First-time visitors always ask why we don't renovate the little old farmhouse that's slowly surrendering to gravity at the Would-Be Farm.
It's kind of cute. And the top-line is as straight as a ruler.
Well, we say, shouldering open the door so they can see for themselves, it's only about 20 feet from the road.
And the floor is collapsing into the cellar, which is –– in turn –– earth-to-earth returning. Things roll and gather in the low spots, including the signs of many a wild animal.
Base Camp –– a slightly tarted up camper-trailer that's perched on a bluff at the Would-Be farm –– has served our housing needs with economy. Five years into this adventure, the initial cost and renovations make Base Camp work out to something like $250 a year.
I've nannered on about Base Camp here. (Cliff Notes version: Jeff worked hard and I showed that white paint will cover a multitude of sins)
Cheap yes, Base Camp, but also an excellent starting point: there's a propane stove for cooking, a bathroom with a door, pressurized water, a solar panel that keeps the 12-volt batteries topped up, screens.
After we built a shed roof over the whole production, it doesn't even leak.
But there's one thing.
An elderly camper trailer has very little insulative chutzpah. Wind whistles through the windows. When it's chilly, an optimist would call it excellent sleeping weather.
But in the morning, when the time comes to emerge from that cozy nest of down-filled comforters, hot-water bottles, and wool blankets?
If it's 30 degrees outside, it's 30 dang degrees inside Base Camp!
While waiting for the little propane heater to take the edge off (in its vaguely hazardous way) one spring morning, I said to Mr. Linton, "Whatever else we might want, I think we start with a wood stove."
And so the Farm will be getting a dwelling. A Cottage. A Cabin. As the locals call it, a Camp. A Woodbee.
Something larger than a tiny house, but smaller than the average American home structure.
Say 600 square feet, not including a wide, big porch.
It proves a predictably nerve-wracking experience.
I send a check and got a description of the new well (420 feet deep! Dang!) and the pump. Months pass.
The contractor is abstemious with the photos, which might be a strategy for managing his customers.
The contractor replies "K!" And maintains radio silence.
For a Christmas present, my sister takes a field trip to the site and snaps some photos.