This place is our hidden paradise
That is the first thing we hear from visitors. From the road, you can barely see the house and just the top of the barn. The road frontage is packed with trees, giving us privacy and sanctuary from any bustle coming from the nearest tiny town. Among the trees you can barely see our home and even in these photos, can't see the 1860's farm house.
4.65 acres of opportunity
While driving down the tree lined driveway the huge, bright gardens draw you in right away. Including the stunning water feature with a pond, stream and waterfall. Then the large barn captures your attention with its huge dual peaks. As you curve the driveway, you see the hay fields, forest and open fields. When you're pulling in you can barely notice all the land past the orchard, beyond the chicken coop just waiting to be transformed.
This place had been minimally maintained for the years prior to us moving in and the last year basically vacant. The couple that lived here needed to say goodbye due to medical reasons and over the years couldn’t keep up with the demands of the property and nature. The result for us is an incredibly over grown forest, orchard and gardens.
For those 20 minutes we were here before falling for this place, I was against the gardens. In hindsight, I can't even. Inheriting someone else's garden - who knew what they were doing - is a gift beyond words. It seems like every week, we're hit with the next wave of flowers and colour in the garden, it's completely captivating. The hummingbirds have been loving it, and we love watching them.
We moved here in Nov 2019, and over the first 9 months have been slowly transforming this property and home into our own. The drone didn’t come until this summer, and so there has been a ton of work before any transitioning has been captured. About 25 trees have been taken down so far and 2 of those came down naturally!
We’re dreaming big over here as we pick off things to learn about the land and property, and as we continue our sweaty equity contributions for year 1.
Having a hobby farm has been a dream we put in motion about 6 years ago now. Fall 2019 we traded a trip to Costa Rica for a trip to Ottawa to go house hunting. With a job offer and a request to relocate, we needed to make a decision fast.
We knew we were attracted to the Ottawa area. After both growing up in Southern Ontario our whole lives, we had exhausted local adventures and spots to explore. The Ottawa area has a vast outdoor scene and a wonderful large surrounding community.
Living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, we had been through the real estate boom and luckily in before the curve. The prices for the hobby farm of our dreams, in 1hr drive from ‘home’ felt intangible - at least, not combined with the lifestyle we were looking for. Being house poor is not on my list of things to experience :) With this job offer on the table and an understanding of the Ottawa real-estate market, Mike and I opened the discussion over a drink - as usual.
Mike had been working as a logistics manager but actually took the leap and quit in Aug 2018. He had been taking a personal sabbatical then shifted to completely renovate our house in KW. This conversation came about 2-3 weeks after renovations were complete. The whole things is a bit serendipitous!
I was asking Mike to move for me - my job, my career to an area where we don’t know anyone nor have any local family. It’s a big life decision and while we have previously discussed it, I was asking to make the decision and action it in 60 days.The conversation was quick: We were in.
I wanted to pursue the career opportunity and we wanted a change in our home base. It came with huge grin from Mike with the conclusion: "So, we're buying our hobby farm?!"