Around Slupik MiniFarm
For the first several years, we focused on bringing the life and love back to the sad and neglected house, striving to make it a place where we would love to be and where our guests immediately feel comfortable. Most of the interior has been updated, and most recently, we rebuilt the wraparound porch and created outdoor dining, cooking, and lounging spaces where we spend time relaxing when we aren't busy planting, harvesting, building, or maintaining!
With Treehouse Masters as our inspiration and Pete Nelson's books as our guide, we designed and built a two-story treehouse 10 feet off the ground. The second story has a loft for summer sleepovers, and the higher platform leads to a zipline that runs across the yard. Many of the materials were bought second-hand from a neighbor or from the salvage yard. The front deck provides an amazing view of the Rocky Mountains and provides a great spot for watching the sunset. A recent addition to the treehouse is an obstacle course for the kids, which runs along the underside of the treehouse and challenges their strength, endurance, and balance.
One of our more recent projects has been building a small greenhouse for starting seeds and growing plants in the off-season. Over time, we collected the windows and door from flea markets and salvage yards, allowing the windows to dictate the design of the greenhouse. The structure was built from wood we salvaged from our old porch and sided with the old porch ceiling. The floor is made from a stack of bricks that were left to us with the house. The tables inside were also built with wood salvaged from the porch.
The Flower Field
In 2020 we took a leap and started a cut flower farm! Armed with an abundance of knowledge from the Floret Online Workshop, we expanded our growing space to include a flower field and a pumpkin patch. Together these total over 3000 sq. ft. of new growing space. In the flower field we grow unique tulip varieties, eye-popping alliums, colorful anemones, dazzling ranunculus, many gorgeous varieties of dahlias, unique flowers like Bells of Ireland, all-around favorites like snapdragons and zinnias, and a whole lot more! At the end of 2020, we also added a peony field with 235 peony roots in countless varieties. The roots will take a few years to establish, but we can hardly wait to start harvesting peony flowers as well! In addition, we have several large perennial beds where we grow greenery, herbs, and perennial flowers to supplement our annually grown flowers.
When we found this property, it had a large garden, but it was completely neglected and overrun by grass and weeds. The raised beds were completely rotted. One of our big projects early on was renovating the entire garden. We scraped out the grass, rebuilt the beds and filled them with healthy soil, laid new pathways, ran irrigation to the garden, rebuilt the collapsing fence, and extended the fence to create a space for chickens. Every year, we squeeze as many veggies and flowers as we can into the eight large garden beds. We also added a couple of cold frames and the ability to put hoops over each of the beds to extend our growing season, as Colorado typically sees snow and cold temps late into spring and starting early in fall.
The Flower House
The Flower House was designed and constructed by Dan and Molly and is our sweet little honor system flower stand. From spring through fall, we have flowers bouquets, eggs, plant starts, veggies, and handmade cards out for purchase at the corner of our property. Click here to learn more about The Flower House.
We have a happy flock of chickens who provide us with a constant supply of fresh eggs and who help clean up our extra food scraps. They're also a great companion to the garden, as their waste is used for compost and they're helpful in keeping the bugs in check (even if we have to rake up all of our scattered mulch behind them!). We've been adding different varieties of hens who are not only beautiful and colorful themselves, but who also lay a wide range of colorful eggs. Our chickens are fed only organic feed. Eggs are available for purchase most Saturdays from April through September at our flower stand in Niwot, CO.
Our detached garage came with a studio space, complete with a bathroom, above it. It was rundown and unusable at the time we bought the property, but it had the bones we needed to turn it into something usable with mostly cosmetic repairs. The space is now a private suite for our guests! Our guests can enjoy their own space, separate from the rest of the house (and from the noise of our kids!) while enjoying views of the garden and chickens out the back and sunsets over the Rocky Mountains out the front.