Allow me to paint a romantic picture of our journey on our homestead. Our video provides a stunning bird’s-eye view of our little world, showcasing the orchard and greenhouse, among other areas.
Our first priority was to create a private oasis where we could build a world of our own. Karl constructed the 10×60 foot Long Shed, where I now have a lovely potting area and he has his wood fired sauna. I planted a beautiful lilac and cotoneaster hedge to establish a barrier between us and our neighbors to the east. It took years, but the hedge finally filled in, thanks in part to the birds who helped plant choke cherry trees and other local plants.
Our orchard started as a dream when we discovered a private school in Ronan, Montana selling fruit trees for $5 each if you bought 20. We jumped at the opportunity, buying 20 trees every year for five years. Today, our orchard is filled with pears, apples, Asian pears, cherries, and plums – a delicious testament to our hard work.
When we first moved in, we bought all our plants from the Ace Hardware store in Ronan during the greenhouse’s closing season. In one truckload, we discovered six hazelnuts, a nut we had never grown before. It took a few years, but now we roast fresh hazelnuts in the fall, an absolute treat that brings us back to the early days of our journey.
However, my favorite place on our homestead is the courtyard. We’ve always been enamored with the cozy courtyards of the southwestern United States, so we set out to create our own. Protected on all sides, our courtyard is a microclimate that’s perfect for planting. It’s a private space where we can savor life’s simple pleasures, surrounded by the beauty we’ve created. If you’d like to learn more about our courtyard, please explore the Garden section.