We’re building a new yard! From scratch. Out of a bare field. Well not technically bare, because it has trees along the half mile of the quarter line.
While I was still in college, Kyle had the chance to buy a yard 5 miles from the town where he grew up. His scrap metal business needed space for equipment and he needed a space to work from.
The house wasn’t in great shape and the yard had some reworking to do. He tore the house down, tore out trees, planted new trees, planted grass, and built a new house. It’s been a work in progress since 2012.
After college, I got a job an hour from Kyle’s and lived with my parents for the next four years. It was closer and I was able to be at the farm after work.
Before getting married, Kyle and I discussed where we wanted to be. I wanted to be closer than 40 minutes from the farm and Kyle wanted to be close enough to the town he was currently at because Napa and Runnings. Priorities, right! Living in the middle of where Kyle was and the farm gave us close enough access to the school he wanted for his kids and enough space to not be on top of everyone at the farm.
We made a 5 year plan. In the 5 years after we got married we needed to sell the collection of 300+ junk cars Kyle had invested in and stacked at his yard, find land to build, and raise enough money to make it work. We’re a year behind our 5 year plan, but it took all these years for everything to line up.
Moving was always the goal. Driving 40+ minutes each morning and evening with the kids to the farm feels like such a waste of time to me. Oh what I could be doing with that time instead! Kyle’s priorities were first and foremost having a shop. For the last decade he has worked out of our house garage. Breaking air lines loose on the frozen ground and using heaters outside to thaw his gelled semis. He’s done plenty with no tools, no shelter and no floor. Anyone that has a truck knows the maintenance they take and it was time to get him a facility.
We looked at every single farmstead, row of trees, or anything that vaguely resembled a yard in the area between where we started and where we wanted to be. There was one yard we really loved, great location, great trees, and infrastructure. But the owners didn’t want to sell. Defeated, we went back to the drawing board. Which was really nothing. We didn’t have a planned next step. A different yard would come up for sale soon that would almost meet our requirements, but not quite. We passed on the opportunity hoping not to regret it later. Then a piece of land came up for sale. In the area we wanted to be. With a row of trees along the whole west side of the quarter. There was no water, no power, no existing infrastructure at all. It all happened so fast, we didn’t even really think on it before making an offer. Our offer was accepted and we’ve been finding a way to move forward since. Building from scratch comes with its own challenges, but also relief from endless stick picking after tearing out old trees and constraints left by old bury pits.
Which brought us to our current plan. Build a shop with a lean. We’ll have a breakroom in the lean with bedrooms upstairs for guests or future employees. This small space will be our home while we plan and build our house. Then we’ll use it for its intended purpose. The goal is to make it comfortable enough for our family for a few years, but not comfortable enough to stay.
The main floor will be an open kitchen, dining, and living area with an office, powder bath and laundry room. I see Kyle using this office when people stop in, I see all of us taking meetings in the dining room/conference area, using the laundry room for the laundry we’d rather than take into the house, and the kitchen will be perfect for meals outside. Not to mention the perfect shop party food headquarters!
Upstairs is 4 bedrooms, play room, and a bathroom that has doors between the vanity area, toilet room, and shower room.
The thought and intentionality that went into the design of both the lean and the shop was intense. Much of which we workshopped with many of you in DMs, so thank you! We hope this investment serves us now and serves many beyond us for years to come.
Progress as of June 2023
Kyle scraped the pad for the shop after learning how to use SD Drain. Early this spring before load limits Kyle and another truck hauled in loads of gravel to be ready to spread. Then this summer, Kyle’s employee has been hauling material in steady while Kyle spreads and levels with the scraper.
The concrete crew is almost done pouring and then we’ll have the first big item checked off the list as complete. We’ve also got a driveway that now actually looks like a driveway and new tree rows planted. Otherwise it looks like a construction zone in the middle of a soybean field…
The actual building itself is set to arrive in August and I have my hopes set (high) on being out of our rental by Christmas! We’re planning on trying to finish most of the lean ourselves because it’s been so hard to line up contractors, so our fate is in our hands. (TBD how capable ;))