A house, An Acre, and BIG PLANS!

Earlier this week I told you all about our moving adventure but what I REALLY want to share with you is our new house and land! Well new to us, the house is actually nearly 140 years old. I absolutely love it. There is even a stone on the front with the year it was built! There are a couple of additions over the years that make it even more unique.

We are on one acre and are making plans for what we are going to do first with our land. We plan to make the most use of our little piece of earth as possible with hopes of some day buying additional land to add on. For now we feel like we have quite a bit to work with.

One of my favorite features of the house is this wall which was originally the outside wall but they left it exposed when they added on this side of the house.

We are also enjoying the wood stove, although it throws off the thermostat so the upstairs gets really cold!

We knew there were fruit trees on the property. So far we have found at least 7 fruit trees but we have no idea what type they are. We met someone at church who had looked at the house in late summer when the trees still had fruit and she said there were quite a few trees including apple, pear, peach, cherry, walnut, and apricot-maybe more. We are excited to see what grows this summer. We have also found two grape vines. None of the trees or vines seem to have been tended to recently so we will have plenty of work to do this summer cleaning up and learning to care for them!

We were also surprised by a small building with a fenced yard on the property right next to the house. We didn’t notice this building in any of the pictures or videos our realtor sent us (yes we bought the house without seeing it in person first – big risk but I think we made a good move!). With a little bit of cleaning and improvements, we think it will make a good chicken coop and yard (I can’t let the chickens completely free range because the road we live on is relatively busy and cars are going FAST). We hope to get chickens in early spring, hubby even thinks we may be able to get them sooner but I’m not sure I want to tackle chicks when it is still cold out.

We also hope to get rabbits and bees this spring and start a small garden. Next on the list are goats and turkey but those may be further down the road.

We also have this pond we can’t decide what to do with. It is inside the fenced yard where the kids play which makes me nervous. It is bigger and deeper than it looks. We have thrown around the idea of a few ducks or tilapia in it but we are leaning toward filling it in.

We have already added our first farm critter. Leia is an Akbash/Anatolian shepherd mix we found at the local animal shelter. She is a bit thin (no surprise there) but is beautiful and sweet. While she is a livestock guard dog by breed we got her as a companion to our current dog Luke and a general farm/house dog. (Yes, Luke and Leia, we are nerds). Having a second dog has already noticeably helped his separation anxiety.

Our New Dog

As we make improvements and bring in animals I will be sure to document our adventures here! Hopefully you can learn something along with us and maybe get inspired to do some small scale farming of your own. Or just laugh at our adventures and inevitable mishaps.

Do you have a farm? Chickens? Other livestock? A garden? Share how you homestead in the comments. I’d love any tips you can share!! 

I will share some of our “farm adventures” via live video on Facebook or Periscope so make sure to follow me there and on Instagram for “behind the scenes” type pictures that might not make it to the blog! 

Comments

  1. Thanks again for sharing more about your home and land! I just love all your ideas! I’m glad God was watching over you when you decided to buy it without seeing it. It was meant to be!
    The land looks fabulous. I have good childhood memories of growing up on an acre + of land. We had a huge garden, an above ground pool, dogs and rabbits, but that was it. I’m looking forward to witnessing your journey!

    • Thanks! We are hoping a few years down the road (NOT yet because we aren’t ready) one of the neighbors will want to sell a few acres but I think it will be a while before I fill up what we have!

  2. What excitement! My hubby and I bought in a similar way here in SW Missouri. Our acre was a thick (so thick you could not walk onto the property) jungle of vines, trees, and evil weeds. Little by little I tackle it while my hubby travels for work. It’s awesome for you to have such a neat place! Chickens are wonderful by the way!!

    • Thanks! We have a good bit of open area but we have some overgrown area too we will have to tackle. My husband travels also so a lot of it will be left to me but he will do the building when he has time! Can’t wait for the chickens!

    • I don’t have any other pictures of the inside right now, it kind of needs some TLC plus none of our furniture is here yet!! We counted at least 7 but I suspect there are more. It will be like Christmas in the summer! I’ll make sure to have my canning supplies ready!

