Thursday, September 15, 2011

We bought the farm... Literally

So, you know how we've had problems closing on this Alabama farm for the last six weeks? That all came to a glorious end last night as we finally closed on this house! So I wanted to spend this post talking about what the house is, and what we plan to do with it.

Inside the house
First off, the house is small and old. It was built in 1960 and is run-down, but that's exactly how I like it. I would never be able to move into a new-construction home because I'd be bored out of my mind. Plus, I think older things are just built better.

So the first thing we'll do to the house itself is a new roof. The current one was damaged in the tornadoes that ravaged the area (northeastern Alabama got hit way harder than Chattanooga), so that's a priority. After that, we'd like to paint a few of the rooms, fix one electrical issue and generally get the home livable for now. Any major renovations will need to wait.

The yard
As for the immediate yard area (about 3/4 acre, not fenced), I'd like to establish a play area for the kids, a fire pit on the other side, and a dog house. Other than that, I'll leave it alone.

There are 2 outbuildings on this part of the land (with the main 5-room red barn out in the fenced fields). Building 1 has three rooms, and will mainly be for storage, and Building 2 will hold my tools. There's a 2-car lean-to extended from Building 2 (shown above), so it will be used for fixing and building cars, and a general workshop. I'll probably make the compost pile behind this building as well, because the back is out of site and closest to the (eventual) garden area.

The rest of the farmland
There are currently three large fenced-in areas throughout the six acres. One of these is on flat grassland, one is hilly grassland with rocky outcroppings, and the other is hilly, with a few trees and very large boulders jutting out of the ground. So area #1 will be for the garden, while areas #2 and #3 can only really be for the animals.

In the main barn, I'll build chicken nestboxes and secure one of the rooms for the goats. There's also a raised-floor room (with an additional loft) for feed storage and a horse barn with an old wood-burning stove. We don't plan on having any horses, so that may be for goats as well. The other two rooms will probably be for pigs, but we'll see.

Mainly, I'm just so excited to get started with everything. I've been reading, experimenting, volunteering, and researching everything I can about sustainable farm living for the last several years, and it's finally within arm's length. We have the property, we have the means, we have the energy, and we kinda almost have the money. Now it's time to get working on the rest of our lives.

As I go through the process of getting this farm ready, you can expect more frequent blog posts. That's why I started this thing in the first place! So stay tuned...


  1. Fantastic.. congratulations!

    This is going to be a great adventure for sure. I would definitely go with goats and perhaps 1 or 2 pigs over horses. Kids my love the horse, but really is a lot of work.. and not really good eating :)

    One thing that worries me about making a move eventually that I am curious about with your spot is the access to internet. I imagine you have something due to your work, do you have high speed out there?

  2. Yeah, that was actually a huge concern with all the other houses we looked at. Right now I use the fastest fiber optic internet in the country (no, seriously:,2817,2369091,00.asp), so I'm a bit spoiled. But this one does get cable access, although the previous owners only had cable TV, and not internet. I'm hoping it's not a problem. If it is, I'll have to put up with DSL. I don't think I'll mind though, as I plan to spend less time on the internet (besides work, which doesn't really require hi-speed).

    Coming soon: a post about how much I can't live without hi-speed internet ;)