Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

The Farmyard and More Junk!

Mary ConleyOur acreage was created by cutting off the house and farmyard from a much larger, old-fashioned farm. The buildings were ruined or nearly so, by age and neglect. All eleven of them. Even the quaint red barn featured in the advertisement had a sagging roof with holes, and rotting siding. Most are arranged in a semi-circle around the house - starting with a brooder house, huge chicken house, grain building, machine shop, barn, hog house, etc.  

Our plans, at the time of purchase, were to clean out the buildings, save a few, and raze the rest. The problem would be the left-over cement foundations. We already counted three from previous buildings. No use thinking ahead too much. The whole place was full of an unbelievable amount of junk and such a disaster. It did have potential and we were out to save it.

We refer to that first year at the farm as the "cleanup" year. We didn't have a tractor, so we did it manually with the help of wheelbarrows that were left at the farm. Also, some family help.


Larry: "You can never have too many wheelbarrows!"

When we cleaned up an area, the mess went to one of these places:
The loft: For storage and future use. (Top floor of one of our buildings. We had to clean it out first.)
Junk pile: Behind a building for pickup and recycling.
Burn pile: We burned straight through several weekends.

Burn Pile

We burned all weekend for several weekends.

Moving Furniture

Grandson Josh and son Perry headed for the burn pile.

Unbelievable junk:  From both inside and outside of buildings, in fields, anywhere and everywhere, we found nearly everything that furnishes every room in a house, a playhouse, a yard, you name it. Thankfully I made a list and have pictures as our memory is fading. The things we found were in such bad shape, it wasn’t difficult to decide to get rid of them.  However, our musical grandson, Josh, found it difficult to burn a once beautiful piano. Too bad the wood had gotten wet. I did save a panel which is now in the living room.

Salvaged Wood Panel

We saved this panel, and it is hanging in our living room above the couch.

There was so much to do, we could pick whatever suited us at the time. One of our first goals was to be able to look out any side of our yard and not see junk, so after the yard, we would clean up the backside of the farm buildings. Other times we might choose the inside of a building or around a clump of trees.  We always left the farm looking better than when we came. On leaving, often before we got out of the lane, we were excitedly talking about next time!

11/5/2013 2:07:03 PM

There is nothing like cleaning up your own place to make you sleep better at night.....or maybe I just get tired when I clean? lol

11/3/2013 2:53:44 PM

Yes, Dave, we did! As I'm reminiscing, it brings that to home! If you keep reading, you'll get the up to date version one of these days and see our wonderful little place! I"m glad our blogs bring back your good memories. Thanks for commenting!

11/3/2013 9:04:12 AM

Mary, you really did buy a fixer upper. The last farm that Dad bought was similar. I kind of like going through all the junk that had piled up in the buildings over the years. Today that stuff would have been worth a fortune but 50 years ago it was .... well junk. It took a couple years to get things relatively normal. By then it was time for me to leave the farm and wander out into the world to find my fame and fortune. Ha, yeah, boy, did I get a rude awaking. Mom and Dad kept that farm another 20 years before giving it up and moving to Las Vegas. ***** Have a great junk burning day.

10/31/2013 12:43:37 PM

Yes a big challenge but im over coming it. We have a pick up once a year that will allow you to dispose of tires. Most of them went there and others we gave to people that wanted to use them for decoration and planters.

10/31/2013 6:12:58 AM

Chelsey, you were pretty brave or sure taking a chance moving into that mess! Did you/how did you get rid of all those tires? When you described the place, it triggered a challenge in me. Is that what happened to you? It is good he is allowing you to clean it up. You go girl!

10/30/2013 11:14:37 PM

I think your right, when its clean im happy. I cant stand stuff out of place. I get it from my grandma haha. Im only 25 but my friends swear im 40 on the inside. But to give you an idea, there was probably around 25 used tires, 5 broken and taken apart lawn mowers, and buckets full of rusty nails that this man swore he would use one day, 3 years later he has yet to even use one with a hint of rust that I have seen lol. Inside the house was almost just as bad lol I found store flyers from 2008!!!! Im like honey, im pretty sure you missed the sale :) so ive gotten almost all of it cleaned up and have convinced him that if it doesn't fit in his big garage or he hasn't used it in a few years he probably doesn't need it :)

10/30/2013 9:09:13 PM

Thanks for commenting, ladies. Yes, A, your example is a good one. Much satisfaction! Chelsey, you just made me laugh! I can see that you are going to have to GET THAT JUNK OUT OF THERE in order to be happy!!!

10/30/2013 5:43:47 PM

This sounds like my house. I moved in with my fiancé and apparently him and his ex wife kept everything. I mean everything. I couldn't stand it. He still has crap in the yard im trying to go through and get rid of. Its just crazy. I told him all I wanted was a nice yard there was no need to keep so much junk lying around. I don't know why, maybe how I was raised, but I just cant stand junk!

10/30/2013 2:14:32 PM

Wow! What a lot of junk! I bet it was hard not to feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, more fun to do when you see such progress--like vacuuming or dusting a very dirty room, it brings much satisfaction.