FLYING J FARM
The cabin was built entirely with wood from the farm. From the day I first looked at the lake, I knew it needed a cabin. There is a rise in the terrain just to the north of the lake in a woods I call the "Cabin Woods" because it is in this woods where the original cabin was located in the 1920's. It was my helpers, Lorelle and Lexi from Perth, Australia and Pete a local volunteer (as well as Paul and Nicole, from the US who joined in February) who encouraged me to start building in September. We fount two big downed red oak trees that we cut to size and dragged to the sawmill where we cut them into 2 inch beams to serve as the load bearing members. Then we found ash trees and cut them for rafters. By then it was winter but we kept building. By spring we hired a roofer to install the standing seam metal roof. Then we added vertical board and batten siding using ash trees. Then we added reused windows from another location that fit nicely into the 2-foot spacing between studs. About then we started to plan out how to design the inside especially the loft and attic and added the solar electric and thermal solar systems. The stairs to the loft had to take a 90-degree turn and a railing was added for safety. The kitchen was completed the refrigerator, sink (running water from the farm well), wood cook stove and cabinets. A "full" bath was installed including composting toilet and shower. Paul added the sign, "Eco Learning Center" to represent it as we intend it to be. The original solar thermal did not work so we added an in-line on demand propane water heater. Late that summer our first guests arrived, a pre-orientation class from Denison University. A year later, we added an outdoor patio and kitchen including wood-fired pizza oven, sink, fire pit and large grille.
Since then the cabin has been used for almost all of our regular events as well as parties, workshops, small conferences, family retreats, health retreats, cooking classes, and a place for peace away from the stress of life. It is offered you as a place for any of these activities.
About a mile south of the farm house is a 6-acre lake. This was an original beaver pond that the previous owner had dug out further and added a dam making it a bit larger and deeper. On a hill just north of the lake is a natural place for a cabin. In fact in the 1920s it was home to a descendant of the Denty's. The original sand stone foundation is still there in part as well as a base for a windmill and very large cistern, and a hand-dug well. In 2011 I built a cabin close to the original cabin site but on the other side of the hil is it has a view of the lake. This cabin is offered for rent for families, small groups, day parties, etc. The cabin offers a chance for you to experience off-grid living including sleeping cots for 6, a full kitchen, bath with composting toilet, running water and an outdoor kitchen including wood-fired pizza oven, sink, fire pit and picnic tables.
On the southwest side of the cabin there is a concrete patio that includes a commercial sink with running water, a large home made grill (wood or charcoal), a fire pit with a hydraulic hoist to lift a 30-gal cast iron pot, and a wood-fired pizza oven. The patio can be covered temporarily with a 10X10 canopy for comfort. Here are some pictures of the patio environment:
restoring the land & the people