Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fort Kancar: the Idea of a Compound

We have an overall vision for the farm. It is home. It is a refuge. It is the opposite of work. It is a place for us to unwind. For family and friends to gather...and do the same. A combination of the feelings that warmth, love, food, and coziness evoke. These are feelings and ideas. Not truly concrete.

As far as physical space goes, we want and have already begun to achieve a home that is unique, inside and out. It isn't physically the biggest house ever nor do we need it to be. With everything we do here, our goal is to have it well thought out and unique. We don't want it to look like a page out of a catalog, in that someone else could already have that look, in fact several people could. An item here or there is fine but if your design sense is dictated by ONLY what can be bought at a store the end result will be pretty sterile or at least not very unique. McMansions in McNeighborhoods everywhere look like this, inside and out, from landscape design to interior design. We certainly don't want that. Each item or plant that we place somewhere probably has a story behind it and was thoughtfully placed there for a reason. Thank you to those of you that ask about them.

So where am I headed with all this you might ask? We already have the land, we have the house, we have the barn. We're well on our way to a compound of sorts. What comes to mind when you think of a compound? Probably some crazy person "forcing" his/her followers to live on it, wear the same sneakers and drink the same "cool-aid" if the government doesn't wage war on you first. Perhaps a large stockade fence. Right?

Certainly not the concept we are going for. But think about the word compound. Compound in its essence is to combine 2 or more elements together to form something greater and hopefully stronger. The whole is a product of the sum of its parts and each makes the whole better. Now think of this definition in terms of the feelings and physical structures that I have just described above.

We have 3.5 acres here. There are millions of things to look at and explore. Why not take advantage of that? What if we thought big and outside the box. What if we had a guest house/studio on the property? Why not? We're not talking huge but say 20' X 20' at most. It can be done on a budget. It doesn't have to cost a fortune, especially if we use reclaimed building materials. Think big windows and maybe a solar unit to run off the grid power. Good for the wallet and good for the environment. I have thoughtfully determined just where on the property might provide the best view for a guest, or us, to wake up in the morning and overlook the farm. The sun, bathing the horses as they graze right outside your window. Stop and think about that. The sun would be rising just outside the window as the back of the property faces east. A place to make stuff? Why not?

Why not make this place, our home, a place that people want to come to and not want to leave (including us).

Why not?

I have been a musician for a long time. Not a great one but okay. I play the guitar and the bass, have a bunch of gear. Sooooo I bought a used drum kit the other day. Why? Because I have dabbled with drums before but I really wanted one to start my music room in the basement. Sarah can bang on the drums if she wants while I play the guitar. When my brother Todd comes over, he and I can make some music. Another reason to come here and not want to leave (not that we won't or don't ever leave this place but you get the idea, after all, it also gives you perspective). Starting to get the overall idea of a compound? The drum kit is yet another piece of the puzzle that we are putting together that is our compound. Yeah, lots of people have drum kits and don't pretentiously call their property a compound. Again, think of it as a small piece that makes the whole better. In those terms it's not just a drum kit or music room. Now think of what the word compound means to you...not so negative anymore is it?

Maybe a dirt jump somewhere for bikes or dirtbikes someday. Thinking about a vineyard as well so Sarah can make her own wine. Not huge but big enough. We have the opportunity to make this place wholly unique. We only live once, why not? We're not rich but you know what, one doesn't have to be to pull this off.

A combination of all these really great fun things to do that are ours. They are/will be on our property. That is the common denominator. When you are here visiting they become yours. We see how happy people are when they come here. So much to look at and explore and learn about. We know that we have a unique opportunity here at Czar of the Woods Farm (aka Fort Kancar as the compound has affectionately been coined). We want to make it as awesome as possible. Yea, that's right, I'm a child at heart. I want it to be awesome! This isn't just our house, it's an idea that can be as big (in scope, not physical size) as we can dream (and afford of course).

We are lucky to come home to this place, this idea, every day.


Anonymous said...

I'm about to write a check to help you build the guest compound.... As much as I love New York City, I would rather be on the compound!! We've been looking for a bigger apartment for months and it's amazing how little you get for so much!! Bastards!

wilson said...

I made wine from the himalayan berries that grow along the creek bank at my parent's place. Too much fun.