  3. Congrats! I’m so happy for y’all and can’t wait to see what you do with this amazing property. Merry Christmas!!

    • Yes!! I forgot to mention that in my post, I am hoping that all or almost all animals we get are heritage breeds!! I actually really want Angora rabbits for the fiber but we may do meat rabbits as well.

        • I thought maybe they could also be meat rabbits but wasn’t sure. Makes sense they are large rabbits. I will definitely be looking for someone who breeds for fiber quality!! Thanks for the tips!

  4. Oh my goodness… you are so fortunate to have land like that! We’ve just got a city lot, still. I am so looking forward to when we can get a piece of land, too.

    You might look into pruning back those trees while they’re dormant in winter: my books, and also my girlfriend who Knows Things both say that that’s the best time. It’s when we do the apple trees that we put in. There’s also a limit to how much you can prune at once -I forget the percent- but even with keeping that in mind, when my friend was done with our trees (which are young, but doing well) it was pretty remarkable how thin and empty they looked. Which I read is a good thing: you want sunshine to be able to get to all your fruit.

    • Thanks for the tips! We may prune some but we really aren’t sure which are fruit trees so we are sort of guessing!! There are some pretty creative people who do a lot with city properties if you want to do a bit of homesteading yourself! 🙂

  5. Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening are both great resources that can help you figure out when and how to prune your fruit trees. Having fruit trees on your property is awesome!

    • Thanks! I have Mother Earth News and Hobby Farms on my wishlist I’ll have to look into Organic Gardening as well! I am excited about the fruit! We are figuring it out this year but we will get there!

  6. Wonderful, so happy for your family! It looks like a beautiful house on a lovely spot. I wonder if one of those gizmos that go in a pool & makes a loud alarm if the water is disturbed would work in your pond until the kiddos are old enough to be safe? of course that would not work with ducks, haha

    • Thanks. I didn’t know such a gizmo existed, I’ll have to look into it. I’d prefer not to have to go in the water after them, and my dogs like to jump in but it might work temporarily at least for a bit of peace of mind.

  7. We got an acre and our garden has grapes, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, 7 fruit trees, kiwi, zucchini, 3kinds of tomatoes, lemon cucumbers and so on and so on and so on…. and we still have tons of room! We also have chickens that range in our fruit tree enclosure to fertilize our trees. We’re looking to get rabbits in the spring. I love how old your house is!

    • Thanks! Your garden sounds awesome!! We will definitely be planting some veggies this year and maybe a few berry bushes although I wouldn’t be surprised if there are berry bushes here we just don’t know about. Letting the chickens fertilize the trees is a good idea, we may do that too once that part is closed in.

  8. Oh! That is wonderful for you and your family! How exciting! I love that outside wall being left intact as well. Also, kudos to your saving that dog from the shelter <3

  9. Your new-to-you house is beautiful, and has so much character! Love all the plans you have for your place. Best of luck to you as you make it all your own.

  10. What an adventure you are starting out on! I need to get outside more. Since we moved here, I was either pregnant, or carrying an infant and we live on a steep hill so I didn’t get outside much. Your yard makes me want to take nature walks! I’m sure we will be seeing plenty of nature studies posts from you in the near future as your journey continues!!

    • Oh I understand the pregnant or with an infant thing. I’m currently pregnant so will be starting slow this spring. As far as nature studies I’m sure we will do some but there isn’t really anywhere we can go walk because I’m not yet comfortable wondering on other people’s land. Maybe once I get to know the neighbors more.

  11. Oh wow, how exciting! Sounds and looks like a wonderful house plus that land. I love the pond, but can definitely understand your concerns. Not sure what we would do. I also love that stone wall.
    We have such a tiny yard, but we have tried having a small garden. Unfortunately, nothing ever really grew so we gave up.

    • Thanks! Sorry to hear you haven’t been able to grow things, have you tried raised beds or container gardening? I’m not great with plants but my husband does ok with them.

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