Through the Years

In the Beginning, 2009 - 2010

We bought our beautiful farm in November 2009. The barn was built in 1947. There was a little bit of rotted wood that had to be replaced and most of the windows were missing. But besides that and needing a good paint job, it was in good shape. Or so we thought. Once the repairs began it was easy to see that the barn needed a lot of work. Every supporting corner had to be replaced. You can see the rotted wood in the before pictures.

Before picture of front of Devine Gardens dairy barn
Before picture of back of Devine Gardens dairy barn


Devine Gardens rotted corner on dairy barn
Devine Gardens rotted inside of dairy barn
Devine Gardens rotted back right corner of dairy barn
Devine Gardens carpenter ant damage to dairy barn
new wood on side of Devine Gardens dairy barn
Halfway done dairy barn in winter at Devine Gardens
Back of halfway done dairy barn at Devine Gardens

By the end of 2010 the major repairs to the barn were done.

In 2010 the pole barn driveway was also improved from a packed mud path to a driveway with a foundation of bank run gravel.

Mud driveway at pole barn at Devine Gardens
Finished driveway at Devine Gardens pole barn


In 2011 the cow barn was painted, everything except the tippy top by the electic wires. From the bottom, I operated the lift and prayed a lot while Mike did the painting in the bucket.

Back of dairy barn with lift to paint at Devine Gardens
Mike painting in lift bucket at Devine Gardens
Tina controlling the lift bucket at Devine Gardens

 In 2011 the barnyard behind the cow barn was made accessible to drive on and be able to reach the back. Previously, it was just a mess.

Fixing the barnyard at Devine Gardens
Bulldozer fixing barnyard at Devine Gardens
Spreading stone in barnyard at Devine Gardens
Barnyard all done at Devine Gardens
Beautiful barn in fall of 2011 at Devine Gardens
Almost finished front of barn at Devine Gardens


2011 ended with the barn mostly painted and the barnyard useable. Also in November of 2011 ground was broken on our new home at the farm!


In 2012 our new home was finished. The road was originally closed during the winter. Luckily, 2012 was a very mild winter and we were able to move in mid-March. 

In April, our best friend Fonzie went to Route 20, was hit by a car and died.

Our friend Fonzie

In May Charlie and Cookie became our farm dogs.

Charlie and Cookie as baby puppies at Devine Gardens

 More digging - this time for the aerated compost bays

Digging for aerated compost bays at Devine Gardens
Aerated compost bays foundation
Poured concrete walls for aerated compost bays at Devine Gardens
Walls are poured for compost bays at Devine Gardens
Roofing the compost bays at Devine Gardens

2013 - 2014

In 2013 we took down the barb wire fencing. We had Williams Fence install high tensile fence near the barnyard. Lots of pictures and notes were taken to learn how it was done. 

 Williams Fence building fence

In 2014 we put high tensile fence around our future pasture.

Building fence for new pasture
Building fence at Devine Gardens

Then the big day came - our very own cows!!

Devine Gardens our first herd of Dexter cows
First winter with Dexter cows at Devine Gardens
Charlie did not like the cows
Charlie meets his first cow - he doesn't like it


In 2015 we buried water and electric line for the cows and built them a new shed.
bringing water to the cows
A new shed for the cows
On March 14th 2015, our first calf was born. Betty had a heifer named Clover. She was so tiny!
Clover is our first Dexter born at Devine Gardens
Betty the Dexter cow with calf, Buffy at Devine Gardens

2016 - 2017

The herd grew
Devine Gardens Dexter herd grew
I received a USDA Value Added Grant and was able to get beautiful packaging, a lovely nice logo and lots of signage.
Devine Gardens with new packaging from Value Added Grant
Charlie with one of many, many woodchucks. 
Charlie in his prime caught many woodchucks

2018 - 2020

2018 was another big year for improvements. We asked our tenant farmer to leave so that we could have use of the dairy-cow barn. So more repairs...
It sure is nice to have the cows inside on those blustery, winter days.
Devine Gardens hay loft floor recovered and repaired
Installing steel headgates in cow barn at Devine Gardens
steel stanchions in Devine Gardens barn
Cows in the freshly renovated barn at Devine Gardens
A nice concrete slab in front of the compost bays
pouring concrete in front of composting bays at Devine Gardens
Half finished concrete slab at Devine Gardens
A new road sign for Devine Gardens
Hanging Devine Gardens road sign
Storage bays for the compost
Building compost storage bays at Devine Gardens
Cookie in front of compost bays at Devine Gardens

Present Day

Not so many major improvements - just the day to day chores and hopefully making time to take in the beauty of the farm.

Devine Gardens round hay bales in the sun
2018 Cows on pasture Devine Gardens


Devine Gardens cows on pasture on beautiful fall day