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    Microhomestead Update

    March 19, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    Well, my husband made good on his word {not that I ever doubted him}, and the patio is in! And it is beautiful, thanks to Emily’s talented husband. Si and I told him what we were thinking of as a plan, and he designed something so beautiful and perfect.

    But first, the patio foundation, which was poured by a wonderful man from our church. He had some help from his crew, who were all very kind to my curious children. Here is the finished slab:

    This has become a place where the children ride tricycles, bicycles, skates, and scooters. Si eventually hopes to have a different area for wheeling around so that this area can be filled with outdoor furniture and used for hospitality purposes, but as we own no patio furniture to speak of, the children have free reign and are enjoying every second.

    The week after the slab was poured, the lumber was delivered:

    The meticulous men organized all of the lumber in the twilight, and I couldn’t quite get my husband to stop for the photo, but our friend humored me! This is probably because I said, “Smile, this is for the blog!”

    Construction commenced with painting all of the lumber and then “shooting” in the bases. At least, that is what my firstborn called it. This is because the only way to “nail” anything into concrete is to…shoot the nail into the slab like a bullet with the help of a little gunpowder.

    My son was very impressed by the volume alone.

    After this, there was the framing and the tinkering and the bracing.

    And in no time, he was finished.

    Here is closeup so that you can see our friend’s pretty beveled edges:

    We have known Emily and Alif for years, but I never realized Alif was an artist. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your husband for a week!

    Next Project!

    This weekend, Si will till in my cover crop along with some compost, and I’ll be putting in my berry patch. Hooray!

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  • Reply Jennifer March 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, long summer days out on the patio! I love outside time to rid my children of all their wiggles. What a blessing to finally be able to enjoy riding around in the back yard.

  • Reply Gracie March 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I love it! Can’t wait to enjoy it with coffee and a good conversation! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rahime March 20, 2010 at 4:32 am

    It’s lovely!

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts March 20, 2010 at 3:17 am


    I remember you posting about your berries and it made me want my own to be planted!


    Blackberries sound nice! My long-term plan is to also have rhubarb, black currents, and olallieberries, but we will start with the easy-to-grow strawberry. πŸ™‚

    As far as fruit trees go, my son the future farmer would LOVE to have his own table at the farmer’s market. Right now we are not zoned for that, but things might change between now and when we’d actually have a surplus crop.


    Jasmine is an excellent idea! πŸ™‚ I hadn’t really thought about misters, but that isn’t a bad thought. We had those growing up and it really eased the summer heat.


    I have to tell you that the design was sort of “accidental” even though it turned out nice. It all started because we believed that we could avoid permitting if we did three separate freestanding units that were 15 feet or less in width. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true. So then we thought we’d just make it one big unit, but we liked the look so much we kept the tiers even when we didn’t need them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kerry March 19, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Oh, that is SO lovely! We are probably moving very soon and I had thought of doing something similar, but this is even better. I love the tiered design!

  • Reply Julia March 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Great patio! I can just see (and smell in my head :)) fragrant jasmine growing over it! Are you guys planning to put in misters?

  • Reply dawn March 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Looks great!

  • Reply Mystie March 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I’m getting caught-up on my commenting today. πŸ™‚

    That looks lovely!

    I ordered strawberry and blackberry plants for our garden that does not yet exist. It’s going to have to come into existence pretty soon here! πŸ™‚ I’ll be interested to hear how your fruit trees work out. I’d love cherries or peaches, but I’m nervous about taking on more than we could take care of or use/preserve/give-away.

  • Reply Kansas Mom March 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Oh berries! The strawberries last year were wonderful and we expect even greater things this year. (Eventually we’ll have other berries, too, but we have that pesky outbuilding to manage first.)

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