As I mentioned in a previous post, a caretaker is moving onto our Oregon property. He will get a rather rustic but beautiful place to live, and plenty of fresh air and free time in exchange for occupying the property, maintenance and upkeep, and working on a few key development projects.
So what needs to be maintained or developed? There is no electricity, no real residence, no plumbing . . .
First there are two small micro-cabins (I like to call them sheds.) The small cabin is 8’x12’. Referred to either as the lower cabin or the summer cabin, this cabin has the ocean view from its small porch. Inside it has a small storage loft and windows on two sides (the approach and the porch.) This cabin needs to an insulated stove pipe installed and the door moved to the opposite wall for better use of internal floor space.
The larger cabin is up the hill at the edge of the property (where it borders Forest Service land) and is just a few steps from the top of the meadow (officially a natural south facing oak savanna.) Referred to as the upper cabin or the winter cabin, it is 8’x16’ and has a sleeping loft that can fit a kingsize mattress. It also has laminate or hardwood floors and tile around the wood stove (which is slightly larger as well and includes an oven.) This larger cabin has windows on 3 of the 4 sides. The 4th side was left unshingled, and thus is exposed particleboard. Another great project for the caretaker. This cabin is also where the caretaker will stay as the summer cabin with its ocean view will be ours.
In addition to the small cabins, there is a nicely made micro-storage shed. The cabins are probably about 1/8 mile apart, with the shed located in between.
There are two greenhouses. The one near the cabins and in the savanna has been used consistently. This greenhouse has nice sliding doors, roll up walls, sliding waist high propagation tables, and raised production beds. It also has a timed drip irrigation system. Some vegetable crops can be produced within the greenhouse all winter quite easily. The caretaker will be able to have a garden here in this greenhouse and/or use the terraced garden beds just outside. The greenhouse should be watched to make sure there is no wind damage and everything is tightly secured during storms. The terraced garden beds include an overgrown asparagus bed that should be maintained weed-free, at a minimum.
The second greenhouse is located maybe a ¼ mile as the crow flies and maybe ¾ mile by road. It does not have well developed end doors, but will be a good place to season firewood, chop firewood in the rainy winter, stack supplies, and park equipment and tools. It is also located in one of the relatively flat areas of the property. There is some type of animal fencing around the top of the flat area of land and a couple of basic animal shelters next to the greenhouse where there were pigs and goats at one point in time. The area is heavily brushed and would be a first priority for clearing out, salvaging what firewood is there along the way. Cutting, seasoning, and splitting firewood will be a critical task as well – both for the caretaker’s use in heating the small cabin, as well as for when we are staying on the place.
There are maybe 1.5-2 miles of roads within the property. These need to be watched to clear any blocked culverts and maintain good drainage so the roads don’t wash out. Also, the brush and trees encroaching along the sides should be cleared back to improve access.
The current outhouse doesn’t have a door (we put up an old tarp for now), the chicken pen/orchard needs a proper gate, the chicken house porch rotted through, and it would be great to develop an outdoor kitchen with stove top and oven capacity. Oh, and a sauna in the woods – maybe near one of the streams . . .
So there is plenty to do and even with only the most basic of infrastructure, maintenance and upkeep could keep part-time help busy.