What would you want a designer to know about a 220 +/- acre farm during design? We have owned the property for almost 20 years and have a long history there. What is important? My first thought is this is where my kids spent their early years. Kid friendly place. Eva (now almost 21) mastered walking here and at Crab Tree Falls.
For now I'm posting photos and trying to create some visual context for early design. Pat Fincham generously is letting us use some scaffolding so we could get a feel for how views might change as we evaluated going to a second story. The scaffold is in what was our living room in the previous design. The view below is probably facing northwest. The woods bound the house site to the west. The scaffolding is two levels high.
I engaged Ayers and Ayers to complete soil borings on a 50 ft grid around the house site. The house site is underlain by at least 15 feet of orange-brown clayey SILT. N-values are very good. Allowable soil bearing pressure of at least 5000psf are available. The soil will probably hold a vertical cut unless it rains. the soils are highly erodible and not very permeable.
This photo is looking west/northwest. The house site is on the flat top of a large hill.
The soils were very uniform. Soils were dry in the upper 4 to 5 ft and then moist. One boring nearest the woods near the discharge area for the basement or floor drain encountered very dense disintegrated rock around a depth of 15 ft. The soils should be great for a basement if we wanted a basement.
This panorama shows the old house in the trees and the barn in the central part of the view. the roadway in the foreground it the entrance road. The right of the photo is north. the barn and house are northeast and the left side of the photo is west. The section of pipe in the left foreground is leftover form the driveway project.
The left edge of the panorama below is probably west/southwest. The sun is probably towards the south. Note the house site is at the top of a big open field.
The property is bounded by the Piney River (south) and the Tye River (east).When its warm we have picnics and cookouts at one of the beaches on the rivers.
This is one of our favorite beaches. This photo is taken from the opposite bank of the Piney River looking towards the beach. To the left is the deepest point we have found on the Piney River.
This photo is taken from the beach site looking towards the flat rock in the other photo. We never seem to have bathing suits and we always seem to get wet. Especially if its warm enough.
Our picnic sites are pretty primitive. Any flat spot next to water will do. I really look forward to developing some of the beach sites a bit more. I can imagine some well established fire pits and some seating. All of our beaches are in the flood plain and are subject to significant flooding.
This is a view looking northeast from the old house. The first property is the McCarthy's property. This property is in land use. they have reserved the opportunity to build another 4 or 5 dwellings. The land behind the near tree line is owned by Carroll Napier and his family. Carroll raises hay on our fields and does some bush hogging for us. He looks out for the property.
This is also a view from the existing house. We will use the existing house as a construction office and then demo it and build a new reception cabin in its place. The existing house may predate the civil war. We hope to find someone to recycle the wood in this structure. We anticipate finding some insect damage and wear on much of the wood in this structure. The building in this view is an old smoke house. We will try to preserve this structure.
One of our favorite places to go is the hugging tree. This is an old birch tree. We often bring visitors to admire the tree and help us hug it.
One of my favorite things to do at the farm or anywhere is to take pictures. Butterflies, sunsets weird things... We really need a nice office space for photo and computer equipment. We have decided NOT to install a desktop. We will install a printer/copier/scanner and a separate photo printer. We expect everyone to bring their own lap tops. We will want the best internet available but do not expect too much. Cell phones work well at the house site so there is some connectivity.