Changes on the farm

We arrived on the farm in mid-July 2020 and have been working on a variety of projects since Day 1. This page gives a condensed version of major projects.

Home Sweet Home…

What the former owners found when they purchased the property…

We enjoyed a move-in ready home!

About the Barn

There is a barn on our property which is a late 1700s barn with an outer barn built around it to protect it. The old barn was transported from Iredell County and reassembled on the property by the former owners.

Fast forward to 2020…

December 2022: While we haven’t done much to the barn, we did have a concrete pad poured behind it to park the tractor and store some of the implements.

Clearing the backyard. This was one of the first tasks we started in the summer of 2020. As we got to know our property more, we identified many future projects of clearing the woods of fallen trees, privets, undergrowth and more.

August 2020: The wisteria and privets had been creeping towards the house. Dense growth about the 20 feet away from the house was basically a very tall, green wall.

August 2022: We can now see through to the small pasture and the trees are thriving with more light.

The bridge spans the gully that runs behind our house. It’s our shortcut to Nadine’s pasture. Tony worked on this bridge from December 2020 to February 2021.

December 2022: The chickens like using the bridge as well.

April 2022: We wanted a more stable way to get to our bridge. Tony built Little Horseshoe Steps which is named for the little horseshoe he found while digging out the steps. I have planted some kitchen herbs on each side of the steps.

November 2022: The chickens have been leaving the herbs alone.

December 2021: I put together a greenhouse from Costco, which required me to order a second greenhouse because the first set was missing so many parts. It was adequate shelter for camellias and peonies but not for vegetables…hopefully I will do better in winter 2022-2023.

March 2023: Have not gotten the hang of using the greenhouse. We are planning to take it down this year and repurpose the ceiling panels for the koi pond equipment house walls and see if we can make cold frames from the side panels. I’m using it primarily to harden off seedlings and store material for the upper vegetable garden.

Fall 2021: I love to drink tea and the pond builder suggested I grow a Tea Garden. By Christmas 2021 we had placed them in some well draining shade.

July 2022: However, the tea plants did not seem very happy in their garden. We have moved the plants to an area near the greenhouse.

September 2021: Since we have been battling invasive for months, we feel somewhat justified planting our own invasive plants. We’re growing a smallish Bamboo Grove with Moss bamboo, the variety found in Kyoto’s Arashiyama Grove.

Clearing Bradford Pears and Privets We spent much of early 2021 clearing forests of privets and getting rid of the Bradford pear trees that bloomed early spring. In the process we lightened the forest line separating the front pasture and Nadine’s pasture…uncovered the 1916 barn…and cleared the area for our chicken coop.

Uncovering the 1916 Barn

Tony would like to build a one room log cabin here someday….

Hayfields and agricultural experiments…We have about 23 acres of hay that gets cut twice a year.

Our vegetable garden used to be a chicken run, then a dog run and we decided to use it as a deer proof garden. I am still learning what plants work well and what to plant when.

We have planted several Fruit Trees which the deer and insects have enjoyed. We did get to sample a few peaches.

March 2023: We have covered some of our fruit trees and intend to use chemicals to combat bugs and fungus.


August 2022: Chicken Coop

July 2022: We finished OP Larry in the back pasture. OP Larry is a hybrid observation post, hunting stand and treehouse. It’s one of the most relaxing spots on our farm.


Plenty of animals and insects on a farm…bobcat, coyote, fox, deer, skunk, opossum, raccoon, weasel, rabbit, hawk, buzzard, groundhog…

We also have some smaller scale gardens. We have a side garden with peonies we transported from Minnesota and camellias purchased in North Carolina.

Azalea & Japanese Maple garden

Building a new koi pond

This has been a very long term project…

May 2021

March 2022

July 2022 – work is unacceptable…new panels being produced and inbound late September

November 2022: the pond walls are reconstructed in two days with the help of pond builder’s son and the Octaform consultant.

December 2022/January 2023: The equipment house base was poured, half walls created and the inner pond walls cleaned off. The pond builder aded a seal to the bottom edge of the pond and needs to coat the floor.

2023 Pond Landscaping: Finally we can start working on putting plants back into our pond area. While there is a lot of work to do building the equipment house, moving the koi out, building the pergola – we have put down grass seeds to cut down on muddy shoes and planted eight new maples.

Meanwhile our koi have been living in the garage since 2021…

I have purchased a few new koi since we arrived, mostly little koi…