03/22/2017

A House in the Country

By Molly Denver

It began as a lark. Every weekend, my husband Brewster and I would pack the dog into our car and head out wherever our whims took us within a few hours of the city. The idea morphed, and we decided to focus these weekend jaunts to find a second home. 

Historic photo of our new farm, 1930.

Historic photo of our new farm, 1935.

We had three prerequisites:

1. The house must be on at least 5 acres.

2. The house must be a minimum of 100 years old.

3. There must be a barn.  

Freda Realty photo of the barn.

With those prerequisites, we made a wider and wider radius around the city until we found our new home on the Catskills.  

View of our home, Brollywood Farm.

I had no expectations. I had never thought about what it would mean or why we were even doing this, but I discovered something about myself once we found our second home. We doubled our lives- we now had two entirely fulfilling lives apiece. 

Doing restoration work on the house, with the help of our neighbors.

 

The beginnings of our orchard.

Callicoon brought us great friends, a discovery of community, a newfound love of gardening and nature, and an intense interest in building. 

View inside the barn.

I now have an enormous vegetable garden, the beginnings of a Gertrude Jekyll inspired English garden, and an orchard. 

It only took one summer to learn that you don’t want to plant too much squash, that quinoa tastes like dirty jeans if you don't prepare it properly after harvest, and that peas eaten straight off the vine are what I call “garden crack”. 

Our popcorn field.

Canning is a major part of our summer routine. 

Rhubarb Apple Mash, made from the apples off our trees and the wild rhubarb growing near our garden.

We built a greenhouse, added bedrooms and are planning a chicken coop.  

Dinner party in the greenhouse

Shed to become a sauna.

There is no end to the projects, and I love it! 

Hosting a party!