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11 Garden Ideas to Steal from Hipster Homesteaders

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11 Garden Ideas to Steal from Hipster Homesteaders

December 24, 2018

Here’s to all the hipsteaders who’ve gone back to the land to farm (and post on their Instagram accounts), as well as to all seasonal settlers and weekend escapees who’ve left city life behind part-time. From the Cotswolds to the Catskills to the California coast, they’ve changed our ideas about organic gardening, farming, and country curb appeal.

Here are 11 great ideas to steal from hipster homesteaders.

1. Add egg amenities.

At The Fancy F, a \15-acre enterprise in New York’s Hudson Valley, chicken farmers Caity Delphia and partner Aaron Dunn (she&#8\2\17;s also a medical illustrator and graphic designer, and he&#8\2\17;s also a landscape designer) house their flock in a coop finished in local hemlock and white cedar shingles (“we used underlayment shingles, which are cheaper than red cedar”).
Above: At The Fancy F, a 15-acre enterprise in New York’s Hudson Valley, chicken farmers Caity Delphia and partner Aaron Dunn (she’s also a medical illustrator and graphic designer, and he’s also a landscape designer) house their flock in a coop finished in local hemlock and white cedar shingles (“we used underlayment shingles, which are cheaper than red cedar”).

See more of this chicken coop, and its inhabitants, in The Exquisite Egg: Raising Chickens with Style at the Fancy F.

2. Install weathervane technology.

A weathered copper weathervane adds vintage character and is more accurate than your iPhone at tracking wind currents. A similar \17-inch Fox Weathervane is \$300.95 from SDS Supply. Photograph by Joe Fletcher, courtesy of General Assembly.
Above: A weathered copper weathervane adds vintage character and is more accurate than your iPhone at tracking wind currents. A similar 17-inch Fox Weathervane is $300.95 from SDS Supply. Photograph by Joe Fletcher, courtesy of General Assembly.
In New York’s Catskills region, actress Amanda Seyfried transformed a barn into a guesthouse for friends and family. “People have a romantic idea of converting a barn,” says Brooklyn-based designer Sarah Zames of General Assembly, “but they’re not built to code for people.” The solution was to rebuild the guest quarters. On the roof, a weathervane lets her know which way the wind is blowing. See more in A Converted Catskills Guest Barn for Actress Amanda Seyfried on Remodelista.

Going retro? See more of our favorite old-school weathervanes at 10 Easy Pieces: Weathervanes.

3. Pretend you’re a pioneer.

Above: Former Brooklynites Dana McClure and Chris Lanier remodeled a circa-1850s barn, Ravenwood, in the Hudson Valley. Lanier, who grew up in Texas and previously worked in the restaurant Café Boulud and WD-50, is just as comfortable making stew in a Lodge Camp Dutch Oven that hangs from a campfire tripod. Photograph by Brooke Fitts, courtesy of Ravenwood.

The couple host Hudson Valley harvest meals in the fall, spring, and summer and also host a weekend farm stand. (See the schedule for the full list of goings-on.) See more at The Indoor/Outdoor Holiday: 11 Ideas to Steal from the Hudson Valley.

4. Hoist a hammock.

Hunting for a hammock? See Julie&#8\2\17;s favorite at Trend Alert: The Fringed Hammock.
Above: Hunting for a hammock? See Julie’s favorite at Trend Alert: The Fringed Hammock.

When Brooklyn native Casey Scieszka and husband Steven Weinberg decided to open a nine-room inn next to their Catskills farmhouse, they went the DIY route as much as possible, painting their own eaves and building from scratch the Spruceton Inn’s wooden bar. Then they balanced effort with ease, with a hammock hung between two serendipitously sited trees.

See more at The DIY Motel: The Spruceton Inn in the Catskills on Remodelista.

5. Pump your own.

Above: At the Deer Isle Hostel in Maine, daily life is off the grid. Water is hand-pumped from a well on the property and solar panels power electric lights. With no refrigeration, a granite cellar keeps perishables cool. Photograph by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist for Deer Isle Hostel.

Looking for a slower way of life that feels worlds away? See Maine Getaway: A Simpler Way of Life on Deer Isle.

