Our 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.
We burned all weekend for several weekends.
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.
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!