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A Farmhouse Renovation

With a little creativity and a lot of elbow grease, one Connecticut couple re-envisions and reinvigorates a run-down farmhouse.

By Tovah Martin

History of the Whippoorwill Farmhouse
The Cockerlines work as a team at Whippoorwill Farm, and a collaborative effort shines in their farmhouse renovation. Despite its worn facade, Allen and Robin saw the potential in the farmhouse at the point of purchase. Although the unremarkable New England Cape-style farmhouse had little style at the onset, it had plenty of room and, most importantly, window space that could allow light to stream in.

Remaining in the same family since 1895, it sat on a dairy farm that became one of the first organic farms in the region with a broad outreach, trucking products to the metropolis and selling produce at New York’s Greenmarket (founded in 1976). A granddaughter of the original owner sold it to the Cockerlines in 2003.

Thirty years before the Cockerlines arrived on the scene, the house became a tenant house for the farm’s workers. Time and use took its toll on the space. Not only was the price affordable, but the money that the previous owner obtained from the sale was used to put a new roof on the farm’s barn, which stores hay for the Cockerlines’ cattle operation.

About the Author: With goats and organic gardens around her Connecticut cottage, Tovah Martin is every inch a hobby farmer. She is a freelance garden writer, lecturer, blogger and author—her most recent book is The New Terrarium (Clarkson Potter, 2009).

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Hobby Farm Home.

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