House Update: Hay Progress

Irwin Weiner ASID - I promised to update D2S readers about the progress on our new home improvement project which started around Easter 2014 in New Hope, PA. It's a joy to work with IWI clients and help them beautiful their homes, but it's a nice change of pace to also be working on our own property. There is much that has been happening, starting with the hay field (about 7 acres) in the front of our property. On the April weekend when we officially took possession of the 12.5 acre farm, we saw our farmer out in the field spraying "something" on the hay that made the field look emerald green. Fertilizer? Water? Both?

On July 5, the hay was cut in the afternoon and sorted into rows to dry in the heat. On Sunday, July 6, the field was alive with tractors and balers and the hay was rolled into bales but most were baled as the traditional "long squares." We've got crops! 

Jay took some pictures of the process, and he got a bit of poison ivy as he moved closer to the action (wearing shorts). The farmer told us that we might get another cutting/baling this year if the growing season continues to be rainy and sunny/hot as it has been so far. More house progress to report:

  • We've reclaimed the little guest cottage on the property as our weekend home and will be living there while the main house gets remodeled. We've been adding lighting, painting walls, cleaning, and filling the space with items we've borrowed from friends and purchased at area flea markets and country auctions. Our vegetable patch is growing well, with two kinds of tomatoes, honeydew melon, cucumbers, herbs, and red peppers maturing nicely. We've already had some great tomatoes and have barbecued whole chickens, sausages, and burgers on the grill. It's been a wonderful summer!
     
  • With the help of Jeffry and his brothers, our new best friends from Honduras, we've been gradually clearing brush, limbing trees, cutting down dead trees, and burning debris in our favorite thing ever: a fire pit! The house is in an agricultural township that permits open burning of organic refuse, so we have huge bonfires every so often. We're shaping up the outside and maximizing the incredible views from the house, overlooking the hay field, our neighbor's corn field, and forested land all around. We have to pinch ourselves sometimes - we're only 5 minutes from all the action of New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ, but we're in the country. It's so peaceful, too, with the calls of wild turkeys and our neighbor's sheep being the only things you can hear on occasion.
     
  • The plans for remodeling the main house have been drawn up and we've met with several area contractors to bid out the job. In the meantime, we've cleaned the house, top to bottom, and will have a big "before" summer BBQ party for Bucks County friends and family on July 19 to officially kick off the project.

More progress to report in a few weeks. I hope you and your family are having a great summer, too!