Our new "old" barn - built from two old barns, one of which was my Dad's.
Our new “old” barn – built from two old barns, one of which was my Dad’s.
The Chicken Coop
Willie – The Farm’s Tractor
View Of The Barn Patio From The Upper Pergola Area
The View From Above The Garden
Some Of Our Pepper Harvest
Our 12′ Barn Table – built from old barn rafters and wood
The Upper Pergola

On September 4th, 2010, on a beautiful Friday evening – the little roar of a walk behind sickle bar mower came to life on an overgrown 3 acre property – and began what Mary and I call our dream, Old World Garden Farms.

It took us that entire weekend to get the land cleared, and for the remainder of that fall and winter, we began to plan our little farm.

Our History

We both came from great families who gardened, and both have fond childhood memories of working alongside our parents in the garden and kitchen. We remember homegrown meals, and great winter dishes made from the food we grew and canned in the summer. We both loved it, and strive to once again create a household that embraces those values responsibly. Simply put – to do things the best way possible for us and the land.  Nothing more – and nothing less

We built our first “farm building” in the early spring of 2011  – our chicken coop.  We made the coop from recycled shipping crates and pallets – and it became home to our 9 newly hatched hens.   Those 9 chicks grew into our “girls” – who now provide our family and friends with farm fresh eggs each day.  Later that spring the garden space was created and planted – and using our raised row, no-till system – we  harvested over 2000 lbs of produce the very first year.

From there on out – we just continue to work at the dream – building the farm one recycled project at a time.  We built our compost bin system from recycled pallets, installed our garden pergola and patio with reclaimed brick, and completed our biggest project to date – the building of our farm’s barn from two old recycled barns.

We are committed to a more simple approach to life and the farm, conserving the resources we consume, and being responsible for the food we eat.  In 2012, we added a rain water reclamation system to the barn using recycled water totes, planted a small vineyard and orchard – and doubled the size of our garden.  Our  long-term dream is to put a  house on the property, perhaps a little winery – and a little cabin for a bed and breakfast.  But more than anything else…to always have fun in what we do.

We have tried to incorporate simplicity and responsibility into every facet of “The Farm” – following 4 simple guidelines.

1. To build a completely sustainable farm with zero debt.
2.  To be responsible for the majority of the food we eat through growing, canning and preserving.
3. To re-use salvaged and recycled materials wherever and whenever in our buildings and projects on the farm.
4. To make it beautiful, and have fun doing it.

You can follow along each week with us by signing up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column, “like” us here on Facebook, or follow us here on Twitter.

Jim and Mary

39 thoughts on “The History Of The Farm

  • August 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    WordPress suggested you to me, and voila! You have a similar farm and vision to ours. You seem to have more expertise with gardening too, so I’m going to try some of your ideas.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm
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    What zone do you farm in? We are in zone 4-5. I’m new to your blog, and am really enjoying it so far. Came here looking for cheap ways to stake tomato plants, and you have a great idea in your ‘stake a cages’ LOL. Love the name! Thank you for a great idea!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2014 at 11:33 am
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    Where is the farm located

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  • January 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm
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    Love your Jubilee 8N tractor! Watching for ideas to become more self-sufficient in our older years. Any ideas on how to make this work when you have to have someone else do the labor part of things would help. We are blessed with an active and friendly Amish community here and we’ve hired them to get our 100+ year old barn back into shape. Prayers and blessings to you!

    Reply
    • October 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm
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      According to the blog, the Farm is in Newark, Ohio, which is in Zone 6a. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • October 18, 2013 at 10:54 am
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    I just found your site. It sounds so familiar. Three years ago we inherited my homeplace. Three acres of prime central IN farmland, it has come a long way but there is not enough hours to get it where we want it to be. Everything is a work in progress. Our goals are similar. Build a self-sufficient farm that will feed my family and extended family on a shoestring. It all started with a shipping crate and a rusted out water trough repurposed into a brooder. Now the girls are laying in cat litter bucket nest boxes. Freecycle and craigslist has become a daily search.
    I thank you for your guidance and inspiration, I have already made several recipes from your site.
    Again THANK YOU!

    Reply
    • October 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm
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      Thank you so much for the kind words about out blog and it sounds like you are well on your way to building your own dream! Good luck and so glad you enjoy our stories!

