In August and September, 2012, the first priority was building a storage shed, and cleaning up the campsite area on top of the hill. The tennants of the mobile home had been given notice, but with them still occupying, there was nothing that could be done on the front of the property until they were gone. The old picnic shelter was sturdy and the roof, though rusty, didn't leak. It became the storage shed. We spent a three day weekend in August camping in a tent by night and cleaning and building by day. The hardwood planks from the shelter and the fence around the campsite were taken off and saved for future use. Some of the long fence boards now make up the floor of the hay tent. Its hard to say what they will become next.
We framed and closed in the structure, added a door, a couple of small windows on the back, and a large sliding door. It became the perfect storage and camp shed. It has kept us dry from summer rains more than once.
Meanwhile, there was a lot of brush and tree cutting and fence tearing down followed by large bonfires. The trees that had to go were marked with an orange X. Connor became very good at taking down the wooden fence and an expert at nail pulling. A large pile of firewood grew from the fallen trees, and several nice logs were saved to dry. Some day they will make their way to a sawmill.
The most dreaded part was cleaning up the rubble that was once a camper. After much deliberation on how it should be done, one day we just did it. We pushed it to a 'safe' spot with the tractor, added a lot of excelerant, and lit it on fire. The flames were huge! A few moments of panic ensued when a dead branch high in a nearby tree began smoking and glowing red. You might notice in some of the pictures blue barrels and a white square container. Those were full of water and connected to a hose with a battery operated pump. Needless to say, the water came in very handy that day!
After all the flammable parts of the camper were burned, the metal frame was hacksawed into manageable sections and hauled away to the scrap yard.
Of course, we saved my favorite structure, the outhouse, and moved it to a better location. There is now a clean site for campfires and cookouts, complete with little storage building for necessities on top of the hill.
It has been about 18 months since I bought the farm. The pictures above show a few scenes of how things were back in June of 2012. A lot has changed since then, and there's a lot more to come. I do a lot of talking about what we are doing day to day, but theres a lot more to the story, so I thought it might be interesting to some to see how far we have come in a short time.
In June of 2012, renters occupied the mobile home on the front of the property. Down the road, the original home place and barn had been torn down, leaving only an old leaky block garage. Several years before, the township built a new bridge to replace the historic covered bridge. They took dirt from the hillside behind the mobile home, leaving left the hill and frontage in a mess, with a big hole and no exit route for the mobile home dweller during the frequent flash floods from the creek across the road.
The top of the hill was breathtaking. Rows of ridges with narrow fields and rolling hills that used to be cattle pastures were surrounded by woods. We learned later that much of the woods had been timbered about 10 -15 years ago, breaking the heart of the old farmer when he saw the result. Those areas were now overgrown with a tangle of briars and vines, hence the name "Tangle Ridge Farm" was born.
The first time I saw it, all I could think about were scenes from 'the sound of music'. I could see a lot of potential in this land, and knew all it needed was some tender loving care, (and a lot of work.)
Over the next few days, I will post a series of things that have happened since then.
It may not be pretty, but its functional. That's what you get when you add on to the sheep shed in a hurry with materials you have on hand at dusk during a snow storm. The beautiful sunshine was a blessing today so I was finally able to take a picture.
Supposedly sheep do not require a lot of elaborate barns and shelter, but, with the upcoming record low temperatures, we didnt want to take any chances.
This is what the conditions were like while we were building on to the shed last Thursday.
Since the weather was so beautiful today, we decided to do more preparations. We went on a feed run, filling the truck with chicken feed and sheep and goat grain, and then on to Dad's farm to get more hay. On our way back, the ole truck decided to die right in the middle of a one lane blacktop road with minimal cell service. Luckily it was an easy fix. I'm not sure if its another adventure, or just another day in the life of a farmer :-)
My name is Christy Franklin.