Ashley and I have agreed on a lot of things in our marriage and one of them was the importance of raising our family in the country, with land to explore and space for us to relax. We purchased 9 acres in 2009 in a small community outside of Columbia, S.C. but it took a while before we decided to embark on the journey of clearing the land, building a new house, and creating our home for our boys.
I created an entire blog to document our building process. Although my original intentions for the That New House blog were to offer a way for friends and family who weren't living close to by to see the house be built, it became a site that was useful to other folks who were interested in building a house similar to our's.
To learn more about that part of our lives, please take time to visit That New House. I no longer update it but you can see our experience in reverse chronological order with lots of pictures.
But I know not everyone wants to spend a day perusing a house blog, so here's a glimpse of our homestead's short history.
The land as it was when we purchased it:
Then we cleared it (our family is in the landscaping business so we have access to a lot of useful machines).
Once we started building in November 2010, Ashley's parents found three old barns that were going to be torn down on a farm five miles away. To give our land instant old-time character, we moved those barns to our place. Again, the heavy equipment is useful!
The house was framed up by Christmas--what a great present!
And we moved in the weekend of April 15, 2011, just in time to celebrate Easter and our second son's 1st birthday.
One of the main reasons I decided to create this new blog, Okra Hill Farm, is because I missed blogging about building our house--but at the same time, I didn't want to bog down our family blog with house happenings. Here I'll be able to share a lot more about our projects and the place we call home.
Oh and why is the blog called Okra Hill Farm? When we were building the house, we tried and tried to come up with a name for our land...Sandclay Hill, Picklebush Farm, Whippoorwill Hill, Hickory Hill...but nothing fit. Fast-forward to our first garden last summer. Among the cucumbers, zucchini, squash, eggplants, tomatoes, corn, our family's favorite crop was okra. It grew well and had a long season so we know that we'll plant it every spring. No, we have no intention of selling okra--it's just something we love to eat (and it's a beautiful plant, too).