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Planning for the future

We have lots of plans for this place.

The most immediate is next year’s garden.  We’ve already got some cardboard out in the yard in an attempt to kill some of the grass so we can garden there.


In the foreground there is a circle of cardboard (weighted down with lumber) over a tree stump.  We are going to try to build a spiral garden there for strawberries.  In the background, there is a line of cardboard where we’d like to put the vegetable garden.

I’ve also been researching what types of fruit trees grow in our area.  I plan to place the trees along the side of the front yard, near the fence belonging to our northern neighbor (but not too close; I don’t want them to have to deal with dropped fruit in their yard).  I’m leaning toward Montmorency cherries, Burbank plums, and Madison peaches.  The apple choices are so varied, and I’ll probably end up choosing them based on harvest date so that I don’t have all my fruit ripening at once.  Apparently Fujis grow well in this region, so that’s a possibility if I want a late harvest.  Of course, there are also Enterprise apples for a late harvest.  But if I want to pick apples early, then I may go with Pristine, Redfree, Paulared, or Prima.  Mid-season choices include Priscilla, Jonafree, Cortland, and Empire.  Many choices!


Another thing we are planning is building a small cabin back toward the wooded area of the property.  (Maybe nestled back among these trees?  Or inside what was probably once a goat enclosure?)  The first plan for this cabin is that we will live in it while we build our permanent home on the site of our existing house.  Then, we may offer it for mini-vacations for friends who want to get away, or for missionaries who are visiting the area.  In the future, if our parents can no longer take care of their own places, one set could live in the cabin.  We’re looking at something small — 200 – 400 square feet.  We’re intrigued with the Tiny House movement and have found some really cute ideas online.  We think that what we might do is to build what is essentially a shed, but to insulate and arrange it like a house.


I spent the afternoon perusing photos and plans in these two books.

As we think and plan, I begin to realize how many decisions there are to be made.  We are also thinking about our own house, and the options are dizzying.  We’re focusing at the moment on the design and floor plan and the heat source.  We’re thinking of a masonry heater, which would need to be located centrally in the home, which makes a big impact on the layout.

Meanwhile, the husband is quite busy getting his ice carving studio moved from his rented place to the pole barn on our property, so while he likes thinking of all these things, he’s pretty preoccupied.

And we can’t do much until spring anyway.  And then, we can just start with a garden.  No need to do everything at once.  We have the winter to spend pondering.

This is the last place we ever plan to live, after all.

About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

6 responses »

  1. I spent some time with a neighbor the other day who is dreaming about what her yard will look like. This is a house they bought to retire in, & it will be 5 more years before that can happen. So she’s spending a few weeks here every month or so daydreaming.

    I suppose that Kim and Ivan might have some ideas about your tiny house!

  2. P.S. MY favorite apple is the Jonathan. Just saying. 🙂

  3. Ha, if I’d read this earlier I wouldn’t have asked so many questions tonight! Lovin’ your dreams!

  4. We read this this morning:
    Proverbs 24:27
    Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

  5. Have you discovered Tiny House Swoon, Tiny House Listings, etc. yet? I’ve been following them for a short time. Thru them I’ve learned that the small house movement is starting to have a presence at big builder trade shows. Lots of bloggers writing about living small too.

    I’d like a bit bigger place, but not too much bigger. If we could have one additional room that would serve as living room/guest room, our casita would be just about perfect 🙂

    • I haven’t seen those specific sites but I’ve look at many that are probably like them. The more we consider it, the more we think about 400 square feet is what we want. Some of the tiny houses might be just a little TOO tiny!


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