Over the last three years we have embarked on several phases of building the farm. It was difficult to know where to start and what order things should be done. We chose a local Landscape Architecture company and sat with the architect, telling him all the things we’d dreamed of having on the farm: a vineyard, an orchard, a vegetable garden, animals such as sheep, bees and chickens, and a restoration of the native prairie grasses and wildflowers. We left him alone to work on it and came back a few weeks later to look at his hand-drawn vision.
This turned out to be a marvelous start! He incorporated all the things on our wish list, and threw in more that we had not thought of. Best of all was the farm pond. A pond?! That had never occurred to us, but he explained that it was a good backup plan when you have a well and animals. He also drew in proposed locations for the barn, the house, and the rough placement of trees and gardens. This will be a very long-term plan. We worked out a deal to pay the architect up front for the plan so we wouldn’t be tied into buying supplies or services from his company unless they stood up well to competitive bidding.
Having a master plan to look at and dream about was a great first step in the project. It planted the seeds in our imagination that have germinated and sprouted into little steps and additions each year to begin filling in the components on the picture. Many of these take years to grow and mature, so we needed to plan ahead to give these a head start – limited only by our free time and budget.