acreage renovation: culverts

This is just one of the outdoor projects that we have worked on this summer.

At the front of our property are two culverts. They were overgrown with grass and had a mess of rocks of all sizes underneath.

They were almost impossible to keep nicely landscaped. We couldn’t mow the culverts because of the rocks, and we couldn’t easily expose the rocks because there was just far too much grass and weeds. Because it was one of the first things that visitors and neighbours would see, I felt like they were a negative introduction into an otherwise tidy yard and house. Something needed to change.

While my husband worked on a fire pit project, I decided that these two culverts would be my project. I began by digging up the grass with a shovel in order to expose the gravel underneath.

Once the grass was gone, I had around 6” of gravel to deal with. I removed nearly all of it, bucket by bucket, and spread it in other much-needed area on our property. Removing the grass and gravel alone took two days for each culvert. It was exhausting work.

Eventually, the ground had only a fine layer of gravel left. This I kept for drainage. I laid down plastic sheets in order to prevent unwanted grass and weeds from regrowing on the culverts. After covering a desired area, it was finally time for dirt.

As Geoff was excavating yards and yards of earth from the fire pit area, I asked him if he could leave it on the trailer until I was ready for it. He gladly agreed as he wasn’t sure as to where he would even put such large quantities. He ended up dumping four trailer loads of dirt onto the culverts. Spreading it evenly took another few hours, but I had help from two willing children who found it so fun to stomp on dirt mounds.

I took our wagon and went to my favourite rock pile just behind our property. There I gathered large rocks and small boulders and dragged them home. It took a few trips, but those, in addition to what I removed while digging up the grass, provided more than enough for the aesthetic aspect.

I did end up purchasing two wagon wheels from one of my favourite liquidation stores in Saskatoon. I had always wanted wagon wheels but had never really had an opportunity to use some. Lining the driveway with them provided me my first chance. I just love them!

I thought I had completed the project until a few weeks had passed and I noticed that weeds had started growing everywhere on the dirt. I spent an entire morning trying to weed the culverts but to no avail. I knew that I now needed to cover the dirt mounds with something- either gravel or mulch. I figured that mulch would be the quickest and least expensive of the two, and would still be really nice. Geoff purchased ten bags of mulch for me, and I set about spreading it. It was very easy, and smelled heavenly.

This project was a lot of fun to undertake. If you don’t like the way your culverts look, I highly suggest landscaping them!

Emory

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the fruits of my labour

With the change of the season came the need to harvest our gardens. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t plant as wisely as I could have. We moved to our acreage in early March and then created two small gardens from scratch. I planted vegetables late in the season in one, only to uproot them and move them all to the second one a few months later. My husband warned me that doing so would mostly likely kill them. It didn’t, but it certainly stunted their growth!

Negativity aside, everything managed to grow. It was just on the smaller side, or cute side as I like to call it. I was still able to get a haul of everything that we use in the kitchen daily.

Remy and I harvested some white onions, green onions, thyme, and bell peppers. We even managed to cut down one massive sunflower that grew from one tiny seed from the children’s festival.

The afternoon was bitterly cold, and our haul was on the tinier side, but it was a summer filled with growth. All of our hard work paid off in the end. I was able to learn a lot from my first two gardens, which will only benefit me next year! I will start my seeds earlier, plan better, and with Geoffrey’s help, build a larger and raised garden bed on the west side of our property.

Trial and error is never a bad thing. I still call this past season a successful one.

For any gardening tips please leave them in the comments below!

Emory

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acreage video tour

Hello! Today I am publishing a video tour of our new acreage. We have neither had the time nor money to make any real improvements to the interior yet, so I thought that it would be a great idea to document it now before we do! That way, I can see the changes over the years to come. It will also allow you guys to have a better understanding of our latest home. :-)))

I will add that received a few messages with my previous post regarding everything going wrong. What I failed to mention was that our home was actually a foreclosure, which means that we bought it in “as is” condition. This made us very nervous, but at the same time we would not have been able to get it as quickly as we did or for the price that we did. So, it was a gamble (but one that paid off in the end).

Enjoy the video, lovely people!

Emory

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meet you in meacham

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgThe spring edition of Kinfolk was dedicated wholly to the idea of home. Volume Eleven explored everything from living as one, to living in a full house, to being homeless, to being a wanderer, to furniture design, to home tours. One small section of the magazine explored four children’s ideas of their dream home. Each child described what their house would look like in one paragraph, which it was then built for them out of cardboard. I thought that this was such a beautiful and simple idea, yet one that was deep rooted with my own search for a new home. I was somewhat envious of the naivety of the children, yet found their imaginations to be extremely beautiful. I think the whole appeal of the article was geared towards the little kid in all of us.

The photo below is what my twelve-year-old self painted in my very first oil painting class. I stumbled across it very recently and very much by accident. Only after reading Kinfolk did I put two and two together and realize that I was doing exactly what the article was also exploring. I find it amazing that I had some sort of idea of my dream home before I was even old enough to consider owning any property.

BeFunky_photo-24 copy.jpg

Having already seen countless acreages, Geoffrey and I have turned our search to include homes on large lots situated in small towns outside of our current city. One particular home was located in the village of Meacham, Saskatchewan. With less than 100 people inhabiting the small town, to say that it looked and felt different from our current city of over 300,000 would be an understatement. However, that is what I find so tempting. As I grow older and am becoming more self aware, I notice that I seem to feel more at home in smaller towns that offer next to no amenities. I love the idea of living in a Tiny House, off the grid, in the middle of the prairies, and with a few acres for our animals. I would like to be young and mortgage-free, and to grow our own food and raise chickens, of all things. I want to live quietly with my small family amongst nature. I want to accomplish these dreams sooner rather than later.

Emory

The Flower Cottage
“I’d like to live in a normal little cottage with flowers on the roof. I’d invite my friends over all the time to make daisy chains and play I Spy. It would also have a nice kitchen. My favourite thing to bake is cookies and my oven would so big that I could make hundreds and share them all.”
– Willow, Age 6, Kinfolk

in search of our dream home

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgIMG_11.jpg IMG_12.jpgIMG_13.jpg IMG_14.jpgIMG_15.jpg IMG_16.jpgIMG_17.jpgOur search for an acreage is now in it’s third month. I gave first mention of our house hunting plans in this post here. What I have learned so far is that acreages are tricky. One may have a beautiful surrounding but a house that you could never dream of inhabiting, while the other may have the most gorgeous house sitting on a piece of land that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. Price is another issue in upon itself. The more space an acreage has, and the closer it is to a major city, the more expensive that property will be. Given the fact that my husband and I are trying to live mortgage-free either with this purchase of an acreage or sometime in the near future, our selection of properties has taken us to more than 30 minutes away from the edge of the city. In a province where half of the year the highways are covered in blowing snow and ice, this is not an ideal situation. 

The little grey acreage that I first showed had a recently redone home. It was stunning. However, it sat on 4 acres of bare land. There were no trees, grass, or a any fence in site. What was in site were your neighbours on either side of you. These photographs today are of another listing that we looked at. As soon as I saw it I immediately fell in love with the land. The house sat on top of a hill, which is rare for our flat, prairie province. Within the 10 acres were a handful of sheds and shops, a 800 square foot barn, fenced land, and a huge pond at the bottom of the hill. It looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. The inside of the house, however, looked like a Norman Bates setting. The house would inevitably have to be torn down and a new one built in its place. Yet, with its well water, oil heating, and being situated 35 minutes from the city, it would never become our dream property.

In the end, we will not be deterred. We will just have to keep on looking.

Emory

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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