It’s hard to believe, but 9 nine years ago this weekend, we cleared off an overgrown 3 acre field to start Old World Garden Farms.

The date was October 15th, 2010.

Armed with only a rented 36″ wide, self-propelled sickle bar mower, we took turns making passes to cut down brush, weeds and small trees that towered over our heads.

How it all looked on October 15th, 2010. The picture hardly does it justice. The brush in this field towered over our heads and was filled with ground hog holes, small trees, and who knows what else!
The same view, take in late summer of 2019.

At that point in our life, all we had was the dream. Along with a willingness to try, fail, and try again, and have fun with it all.

The Dream Of A More Simple Life

All we really wanted was a space to grow some of our own food. And more importantly, to simplify life.

So what was in that dream? Well, it started with a big garden to grow fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and more. And a small chicken coop to raise a few chickens, along with a bee hive or two for fresh honey.

Old World Garden Farm - 2011
Early 2011 – Putting in a driveway to the bottom of the hill. No plants. No grass. Just a lot of mud!

It also included a small orchard with a few few fruit trees, along with a few grape vines as well. After all, if we were dreaming, we might as well be able to make a few bottles of homemade wine someday too!

And of course, a little barn, and hopefully someday, a little house to make it our homestead.

9 Years Later…

Somehow, with a lot of blood, sweat, and more sweat – all of those dreams and more came true. And by the way, yes, there were certainly tears too. Usually of course whenever the blood appeared! 🙂

And in the process of it all, Old World Garden Farms was created. We thought we would take a look back at it all today with a few before and after photos that best tell the story.

The farm in the early spring of 2019.

For any who have “traveled” along with us on the blog for the last 9 years, we would love to hear from you in the comment section at the end today to help us celebrate the day.

One thing is for sure. We have enjoyed every step of the way!

Old World Garden Farm Turns 9 – A Look Back At Nine Years Of Photos

The Front Entrance In 2012

Wow! We both forgot until looking at the picture below how bare the entrance was back in the day! We had to first bulldoze a bit of the front hill down to create the driveway. And from there, it was transplanting as many plants as we could to fill it all in.

The front entrance to the farm as it looked on March, 2012.

For our very first address sign, we used an old recycled window from one of the barns we tore down. It worked perfectly until a rock from the road found it’s way through the glass!

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The entrance today with a few more plants, and a more “permanent” sign.

2011 – The First Raised Row Garden

We had no tiller, no tools, no water and no electricity. But that didn’t stop us from planting our first garden in the spring of 2011. We piled up straw and grass, and added a bit of soil on top to create our first garden.

The very first garden in 2011. At least we had a compost bin!

It turned out to be a good thing we didn’t have that tiller. Because it all led to creating our first no-till, raised row garden. And that garden produced over a couple thousand pounds of vegetables in it’s very first year – and the Raised Row, No-Till Garden was born!

Here is a look at it this past growing season, with a late summer video tour as well. The garden has certainly come a long way.

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The garden in mid-summer, 2019.

The Pergola – 2011

It was our first “us” structure at Old World Garden Farms. We had installed the small chicken coop for the chicks, but needed a place to sit and relax after working in the garden.

And with no power or tools at the farm, we built our first pergola piece by piece at our house. And then brought it to the farm to assemble in place.

The pergola area in 2011.

As you can see today, it still stands proudly at the farm. Although it does now have a lot more plants and landscaping around it! We still love to sit under it to have dinner, or simply enjoy a few quiet moments at the farm.

The pergola area, 2019.

Building The Barn – 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018

In 2011, we tore two old barns down to attempt to turn them into one barn at the farm. It was quite the undertaking for two rookie builders, but somehow, and with a lot of help from friends and family, it happened.

One of the barns we tore down to create ours was my Dad’s. One that he had tore down 40 years prior to make his own barn.

We have since added on two side covered patios, and put a new addition on the back. ( Hence, all of the building date above 🙂 )

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Building the barn, one recycled piece at a time!

It remains the center of activity for nearly all of our events at the farm. And, it will always have a special place in our hearts.

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The barn as it looks today.

The House – 2016

In 2016, we started construction on the final dream at the farm, to build our 1054 square foot simple house. With the incredible help of Weaver Barns, who framed the entire exterior, the house quickly took shape.

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The building of the simple house – June 12th, 2016

We spent the rest of the summer installing shiplap, painting, staining and finishing the interior. And in October, we finally moved to the farm for good!

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The Simple House in the summer of 2019.

Taking On A Few “Special” Projects

One of the things we have learned most in 9 years is to never fear failure. And to keep working until you get it right. And that has always been the case with all of our “special” projects at the farm.

Here is a final look at a few of the completed “extra” projects built over the last nine years.

The Fire Pit – Completed 2013

We love our little stone fire pit! Built from rock from a nearby quarry, we use this almost weekly. Either to cook meals – or simply enjoy an evening outdoors.

The Outdoor Pavilion – Completed 2017

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It took 30 loads of fill dirt to build the hill, but we use our outdoor pavilion for almost every meal in the spring, summer and fall. It truly is our outdoor living space!

The Pizza Oven / Outdoor Kitchen – Completed Late 2017

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The DIY outdoor kitchen project took us nearly all summer to complete in 2017. But block by block, and brick by brick, it happened.

The Off Grid Cabin – Completed 2019

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Completed in 2019, this is one of our all-time favorite projects. Converting a 10 x 14 shed into a little mini-cabin at the farm – complete with solar power.

We hoped you enjoyed the little trip back in time as much as we did.

Here’s to many many more years to come at our little Old World Garden Farm! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

As always, feel free to email us at thefarm@owgarden.com with comments or questions. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. This article may contain affiliate links.

Happy 9th Anniversary Old World Garden Farm! 9 Years Of Photos

5 thoughts on “Happy 9th Anniversary Old World Garden Farm! 9 Years Of Photos

  • October 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm
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    I loved looking back at this! I just want to let you both know how much I’ve enjoyed and been helped by finding your site! I haven’t been from the beginning but for several years now, perhaps 5 or 6. I’ve been totally amazed at how much you’ve accomplished in that time, plus doing the blog, recipes, speaking engagements and book! It’s been very motivating and I’ve learned so much, one being using worm casings for my flowers! I have beautiful flowers every summer! I admire you both so much and although don’t know how you do it all, I’m glad you do! I’m enjoying following along with your amazing camping trip! Safe travels and my prayers!

  • October 13, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    I drive by your place almost weekly and have been so curious about your place!! Thank you for sharing!!
    Lisa Kaufman told me about your journey that I am following now!!
    Wish I was on the journey with you, but since that is impossible I am thoroughly enjoying being with you on FB!! Happy travels!!

  • October 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm
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    What a joy you must feel in all you have accomplished and shared with others. Thanks for all you inspiration you have shared. Hope to see many more years to come.
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  • October 13, 2019 at 9:34 am
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    Love the idea of raised gardens. How do you keep the critters out? I have squirrels, rabbits, voles and other critters that a rabbit wire fence and garlic are keeping them out.

  • October 13, 2019 at 9:16 am
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    Congratulations for your anniversary! I have been following you from the start. I love everything you have done, I have learnt so much from you all about gardening, and have copied almost all of your recipes. God bless, and keep up the good work!!!

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