Home | Celebrating One Year at the Homestead!

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we're celebrating one year

It's absolutely crazy to me how fast time flies; and when you're working hard it seems to go by even faster. Today we're celebrating one very busy, beautiful, challenging and exciting year here at the homestead. 

 we owe 1,000 thank you's

So many of our incredible friends and family have lent a hand this past year. From pulling out carpet and cleaning our house on closing day, to the seemingly endless post setting, we wouldn't be where we are today without the incredible sacrifice of our people.

So, I want to publically thank, my mom and dad, who spent nearly every moment working alongside us over the past year; you've been the best neighbors. Matt's parents, Rex and Becky for helping us paint over the awful yellow that first week and helping with electrical, plumbing, fencing and bringing us meals.

We also owe a huge thank you to the incredible people that volunteered their precious time to help us with our dream... Jarrett, Elise, Morgann, Kaleb, Erin, Joe, Ross, Danielle, Ricky, Grandpa, Sarah, Bethany, Tim, Jack, Jesse, Ricky and Phil.

We couldn't have done this without you lovely people!

we're reflecting on the progress

Though our to-do list is still long (and continually growing) we are so blessed to be living in this place. I find it incredibly rewarding to scroll through the pictures to see how far we've come and I hope you'll enjoy taking a peek at this last year's progress as much as I have. I must say scrolling through so many photos was almost as overwhelming as the amount of work we've done.

*while I had every intention to get nice before and after's, my desire to get my dirty hands on my camera was not... so I apologize for the blurry, nasty phone pictures*

our farmhouse remodel

We pulled all the carpet out of the house the day we moved in, along with all the furniture that came with the house, there was literally dishes still in the cabinets. The previous owner had cats which make me a sobbing, red-faced, sneezing mess. We also both prefer the look and cleanliness of a hardwood floor, especially on a farm, so the carpet HAD to come out. Our living room remodel is underway and perhaps in the next year we can prioritize the house again and finish her out. We will be refinishing the original douglas fir floors and installing a blackened wood wall and new fireplace surround at some point along this journey. We also might have a chance to upgrade the college couch and buy our first living room furniture together.

When we pulled carpet upstairs we revealed some original pine floors that were of course painted, which was exactly what we were expecting. We knew we'd refinish them someday but someday became the day after closing when we realized how bad the master bedroom floor was peeling. Fast forward 40 hours and we were ready to finish the floors in the master bedroom and move our mattress off the living room floor. We decided to paint one of the back bedroom's floor instead of sanding it down for the sake of time and the bigger picture, it will become a bathroom in the coming years. The other bedroom we stripped, sanded and finished to match the master.

We still have trim to finish and some 'cozying' up to do but they're coming along beautifully.

We've had several demo days around the homestead, but I'd have to say I think demoing our basement was my favorite. When we first walked into this basement seven months prior to our closing the smell got my attention right away. I can see through the dirt, grim and chaos but man, that smell stuck with me. So, instead of a cosmetic upgrade we were demoing to completely redo the space and to take that nasty smell out.

After months of contemplating how to best use the space, gathering inspiration images and finalizing a plan for permits we were ambitious and ready to get our hands dirty. Let's just say we got our hands, face, clothes and every part of our house dirty in the process (there may still be residue of concrete dust in the closets and cabinetry throughout the house but I'm not ready to look)...

This was our first time doing, well, most of this type of work. We learned A LOT along the way and I think we can both say we were challenged far more on this project than almost anything we've come across in life to this point.

I'd love to say the space is done, but we're happy with the progress we've made. This winter we'll wrap up the mudroom and those last pesky details like hardware on the kitchen cabinets in the apartment.

While most of our time has been focused on the house and other homestead projects we have done a few personal 'yard' projects. This spring we planted a hedge of aronia to define our yard boundary. We're planning on a full 'orchard' and fruit field between the aronia and the lower red garage. We have BIG plans for the red garage and having it surrounded with an orchard fits our vision for the space. While our aronia hedge is 'floating' in the lawn right now we love that this space is becoming more than yard space.

We also removed a huge patch of raspberry and weeds in our front yard. Less mess when we arrive home is so rewarding and we're loving the little difference.

homestead projects

While the house projects have come a long way, it's really the homestead that's made the biggest change.

Last fall we built our livestock barn, it's already getting tight and we're anticipating an addition next season (I have a problem with bringing too many animals home). 

Obviously one of our biggest projects here at the farm was clearing for pastures. While this  place was once a sheep farm with clear rolling hillsides, over the last 30 years it's become a tangled mess of invasive species. Fences are in, animals are grazing and we'll wait to finish up the clearing until the snow flies.

Excavation for next year's hay/machine barn is also complete! With the new barn excavation we got one of our two 'trout' ponds filled in and will be making it into a ball/game field

As you may remember we were selected for a USDA grant this past spring to help us seed and fence our 18 acre field. It's definitely greened up nicely (ignore my ragweed, I'm working on that ;)) and this fall we'll finish up the fences.

looking forward to the coming year

This coming year we're hoping to slow it down a bit. While we have several projects we'd like to do we're going to slow the deadlines for the sake of getting some rest and enjoying this beautiful valley. Things are finally workable so soon we'll be focused on getting things 'prettied' up, and I think we're both looking forward to that.

pin it!

Celebrating Our First Year at the Homestead | Homestead Wisconsin | Madison Wisconsin
Celebrating Our First Year at the Homestead | Homestead Wisconsin | Madison Wisconsin
Celebrating Our First Year at the Homestead | Homestead Wisconsin | Madison Wisconsin