We have recently made an announcement that High Point Farms has purchased one of our neighbor's houses and we are in the midst of converting it into future "guest lodging"; i.e The Bluebird Cottage. We went from purchase, to planning its renovations, to some light demolition, to some reconstruction, and beginning to complete our phase one. As I wait just a bit for our "reveal" photos, I thought it tmight be interesting to take a small journey back in time a bit - to show you where the farm has come from - prior to its makeover as well as the old farmhouse. Now that we have 3 years under our belt, I feel like I can show the before and after pictures and tell a bit of the story.
Let me start with the farmhouse. The above picture is what the farmhouse looked like in the mid-70's when my parents first purchased the farm. Their initial plan was to renovate and expand the farmhouse but after pulling off the back lean-to part of the rear of the house, they discovered some structural damages that were going to cause too much of a challenge - so they opted to build a new house instead. Here are a few of those early farmhouse pictures - the one on the left shows the back of the farmhouse as it looked at the time of purchase. The photo on the right shows where the lean-to porch and bathroom coming off of the rear of the house had been removed revealing many of its structural issues.
After my parents went to their Plan B, the farmhouse just "sat" for years.The back torn off area had been boarded up to "stop the bleeding." It became more or less a storage building for old furniture and such. Even when I got married - we opted to build our own farmhouse on a far corner of the farm property. Again - years passed and the farmhouse continued to sit. We would patch the farmhouse roof, replace some doors, do what we could to keep the farmhouse standing - hoping that somehow, someday, we would have the resources to tackle something more significant..
The farmhouse became a backdrop of the past. Some people would tell us " you need to just bulldoze down that old house!" while some would lament "you should restore that old house - it has history with so many various families from the valley." We always had hope that someday - we would be able to restore it....in the meantime, I was busy raising my kids and had plenty on my plate besides a major makeover of the farmhouse.
Nine years ago, a twist of fate happened. Jill (my daughter and partner in thiswedding venue) decided to get married here at the farm. She wanted to get married out in the hayfield under the shadow of Lookout Mountain - and she said we would have the reception in the barn. Back then - barn weddings were barely heard of. We were not the first but it was very uncommon and none near here that I am aware of. With the wedding being held in the front field - we decided a little sprucing up of the farmhouse would be in order...and little did we know then that this would be the beginning of more than their marriage but the beginning of a huge change for our families and of the farm.
More to come as the story continues with the transition of the barn - watch for Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come - Part II.
Hallelujah! Spring is here and the color comes instant and vibrant. You just tend to forget about that unique shade of green that happens only in the spring but it is stunning when it arrives. Like a breath of fresh air or more likely like seeing an old friend after a long wait - but spring is finally here at High Point Farms. Not only is the grass green but our vintage pear trees have bloomed in full again this year - meaning another bumper crop of pears for our old ladies of the farm.
We have blooming bushes - forsythia and such. We have perennials popping their heads up around the barn. I must say that our old barn just instantly has a facelift now that spring has arrived. Now...brides can so much easier see the beauty of the place.
So, enjoy a few pictures of the place. We have friends riding horses, Tucker playing in the tall grasses, and new projects being completed. Hopefully you can enjoy the transition with me.
Pictures are finally in - and all of us here at High Point Farms can say that they survived the huge Christmas snow. People often remark how quite it is on the farm - sheltered a bit from the noise of the highway. But when such a large blanket of snow sits across the property, it is quiet enough to put a baby asleep. Of course, the silence only lasts until the children run out in the snow to play.
Snow somehow turns regular objects into works of art. A fence post and page fence magically turn into a dazzling masterpiece - all because of the elements of the snow and the ice and how it straddles each tiny object. I will share a few of the better snow pictures we took and let you determine for yourself if they look magical or not.
THE DECISION: January is a month of new resolutions and fresh starts. Daughter (and co-conspirator) Jill and I have been batting around this new idea for months -the "if we did's" and the "what we could do's" and the "why and why not's" have all been chit-chatted about between each other and amongst the rest of the family. I guess we see the possibilities more than the downside because it appears as though we are moving forward with this new idea - to open up our farm to weddings and events! Thinking back, we really were surprised at how unique and extraordinary Jill's wedding in 2005 turned out to be. The farm looked great - the visitors were all floored by the effect - and it was picture perfect in so many ways. So, to tackle the details once again will require a very long to-do-list, some money for repairs, lots of time for renovations, and plenty of sweat equity from any and all family members. Jill reminds me that "brides are picking their dates now" so the clock is ticking. With a slew of baby goats being born over the Christmas holidays and the weather turning out to be one of the colder and snowier winters - the challenge has just increased ten-fold. The barn is still full of hay and plenty of critters. Mucking out the barn will come in time for we still need the shelter of the barn. But the short days of winter and the colorless hue of the farm in January forces us to remember.....remember how green things turn in spring - that special shade of green that only comes from the spring grasses - the joy as our old stock of daffodils are the first to bloom in early February - and to remember the beauty of that summer day in June 2005. Unfortunately - a newcomer to High Point Farms has no such memory. Luckily we have the pictures of Jillian and John's wedding to show off. We have so many more ideas now than earlier. We have had time now to mull over our new vision and we see the possibilities. Even all of our friends and family may end up being a bit surprised at some of our ideas...but for now, a shout out to all of the family - "All hands on deck...." and let's get to the list. Build a door?...pull up a fence?.....clean out the tack room?.....let's begin.