Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Country Life - (And some more barn pictures)

We have owned our farm for a couple years now and lived here about a year and a half  and its really starting to sink in how rare it is in todays world that you can get the opportunity to live this lifestyle. We have been contacted by several people recently who are striving to get to a point where they can make the break from the city, check out from the stress of modern life, and where they can have a measure of self sufficiency. We werent raised on a farm, we mostly lived in urban areas growing up and in our adult lives but there was always a tug to the country and it was almost a fantasy to do this.

A couple days ago we went driving around to several places buying some meat from a meat processer, sight seeing, and enjoying a nice day and it really struck us how comfortable we have become in our rural life. Just going into the nearest big city (14K worth of population and nothing but bustle and hustle) makes us cringe and we avoid it as much as possible. On our rural roads we rarely see another vehicle and when we do everyone waves; you get into the cities and people are just like a hurry and most try to keep their annoymity. Despite all the doom and gloom in the news I am glad we live in a time where this lifestyle is still possible as its fast disappearing; I only wish we could have done this when the kids were small.

So here are just a few shots of a lazy day doing some brush hogging and driving around taking in the sights. Nothing exciting, nothing grand, just a slow day enjoying life. Peace.

These folks have a small place of about 5 acres that is neat as a pin. Their little barn is an older one but has been redone and supports a horse and a few pieces of equipment they use on thier place. Its just a classic look in a small package.

Another small barn that is more modern. I like it when someone chooses to build something new but tries to keep and old fashioned look. I can just picture a small tractor out front to complete the scene.

This old manure spreader was in good enough shape I would be using it for its intended purpose but these people have been creative and are using something that would otherwise be cast off and it looks nice.

This old barn was just out in the middle of nowhere; no roads leading to it, no electricity...just an old barn and still being used.

We literally have hundreds of these old abandoned homesteads within a few miles of our farm and our place was close to going this route when we bought it. Just take a minute to imagine what this place looked like when a family lived and loved in it. I hate that so many old places are ending up like this but the cost of renovations and the low reselling prices around here just dont lend themselves to keeping these places livable. You dont see many modern houses with this much character.

Our house is an Ozark stone house and you see many structures around here built in stone. It was cheap, durable, and slip form stone construction is relatively easy to construct. I wish we could take a peek inside.

Even the bigger dairies around here have numerous older buildings still being used. When we stopped to take this picture, there was no sound at all except the sound of the wind and a few cows in the distance.

The Ozarks is blessed with abundant water from natural springs and it is crystal clear and clean. This is a branch of the Osage Fork river and its teaming with fish and other wildlife.

There are thousands of unique bridges around here and almost all of them are in disrepair. Most have no guard rails, crumbling decking and a singificant number spend part of their time underwater during the rainy season. But we kind of like things the way they are thank you. It adds character and excitement to your drive.

Again, this picture of cattle grazing a harvested corn field is just an example of the simplicity of the area. Not much in the way of commercial corn grown around here and this field was likely dent corn grown for silage but its a peaceful scene we enjoy daily.

The Ozarks consists of mostly sedentary rock formations and a high amount of limestone which means we have many caves. This one is just a couple miles from the farm and is just one of a series in the area. Your not supposed to enter them now because of the bats and the bat guanno.

And another spring fed stream, clear, clean, and cold.

If you havent ever been in an old barn seek one out before its too late. There is something about the smell, the secrets, the treasures you typically find that fascinates me. I find new things in our old barn almost everytime I go into it.

When we got home I decided to work some brush clearing and brush hogging in part of one of the wood lots we are turning to pasture.

It was a bit chilly (about 50) but it was sunny and it was a pleasant afternoon to do this.

We had previously cut a lot of brush and limbed up trees and it had started to spread all over so I pushed it into a big pile for eventual burning this winter. We will leave some of it though as the brush piles are full of rabbits.

We are careful to maintain any new Oak, Hickory, or Walnut trees that sprout up as we are expanding our various woodlots but its important to keep down the brambles and weeds as they develop.

And there you have it...just a relaxing day in the country, our Ozarks.

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