The past few weeks have been a busy few weeks on the farm. The time came to move the chicks to a coop in the pasture.

True to our style, we constructed the coop out of reclaimed wood and materials.

We made the frame from old barn wood.



And the coop is mobile.


With three, yes that’s right, three, handles for carrying ease.


Easing it up the hill was a testament to the strength of the deck screws.



And then it was time to raise the roof!


And voila, move in ready!


And now, everybody is safe and sound.






Last summer, working through a forestry manager, we hired Hiwassee Timber Co to harvest timber from the property. The timber company couldn’t work during the autumn and winter and returned last week to continue the job.

They are incredibly meticulous at their jobs and wonderfully kind people (Ashley, nimble with a chainsaw and the skidder driver, brought us homemade strawberry jam, bread and butter pickles, and her pickled okra recipe after we offered a batch of our famous choco-rific cookies).

Seeing and hearing the trees fall from the woods is at times heart-wrenching, but there is also a dignified elegance in watching the choreography of the machinery. This video was filmed over the first two and a half days of this season’s harvest.

The harvest will probably last another several weeks, and when all is said and done, about 25% of the total property will have been cleared. The newly cleared land will eventually be used as pastures and orchards, exactly as it was used several generations ago.

When It Rains

When it rains, some folks might be inclined to curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and listen to the lovely sound of the water on a metal roof. Around here, however, we are more inclined to dress in bright yellow slickers and go for a long, contemplative stroll in the clearing of the woods.


Since we eventually want to build a system that maximizes the property’s natural water supply, these long walks in the rain are necessary to follow the water’s flowing patterns.

A property-wide rain water harvesting system is a tremendous project that will take many years to plan and implement. However, every large project can be broken into smaller pieces. And the best way to begin any endeavor is simply to start.

So we started.

The most logical place to begin our project was to create a small system by the barn to water the vegetable garden.

We acquired a water tub and found the appropriate connections and extensions to run the water from the barn roof to the tub.





Lo and behold, after one light rain (~ 1/2″), the tub was almost full.


This water was emptied into a reservoir by the garden, and soon after, the newly sprouted squash received a lovely drink.




One Man, Two Sawhorses

We wanted to have a structure near the vegetable garden to store tools and possibly double as a greenhouse. A neighbor had said they had something that might suit our needs. It was perfect, so we loaded it in the truck and brought it home.

After assembling it, we looked up the manufacturer and set up information online. The manufacturer recommends having 4 people set it up. How many people set up ours?

One man, and two sawhorses.*


*Old Sands Place does not condone going against manufacturers’ wishes. Not following instructions and recommendations can often lead to dangerous situations. OSP got lucky. This time.