A little while back I started laying out my tentative plan for the old farmstead. This plan has changed 800 times since I started it, and I know it will change 800 more times before it is finished, especially as I gain more permaculture knowledge and experience. (Yup, I changed it again! Here is the updated version…but read this post first!)
So what are you looking at here? This is the actual satellite photo that goes with our property listing on the county website. I downloaded it and opened it in Photoshop to create a more accurate diagram of our property.
There is a paved public two lane road along the front of the property. At the back of the property we have a nice section of rushing creek. That’s where our tiny house on wheels, the Bumbleshack, will be parked close to my tiny art studio/guest room, with a brick or paver patio (or whatever recycled material I can get my hands on at the time) in between. The art studio is going to be an Old Hickory Building just like this one in the photo to the left, except it will be painted white with black trim with a black metal roof (just like the color scheme of the building in the photo below). It will be a 12 x 16 foot building. Included in those dimensions is a 4 foot porch, which would make the interior size 12 x 12 feet for a total of 144 square feet. In order to avoid pulling a permit for the building, which I would prefer not to do, we would need to stay under 145 square feet. Perfect.
You can custom order your building with whatever options you want….windows, doors and lofts. You can pay cash for it, or you can rent to own over 3 or 4 years with a minimal down payment. They also deliver and set up your building for free. Ours will have a loft, much like the Bumbleshack, except it will be bigger and have a higher clearance (see photo below). Adults might actually want to sleep in it! 🙂 It will also have lots of windows since it is an art studio, including one that opens in the loft facing the creek. There will be two exterior doors, one on each end of the building, and the porch will face the creek. The Bumbleshack front door will also face the creek. This will afford us some privacy from the road, especially with all the gardens in between. We also plan to install a border of tall evergreens along the road for even more privacy. I just found some nice ones on sale, but I can’t install trees until we place the tiny houses. Boo.
We hired this awesome, fabulous, strong, multi-skilled guy named Lance Graves, who we found on a local Asheville exchange Facebook group called WAX or the West Asheville Exchange, to clear some of the property that had grown back since we had cleared it last winter (ugh). He also leveled the area next to the creek where the tiny houses will be going and more importantly, installed our 250 gallon springbox! Yes, that springbox that was haunting me! I couldn’t find anyone to build one for us, which seemed strange in this area of the country where everyone has a springbox. I guess they all built their own, but I was too nervous to do this considering the dangers of permanently blocking up our spring if we did it incorrectly. It turns out that in September we had over 480 gallons of delicious fresh, COLD spring water coming out each day from that spring! Wow! We were so ecstatic to discover this. If you would like to know more about our springbox and how it was installed, the cost, etc., please check out my blog post dedicated to the spring box.
Anyway, Lance has to come back and do two more days of work clearing some more land, building a rock retaining wall for the creek using rock found on the property (he’s good like that), and leveling and pouring gravel (that we also found on our property) over our parking area that you can see in my diagram to the right of the main house. Lance does great work, and he specializes in concrete, driveway and foundation work. Lemme know if you live in the Asheville or surrounding area and want his number!
The springbox will eventually have a concrete block springhouse built around it that I will use as a cool place to store food, in addition to the root cellar under the main house.
All of the red lines on my diagram are fences. I divided them up into sections so that we can install them gradually over time as we have money and materials. The wider red boxes are gates, and the black lines are walking paths. Our elderly neighbors, who have lived on this mountain for generations, have been mowing a path on our property for more than 30 years so that they can take their nightly walk down to the creek. So we included a pathway from their property onto ours to make their walk a little easier and a gazebo on the creek for all of us to sit and enjoy.
Besides the large garden areas that include veggies, fruit bushes, grape vines, flowers, fruit and nut trees, the composting area, an area just for the dog to run, and a couple of storage buildings, my diagram also includes a coop for the chickens in the garden area so they can help keep the bugs under control, a dairy goat barn, a small barn for a few horses and the bees of course. Not just honey bees. I want LOTS of bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. I want to get The Bumbleshack Farm certified as a National Wildlife Federation Garden for Wildlife too.
The main house has a front room with a separate entry which will become my art gallery down the road. It is right next to the parking area. Not open to the public, by appointment only of course 🙂
We will eventually have solar panels, hydro power and a windmill or two, and I’d love to incorporate some aquaculture into the mix somewhere. The main house is over 100 years old, 700 square feet and has not been lived in for over 30 years. This will be our final project. It will also have alternative energy, but it has to be grid tied to be legal. So we will sell our electricity back to the power company, which is a cute, friendly little county co-op. The septic system for the house has been permitted to go to the right of the house under the parking area.
So what do you think? What did I miss? Any other suggestions?
P.S. The blog has a new look. See all that artwork at the top? I did that. I also added The Bumbleshack Studio to the site. Go check it out.