Initially, the number of tasks and amount of work that needed to be done at the farm overwhelmed most of Evergreen Bend Farm’s guests. It was not uncommon to hear, “Burn the whole thing down — start over!” or “I wouldn’t waste my time on this.”
Check out what our neighbor, who rents our pasture, had to say about our projects.
It was the rare guest who embraced the vision to restore the buildings. Despite the hopelessness and enormity of the task, Mark, Suzan, Chris and I were driven by a desire to improve the property. We used our individual skills to do our best.
Mark had a passion and need to begin work on the bank barn. He focused his time and energy researching methods, talking to barn builders, and using said methods and information to begin the process of straightening the barn.
Isn’t it hard to believe these are the barn experts who traveled from southern Virginia?
Chris contacted the Soil and Water Conservation District regarding cost share programs that would help provide us with fencing for a riparian buffer. A riparian area is a partially shaded strip of land that protects any streams, lakes or ponds from adjacent land use (i.e: a cow pasture and manure in the stream).
In the end, the planting of hardwood trees and lots of native vegetation around our streams and ponds will protect the Chesapeake Water Shed Area.
Suzan and I (Meghan) were intrigued by the oldness of the farm and collected cool treasures. Weeding out the garbage from the goods, whatever we found we tucked away to use in the future.
We all volunteered not only our own hands, but also our children’s for manual labor.
After some collaboration and team work, we decided on these top 5 projects:
- Use a D8 bulldozer to clean out the earthen hill that is pushing in the bank barn. With a complicated cable system, begin to stabilize and upright the walls of the bankbarn.
- Repair, secure and rebuild the fences. Initially, the cows thought they owned the entire property, as well as Aden Road and the Nokesville Community Park next door. Many times we, our neighbors and even local police caught them hanging around where they didn’t belong.
- Begin cleaning up the landscaping by removing overgrown bushes, weeds and trees. Kill the poison ivy! Create large piles of garbage and, without the use of a dumpster, eliminate the metal, wood and trash.
- Regarding utilities, participate in water testing and make a plan to get the electrical, plumbing and wells running effectively.
- Implement the plan designed by the Soil and Water Conservation District to begin planting hardwood trees.
Now that much of this work is near completion, we have recently created a future five.
- We will paint the dairy barn and pour a new cement floor in the the dairy barn.
- We will further stabilize the Bank Barn with cables and bracing, preparing to lift it for a new foundation.
- We will lift the garage, make a new foundation, and pour concrete for a future tool shed.
- We will remove cinder block piles and crush them into a gravel road.
- We will begin to install up to date electricity in the buildings.
We hope you will stay tuned for what’s next on the docket, or if your live nearby come see for yourself the continued progress. As we press forward and compete the tasks that seem never ending, we are grateful for the chance to restore this piece of history.