around entire property; 17) Create gateway entrance with landscaped entry (with lights); 18) Install patio in front of bank bark; 19) Install patio around the rear and side of the farmhouse; 20) Install new roof on farmhouse and smokehouse; 21) Gut farmhouse kitchen, build new kitchen from scratch; 22) Pour new concrete floor in basement; 23) Remove old basement stairs; build new stairs in center of house; 24) Get rid of old furnace and oil tanks; 25) Install high-efficiency furnace; 26) Install 500 gallon propane tank for conversion of farmhouse to gas; 27) re-wire basement electricity; 29) Install new water heater in basement; 30) Re-mortar and paint basement stone foundation inside; 31) Re-mortar and seal stone foundation outside, with new drainage

Farmhouse: Kitchen, Dining Room & More

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new roof

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CR8520968 - Kitchen

original kitchen, redone in 1959

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kitchen-work
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kitchen-floor
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completed kitchen

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dining-peeling

dining room

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dining room completed

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floor-1

replacing floor, second level

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living room completed

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first floor washroom completed

CR8520968 - Interior (General)

guest room before

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guest room after

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Barns, Outbuildings, Infrastructure

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cupola at Amish auction

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barn
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main barn roof replaced

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fence-2

2000 feet of fencing

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well-drill

drilling new well

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drainage issues

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roof-3

wind damage, pig house roof

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henhouse-move

placing chicken coop on its foundation

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henhouse-in
organizing-molding
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painting barn roof

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hen house cottage conversion

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roof raised

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casita-floor
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guest room shower before

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after

scraping radiator
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Gardens and Flower Beds

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clearing & expanding original kitchen garden

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seedlings

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horse manure

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17 raised beds

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installing rose garden

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weeds

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weeds abated

tree-planting

planting 30+ trees

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lots of planting

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berry harvest

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peas
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wind storm fells trees

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peaches

first harvest

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formal garden before

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