      Reply
  • August 30, 2013 at 9:58 am
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    Dear Mary and Jim,
    I love what you have done with the property. It is my dream to do exactly what you have done. Mary, you a very lucky woman and Jim, you are a very lucky man. You each have a partner that supports and believes in what you are and want.

    Enjoy.

    Trish

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  • June 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm
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    I just visited your website thru hometalk and liked it!! Looking forward to visiting more!

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  • May 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm
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    Thank you! Thank you so much for sharing all that you do! And in such a practical easy to follow manner ( for us beginners/city slickers ). We inherited a veggie garden in our backyard 3 years ago and this year I was ready to pack it in and throw down wildflower seeds instead because of the relentless weeds and brutal clay soil! Then I found you…. I’ve learned so much and today my daughter and I finished building our raised row beds garden with straw walking rows.. I’m so excited I could burst!
    One question , for the truly clueless : )
    How does your compost get done if its always being added to? Or do you have to stop adding and let it ‘cook’?
    So grateful to you ( I’ve looked at many posts and read books too but find them overwhelming and confusing ). I feel success at my fingertips! And it is all thanks to you!!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2013 at 9:51 am
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    Just found out about you guys on Facebook and can’t wait to prepare the ground for next years garden. Is there someplace on here that tells you how to prepare the ground for next year and what kind of seeds you recommend? My grandmother used to do organic gardening and I loved the vegetables that came out of the garden.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
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    Happy anniversary!
    Just arrived to your site and enjoyed looking around -love the tips and suggestions. I appreciate and share your philosophy to life simplified – although I might have a few hippie tendencies 🙂
    I look forward to wondering around “The Farm” via the pages of Old World Garden Farm.

    Reply
    • March 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm
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      We love your website and check it almost daily…but wanted to let you know….older eyes such as ours…65-70….year olds…have a hard time reading on such a dark background….

      Reply
  • March 10, 2013 at 10:22 am
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    I just stumbled upon your website via Etsy. You have some really great and helpful DIY projects. Can’t wait to receive the Tuesday tips!!
    Quick question…. What’s the best way to keep critters i.e. groundhogs and bunnies, out of the garden?? Last year they feasted on my zucchini and cucumbers:(

    Reply
  • February 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm
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    I’m so excited to find your blog. We’ve just closed on a 10 acre property in the country. We leave behind a house in the small town of 25,000 with annoyingly close quarters. We move in exactly 1 week to a rental house 1 mile from our forever home. We w’ll be taking on a huge reno making the old farm house larger for us plus adding geothermal heat. My hopes are to salvage as much as possible to reuse. Let alone find other treasures someone else discarded to redo for my own. I am excited to explore more of your blog and thank you for making time to share.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm
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    Hi, I am interested in your step by step method of building the chicken coop. I tried several links and got pictures but no instructions to build the coop. Did you post building instrucitons or only pictures? Thank you.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm
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      Pat –
      We never did a step by step of the coop – but we are building our new one in the next few weeks and will probably do so for that one.

      Jim

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 9:22 am
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    wow your site is very very kool love all the info and pix helping us getting started with new projects and improving our lives ty so very much

    Reply
  • January 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm
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    Jim and Mary! With the weather forecast calling for 4″ of snow tomorrow it is refreshing to read your information on planting a garden! Can’t wait to get started but it may be a while since the garden plot is covered with snow! I think there is also a chance for frost for the next four months! Carly

    Reply
    • January 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm
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      Hi Carly!! So good to hear from you! It’s the thought of planting that garden that gets us through these snowy cold winter nights and days! Here’s to hoping we have a sooner than expected spring! Jim and Mary

      Reply
  • January 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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    Maybe I just haven’ read enough yet, but where do you guys have your amazing looking farm at? I thought I would try following your planting times if conditions were the same here in Kansas where I live. Love everything I have read so far. Thank you much:)

    Reply
    • January 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm
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      Hi Deidre – We are glad you like the site! We live in smack in the middle of Ohio, about 30 minutes east of Columbus. We can usually plant our garden outdoors around the 15th of May – sometimes a little sooner if we are feeling lucky 🙂 Jim

      Reply
      • January 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm
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        I found your site via pinterest, and ironically i too live east of columbus (pataskala area) . In the years I’ve searched the web I’ve never found someone living my dream so close to my home. It made it all more real to me that it is possible, thanks for renewing that faith in me. My husband and I are professionals with a child. He is the handy one and I’m the one who loves playing in the dirt. We hope to one day upgrade from our neighborhood livibg to real living.

