Today marks the 1 year anniversary of our blog.  So we thought for today’s anniversary post – we would feature our favorite project of the last year – our recycled barn pergola and patio.

We started with some simple 4 x 6 beams
We started with some simple 4 x 6 beams

Everybody always seems to have that one spot in their yard that becomes their favorite.  Maybe it’s the view from your back porch, a bench in the garden, or sitting under your favorite tree. For us, it’s enjoying time on the patio of the barn pergola.

There are a lot of reasons it’s our favorite. For one – it has great views of the entire farm.  Sitting on the patio you can see the upper pergola and flowerbeds, the chicken coop and garden areas up behind the barn, as well as the hillside planted with grape vines, and apple and cherry trees.  

It’s also our place to rest and sort vegetables after picking, play cards with friends, enjoy a meal straight from the garden, or sit with a glass of wine or cold beer to watch the sun slowly set to the west.

The reclaimed brick patio nears completion - progress now extends out past the posts
The reclaimed brick patio being installed

But beyond those obvious reasons – the barn pergola is our favorite because it represents the heart and soul of what we try to accomplish at the farm. We have tried to base the farm on creating something new and lasting from something old –  to re-use and recycle, live simple, and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer.  To us, the barn pergola patio area is just that.

The patio is made from reclaimed bricks from my dad’s old barn floor, which he first reclaimed from an old railroad station.  The posts and many of the purlins we cut for the overhead beams of the pergola were left-over rafters the barn roof.  

The sliding doors to the barn were crafted from reclaimed barn floors.  The plants that fill the surrounding landscape beds are all transplants and divisions taken for free, and the outdoor kitchen is made from recycled roofing and lumber.  Even the patio tables and chairs are a “rescued-from-the-trash” project that Mary completed.

The pergola patio has become a great place to spend with friends and family
The pergola patio has become a great place to spend with friends and family

The barn pergola was our first “fun” project of the farm.  It wasn’t a necessity like the barn was for shelter, or the garden and compost area for food.  The barn pergola is simply a place we enjoy – and always will.  Much like we have with the blog.

When we started with the blog a year ago – it was honestly a way to keep ourselves motivated and a way to chronicle the building of our dream.  

We began with a few articles and followers – most of which were friends and family we coerced into following :).  But for some reason – it has grown and it continues to do so.  

Yesterday, on the eve of this post, we passed the 400,000 visitor mark, and added our 5,000th follower.

 In fact, there are many days where Mary and I are amazed that so many people want to follow along.  For whatever the reason, I can tell we you that we enjoy every minute of it.

We would like to thank everyone who follows along, comments and shares their own stories with us, as well as share our stories with others.  

We have grown to love working on the stories and projects almost as much as we love working on the farm.  Here is to another great year at the farm – and to a lot more sunsets underneath our favorite pergola patio!

Jim and Mary



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