6. Love your llamas.

In coyote country, a guardian llama can keep a flock of sheep safe from attack. Photograph by Sylvia Linsteadt.
Above: In coyote country, a guardian llama can keep a flock of sheep safe from attack. Photograph by Sylvia Linsteadt.

“Near the blue waters of Tomales Bay in Marshall, California, owners Kelli and Ken Dunaj sustainably tend olives, sheep, cows, and chickens on 200 acres of land, careful to honor the natural balance of predator and prey in their beloved, wild West Marin landscape,” writes contributor Sylvia Linsteadt.

“Coyotes are an important part of the natural ecosystem, helping to keep everything in balance,” says Kelli Dunaj, who relies on nonlethal rings of defense—an Akbash dog named Cassie and a Grand Pyrenees/Maremma cross named Bear on the periphery, a series of movable electric fences, and a guardian llama inside each pen with every flock. See more of Paco the llama at Behind the Scenes: A Visit to Spring Coyote Ranch in West Marin.

7. Build an open-air kitchen.

 Chris Adjani and Aria Alpert Adjani founded a membership-based modern farm (\$350 a month) at Noci Sonoma in Healdsburg, California. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: Chris Adjani and Aria Alpert Adjani founded a membership-based modern farm ($350 a month) at Noci Sonoma in Healdsburg, California. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

8. Do a makeunder, not a makeover.

When remodeling, maintain your home&#8\2\17;s weathered appearance. On a derelict \1830s farmhouse that had been abandoned for the past 40 years Hudson Valley home, located in Accord, New York, original clapboards were left untouched, writes Justine, adding that &#8\2\20;rotted boards were replaced with new ones smeared with mud from the nearby stream to activate an instant oxidation process.&#8\2\2\1; Photograph by Justine Hand.
Above: When remodeling, maintain your home’s weathered appearance. On a derelict 1830s farmhouse that had been abandoned for the past 40 years Hudson Valley home, located in Accord, New York, original clapboards were left untouched, writes Justine, adding that “rotted boards were replaced with new ones smeared with mud from the nearby stream to activate an instant oxidation process.” Photograph by Justine Hand.

See more in Saved from Abandonment: A Historic Hudson Valley Farmhouse Receives the Ultimate Makeunder on Remodelista.

9. Mow with sheep.

Above: Knitwear designer Kathleen Holland keeps the rolling green “lawn” mowed outside her 200-year-old Welsh farmhouse “with sheep freely grazing on the mountain slopes,” writes UK -based correspondent Christine Hanway. Photograph by Simon Brown.

“The gray stone walls combined with the shock of wild foxgloves and color and texture of the surrounding area are a great source of inspiration for my knitwear designs,” says Holland. See more at A Rustic Farmhouse in Wales, Wellies Included on Remodelista.

10. Paint your barn black.

Above: “In Pine Plains, New York, the L-shaped barn at Sky High Farm has two attached volumes serving as a livestock barn and a harvest processing facility,” writes Meredith. “The structure has a corrugated metal roof with wood siding painted in Benjamin Moore’s Black.” Photograph by Rush Jagoe, courtesy of Berman Horn Studio.
See more at Sky High Farm: Artist Dan Colen’s Painterly Landscape in the Hudson Valley.

11. Remodel a shepherd’s hut.

When great minds meet. &#8\2\20;In Wiltshire, England, George Winks, the designer and craftsman behind Temper Studio, and Chris Wheatley-Hubbard, owner of Four Feathers Rural Courses, had the idea to convert an old shepherd’s hut in Wheatley-Hubbard’s barn into a mobile kitchen,&#8\2\2\1; writes Annie. Photograph by Emma Lewis.
Above: When great minds meet. “In Wiltshire, England, George Winks, the designer and craftsman behind Temper Studio, and Chris Wheatley-Hubbard, owner of Four Feathers Rural Courses, had the idea to convert an old shepherd’s hut in Wheatley-Hubbard’s barn into a mobile kitchen,” writes Annie. Photograph by Emma Lewis.

Sign up for a rural workshop to learn to forage, hunt, carve, cure, and cook over an open fire. And see more of the mobile kitchen at Stockpot and Two Smoking Barrels: A Rustic Kitchen in a Shepherd’s Hut in England on Remodelista.

For more ideas, see our curated design guide to Edible Gardens 101. Read more:

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