        Reply
        • January 25, 2013 at 7:20 am
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          Amanda…wow…you are not very far at all from our farm! We wish you the best of luck on following your dream. If you would like, we would be more than willing to show you the farm when spring rolls around…just shoot us an email on the “contact us” button on the website. Good luck following your dreams!! Jim and Mary

          Reply
  • January 16, 2013 at 7:20 am
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    love your ideas and imagination. What an inspiration !! Look forward to more of your creativity.
    vernes

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  • January 8, 2013 at 6:59 am
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    Good morning from Costa Rica! I have been following you for about six months now and so enjoy the journey. My husband and I retired to CR 3 1/2 years ago and have ended up goat farmers/garden growers/chicken tenders and self sustainers in the making….whew….retirees! Have found your blog very helpful in our journey….thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm
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      So glad you found us and it sounds like you are “farmers” too! 🙂 Isn’t it funny how you work harder on your hobbies and loves than anything else! Jim and Mary

      Reply
      • January 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm
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        Hi Mary and Jim;
        I was following a recipe to your site and browsing yours you took me to my younger days. I grew up around animals and on my mother’s side the butcher and slaughter so to say (expertise) along with curing, smoking, and making sausage came over the Mayflower with them. To say all will probably be time consuming. Youre article about chicken reminded of some that were favorites and one bantum along with one of the geese and a duck all three of them if they ever see me would chase me and bite if they caught me. The other things that I will try was a recipe for Picanti Salsa and making homemade pasta. In Cornish N.H. the grandmother of Mary Tibedeau (sp. ??) came over from Italy and I was sent over to learn how to make several authentic dishes. She could no speak any English and Mary would translate some. At 8 years old I felt her large wooden spoon several times along with one set of Mary’s twins the pasta sauce was well worth doing and still raved about by almost everyone that has tasted it. Along the article (the red Pyrex bowl) I ended up with my mothers until I had shucked about a gallon of oysters that I got on my boat from my monthly trip to the Ocean. My 2 year old son decided he would help and pulled the bowl off the counter and broke it. The kitchen reminded me of some of my mothers the Admiral Fridge was probably the same only on the opposite side of the room and the stove was an Admiral but with a sunken ??? Burner on the front left side (I do not remember what was called but the pot and cover was heavy aluminum) and her standby Kalamazoo wood cook stove was to the left of it. There were many of the Friday Boston baked beans made with it. The last comment is on the pasta maker. It is in just like the one in my storage up in Huntsville, AL.. My mother ordered it years ago. My next effort will be to make some homemade pasta sauce (I know it will not be as good with store produce) and some homemade pasta. A rolling pin and knife will have to work until I have the money to move the stuff in storage to Gautier, MS.
        Enough rambeling on. Again I love your articles.
        Sincerely Daniel Carey

        Reply
        • January 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm
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          Daniel –
          Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing all of the memories. We love hearing from others about their past experiences as well!! Good luck with the recipes and let us know how they turn out!

          Jim and Mary

          Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm
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    Just found your site today! We got approved by our bank for a purchase on an 18 acre home just this morning!! We are so excited and can’t wait to learn all we can from you guys. 🙂

    Reply
    • December 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm
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      That is so exciting!!!! We are glad you found us as well – and hope we can be helpful in the future – Congrats on the new house and homestead! Jim

      Reply
  • November 25, 2012 at 11:47 am
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    Hello Jim & Mary, love what you’re doing! You are living my dream. Was wondering if there was any chance of possibly purchasing a little “starter seed” of your ornamental peppers. Poinsettia, sangria??? I would love to get them started for my own garden. I live in North Olmsted on almost an acre. Would love to have a few chickens to add to my “little piece of heaven”, but don’t think the city ordinances allow them! Anyway, please let me know about the pepper seeds or where I might find a starter. Thanks again & I follow your blog & anxiously await new posts to see what you two are up to next!

    Vicki

    Reply
    • November 25, 2012 at 11:55 am
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      Hi Vicky – So glad to have you as a follower! We would be glad to send you some starter seeds (and dont worry about buying them 🙂 ) to get you started. When you get a chance just send us an email with your address and we will mail you some to get started with. Always glad to help out a fellow gardener! You will have to send along pictures next year when you get them up and growing. – Jim. You can email us at sales@owgarden.com

      Reply
  • November 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm
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    Fab new layout! I like, I like – and still following 🙂 Laura

    Reply

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