Hello my friends! I hope you enjoyed our garden tour from my last post. Everything we have done so far has taken a LONG time and definitely was not something that happened overnight. Which is why I thought I’d take you all on a little trip back to the beginning of where this all started.
For those of you who are just beginning your own homesteading journey, we were once there too! A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into building what we have today. And when I say tears, I mean A LOT of tears! Especially mine 🙂
Just remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint.
The house we live in, our homestead (or as we lovingly refer to it – Villa Mazzotta) was not supposed to be our forever home. This is the house where my husband and his brothers grew up. It has a great history and some awesome memories. But, it wasn’t our dream home.
Ten years later, we never thought we would still be here raising our children, chickens, bees, bunny, tending to our garden and harvesting maple syrup. But…here we are, and we aren’t leaving anytime soon 🙂
The backstory of this house is somewhat of a novel, but long story short, we “officially” bought this place not long after we were married. Our original plan was to only live here five years, make some minor renovations and then sell it when we found our forever home.
Well, one renovation turned into another, which turned into another, and so on and so on. It was about 30 years old when we bought it and it needed quite a bit of updating.
Here is a little slide show giving you an idea of what we began with. Some of these pictures were taken when we had already begun the renovations such as new windows and the shed, but it’s pretty close to what we started with.
As you can see, it needed a lot of work! We slowly chipped away at things. First a master bath expansion, then a new furnace, central AC and shed. In the meantime we looked at properties and couldn’t find anything we liked.
We found big beautiful homes with brand spanking new everything but….the yard was awful, or it was way too close to the neighbors. So then we began replacing windows, doors, moldings, garage doors, and some landscaping, all while continuing our property search.
We found BEAUTIFUL yards with gorgeous pools, but the interior decor was totally not our taste and needed a complete upgrade. We looked, and we looked, and we looked but something was holding us back. So then we made a big decision. What if we stayed? What if we kept doing the upgrades and made this house our home?
It wasn’t the biggest home in the neighborhood. So what? It didn’t have the big cathedral ceilings and the in-ground pool. OK. But you know what it did have? Land. Seclusion. Privacy. Silence and beauty. Check out this picture I took at the bottom of our driveway! No filters, no editing, just 100% raw beauty!
Once we made the choice to stay put, we made another big decision. The patio!
Ahhhh yes! our pride and joy (aside from our children of course)! We are so happy we did this project. May through October we pretty much live out here! The features of our outdoor space include:
- Built in grill
- Side burners
- Outdoor fridge
- Bar seating
- Wood fired pizza oven
- Fire pit with seating area
- Built in lights
Below are some of the pictures from the project. The stairs and side retaining wall were built in the fall of 2016, and the main patio/ kitchen was built in the spring of 2017.
After completing the patio, we moved on to some other exterior projects.
- New Hardie Board siding
- All new gutters
- New front doors
In the spring of 2019, our next project was to redo the small patio on the side of our house and connect it to the main patio. We also decided to purchase a hot tub and thought this was the perfect spot for it as it has easy access to indoors for those colder months.
Now, I bet you are wondering what that hideous mess of a garden is doing in the background of some of our pictures when we have a big beautiful brand new garden sitting up on top of our hill.
Well, that’s the old garden. The one we began many, many years ago. The one I refused to step foot in because it was such a flaming hot dumpster fire.
When we first began, my husband revived the old garden which once belonged to his parents. It wasn’t pretty, but it was functional. He planted straight in the ground and it produced a decent amount of vegetables.
At one point, my husband decided to build some raised beds to attempt to cut down on the weeds and to clean things up a bit. He built 6 cedar boxes himself and now with it much cleaner, I began to take an active role in gardening.
Luckily, this hot mess will soon be history! Now that our new garden is in place and is in full use, this one will be torn down (as soon as the peas we planted in here are finished) to make way for an in-ground pool! We are hoping to complete that project sometime between 2021/2022.
Our new garden project began back in the fall of 2017. My dad and husband took down somewhere around 30 trees and we spent the following year cutting, moving and splitting the wood. In the fall 2018, we hired a company to move any additional logs, and to excavate the land.
In the spring of 2019, we hired a local fence company to build the fence and we spent the following year painting the posts, building 10 cedar boxes, adding chickens, building a new chicken coop, transplanting some fruit trees, and adding a beehive.
Here are some pictures of what the new garden looked like before.
So there you have it. See, I told you it was a lot of work! But…it was totally worth it! We live on 10 beautiful, secluded acres on a dirt road. We have fantastic seasonal water views and we have been able to get the most out of what our land can provide us.
As far as we have come, there is always more to do! Some upcoming projects include:
- New roof with solar shingles
- Renovate the guest room
- 2 new windows and sliding glass door in basement
- Full basement renovation
- New driveway
- Fixing up our front stone wall and adding pillars and lighting
- New front pathway with new landscaping and lighting
- Taking down a few more trees (which pose a threat during storms)
- Building a tree house for our kids
- In-ground pool
- Baseball batting cage
- Creating hiking trails through our woods
- Creating our Christmas Tree “farm” and planting the trees
One day we will finally be done and can sit back and relax 🙂