Going Tiny to Dream Big on the Farm


With Winter on it’s way, we really hoped to be along a lot farther than we are on the farm.

Things take time, I know.

One thing we don’t want to do is create false expectations in the community.

We look forward to joining the ranks of other farms in the area.

We delight in the idea that one day we will be providing tasty food and a welcoming farm where folks can come by to share in the bounty.

Obviously, we’re not quite there yet.

There is one thing however that we have made a good deal of progress on.

Kind of a tiny detail, but important none the less.


Keeping momentum

Since May of this year, I’ve been living in a blue popup camper with absolutely no complaints (OK, maybe a few).

For the Summer and the start of Fall, it has been great!

What we want to do is keep up our momentum on the farm even throughout the Winter.

Things we’ve done so far:

  • Improved the foundation on the future farm store
  • Installed new drainage on the garage
  • Getting new electric service to the barn
  • Reclaimed more fields for hay and pasture
  • Registered with Farm Service Agency and NRCS
  • Looking into a Kiva Zip Loan with Cornell Small Farms Program

So in order to keep up momentum, we obviously need to keep living here.

Our finances are limited (and whose aren’t these days).

But we’re finding that bringing an old farm back to life is expensive.

And of course we want to do it right the first time.


Going Tiny to Dream Big

In order to keep living here throughout Winter, the popup camper will not suffice.

To save money for the farm renovations, we needed to be frugal in what type of Winter living we could build.

That’s why we decided to build a 96 square foot tiny home.

Not a top-of-the-line version on wheels that you may have seen on your TV screen.

But one that uses rough-sawn lumber and salvaged materials.

One that’s going to cost less than $5000 when we’re done.


Priority #1: The Farm

By going tiny we are making the farm our priority.

A larger space for a home at some point in the future is definitely a possibility.

For now we know that this farm and land really needs us.

The repairs and renovations necessary loom large in my mind daily.

I think about them mostly when lying in bed at night.

Some would say that we’re sacrificing our comfort for the greater benefit of the farm by going the tiny house route?

We’re OK with that!

A more likely scenario is that keeping the costs and resources down for our Winter living will enable us to make more progress on the farm and the farm’s stated goals.

In case you haven’t driven by 624 Mountain View Drive in a while, here’s a few photos of the build:


Want success? Ask for help.

One thing is for certain in any major project: Don’t do it alone.

I suppose you could do it alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

It takes more time. Your alone. It’s no fun.

Being human, we are social animals and we are well-adapted to doing demanding physical tasks together.

Working on challenges together brings us as a community closer together.

I asked for help and they came.

I am so indebted to my friends and co-workers at the Cornell Research Farm for giving me a hand.

I couldn’t have gotten this far without their help and building advice.

We’re so lucky that our farm is in such an amazing community of neighbors helping neighbors.


The Build Continues

Although the build continues, we’re certain to be in by Winter.

As the night time temperatures are slowly dipping towards the 30’s, it will be good to get in soon.

I recently picked up 48 freshly milled boards of 12 foot clapboard siding and 1×6 boards for the interior from my favorite local sawmill.

We’ll have more photos of the “wee house” to share when it’s completed.

In the meantime, that’s our latest farm update for now.

Thanks again for following our farming adventure!

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