Welcome to Frankville. This pretty much sums up the past two months since we’ve been here. All the neighbors have welcomed us and helped us get settled. Frankville is a small village of homes at the intersection of Highway 29 and Kitley Line 8 Road, between Brockville and Smiths Falls Ontario. We’ve learned that at one time there were shops, a hotel and doctor along with all the other necessities of life.
The house itself is said to be from the 1850’s. It’s a classic Ontario stone farm house with a symmetrical profile and a newer addition on the back. The transition between owners was bittersweet – it was a fresh new beginning for us but the end of an era for the owners who had been taking care of it for the past 50 years. It was a labor of love and the door will always be open to them.
The property itself is more than we were looking for – 90 acres with 60 in hay separated by hedgerows and the rest in woods. We had looked at several stone houses in the area, most had 2 or 3 acres and for us we wanted at least 25 but ended up with a few extra. Walking the fields and following the hedgerows with Buddy has become a new morning ritual.
The barn helped sell us on the property. It’s a timber frame construction with hand-hewn beams put together with pegs. Some of the beams must be 24″ square. Things have changed since it was built, the horses would pull the hay wagon in through one set of doors, family and friends would unload the loose hay by hand down into the hay storage area and the horses would exit through the set of doors on the opposite side of the building.
We’ve been busy since arriving in Frankville, producing soap, beeswax candles and putting in the vegetable garden. We’re starting small with a plot of 30 x 40 full of (in alphabetical order) asparagus, basil, beans, beets, carrots, corn, garlic, lettuce, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, sunflowers and tomatoes but no room for zucchini. We also planted a few Nasturtiums, Cosmos and Zinnias here and there so frankly it’s almost impossible to get in and harvest.
We’ve also started the flock of laying hens. The initial plans were to start with some day old chicks in June but the timing didn’t work out so we’ve been accumulating hens (and a few roosters) 3 by 3 and we are now up to 20 hens and 1 rooster. We had a rooster return policy from one of the farmers so we traded him in for another hen and threw in an extra rooster for good measure. We also have 6 Muscovy ducks so the coop is just about full for now. They have lots of room during the day but the sleeping quarters seem a bit cramped.
Plans for next year include starting up a few beehives, expanding the garden plot from one to four and getting the fencing done around the barn for a few dairy goats. For now we’ll sit back and enjoy the bounty of this season.